Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shifting Paradigms . . . Again!

I can feel my thinking shifting (finally) . . . bits and pieces here and there. In the classroom, I moved from thinking about teaching to thinking about learning. Here, I think I've moved from thinking about learning to thinking about living. What a paradigm shift!

On a practical level, those thoughts have changed the questions I ask. Instead of saying to myself, "What am I going to teach today?" I've moved to asking, "What are students going to do today?" That moved me much more toward the idea of student-centered instruction. However, since that time, I've started thinking more about the importance of experience in learning. That has transformed my question to, "Why should it matter to students?"

Yesterday, I realized that I might be on the verge of still another shift . . . . what if instead of focusing on knowledge, we focused on needs? Teaching to their needs is very different than teaching a set curriculum . . . which, if the goal is that the curriculum reflect the field, shouldn't ever be all that set anyhow because the field is always shifting and changing.

So now it becomes a question of integrating the students into the experience and the experiences into the students. And THAT leads me to ask why we spend so much time "creating" experiences when there is a whole world out there just waiting for us?!

5 comments:

Jacque said...

Absolutely! I think that the Montessori Method of teaching follows a lot of your thought processes. I loved it when Elizabeth attended and regret not sending David.

Talk to you soon, I hope

Lucia- insert creative nickname said...

CHERICE!!! I heard you were sick, but it looks like you are up, and moving again! Or at least up and thinking deeply again! So, it's the Ides of March... any news on provo?

Cherice said...

I'm feeling much better (finally, after being sick for nearly 5 weeks)!

Thanks for asking!

Cherice said...

Yes, I'm intrigued by the connections between Montessori & John Dewey's thinking!

Cherice said...

Oh, and Provo . . . I think you know by now, but if not, I have accepted the job. Now I just have to finish a few course papers, and my statistics class, and my comprehensive exams, and the dissertation . . . all in the next year or so. Wish me luck!