Becoming a Skillful Teacher

Report
BECOMING A SKILLFUL TEACHER
Stephen Brookfield
University of St. Thomas
Minneapolis-St. Paul
www.stephenbrookfield.com
Stephen’s ASSUMPTIONS
• Sincerity of Our Actions NOT
Correlated with Students’ Goodwill
• Good Practice = Whatever Helps
Students Learn
• Best Teaching is Critically Reflective
• Most Important Pedagogic
Knowledge - How Students
Experience Learning
• Context Changes Everything
CRITICAL INCIDENT QUESTIONNAIRE
(CIQ)
• Most Engaged Moment
• Most Distanced Moment
• Most Helpful Action
• Most Puzzling Action
• What Surprised You Most
CIQ – How Administered
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Last 5 minutes of last class of the week
Anonymous
Mandatory when possible
Frequency Analysis
Reported back to class
Negotiation not capitulation to majority
opinion
Why CIQ’s?
• Problems Warned Early
• Ground Teachers’ Actions
• Increase Student Reflectivity
• Build Trust
• Illustrate Diverse Methods
• Model Critical Thinking
What Does it Mean to Teach Adults?
• When have you been treated
as an adult in a learning (or
any other) situation?
• What was it that someone did
that made you feel you were
being treated as an adult?
An Adult Approach
•Respect
•Research
•Responsiveness
What is Different About Adults as
Learners?
• What (if anything)
makes how you learn as
an adult different from
how you learned as a
child or adolescent?
SNOWBALLING
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Begin with individual reflection
Share with another person
Pairs join with pairs & share in quartet
Quartets join with quartets …. & so on
SHARE …
Emerging differences
Questions & issues raised
Contradictions revealed
ADULTS TEND TO…
• Be More Self-Motivated
• Need to See the Relevance & Application of
Learning Early in the Encounter
• Want Their Own Experience Acknowledged
• Be More Tolerant of Ambiguity
• Be More Aware of Power
• Be Less Impatient with Slackers (Teachers &
Students)
EMOTIONAL DIMENSIONS TO
LEARNING
• What are the strongest
emotions or feelings you’ve
experienced as a learner in
class and what actions or
events prompted these?
CIRCLE OF VOICES
• Begin with a minute’s quiet thought
• Go round the group & have each person
speak their thoughts on the topic for up to
a minute – NO INTERRUPTIONS
ALLOWED
• Move into open conversation – but you
can only talk about what someone else
said in the opening round
EMOTIONAL RHYTHMS OF LEARNING
• Impostorship
• Cultural Suicide
• Lost in Limbo - roadrunning
• Peer Supports
Student Engagement
•In your experience,
what does an engaged
classroom LOOK,
SOUND or FEEL like?
Chalk Talk
• Facilitator writes a question in the
center of the board & circles it
• Whenever they wish people go to the
board & write responses to question
• Others draw lines between responses
to show connections/differences
• Facilitator adds responses as needed
ENGAGEMENT
Learners’ Perceptions
• Involved in some way
• Different modalities used – silence/speech, small
group/whole class, visual/oral, abstract/specific,
teacher/student
• Teacher modeling & scaffolding
• Students provide frequent examples
• Immediate feedback on progress
• Participation in activities – responsibility for
learning
MODELING
• Modeling Particularly Important for
Students Learning to Think Critically
• When Teachers Talk Out Loud Their
Assumptions Behind Thoughts &
Practices
• When Teachers Do Regular Assumption
Audits - Say When Their Assumptions are
Confirmed & Challenged
MODELING
• When Teachers Use the CIQ to Check
Their Assumptions in Front of Students
• When Teachers Bring in Real Life
Experience When Assumptions Were
Confirmed & Challenged
• In Team Teaching - When Team Members
Take Different Positions and Clarify Each
Others’ Assumptions
What Do Adult Students Look for in Us?
• What would you like your
learners, colleagues, reports
to, or trainees to say about
your practice when they were
out of your earshot?
CIRCULAR RESPONSE
• 1st person speaks up to 1 minute on her
response to the topic or question
• 2nd person (to left of 1st speaker) speaks for
up to 1 minute - what she says must respond
to, or build on, the 1st speaker’s comments.
This can be a question about the previous
comment or a disagreement
• This process continues once around circle
then moves into open conversation
TEACHER CREDIBILITY
• EXPERTISE AT A HIGH LEVEL
• EXPERIENCE OF REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS
& TEACHING
• RATIONALE: A THOUGHT OUT APPROACH TO
WHY THINGS ARE ARRANGED THE WAY THEY
ARE
• CONVICTION: RE. THE IMPORTANCE OF A
CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF CONTENT &
SKILLS
TEACHER AUTHENTICITY
• CONGRUENCE OF WORDS & ACTIONS
• FULL DISCLOSURE OF EXPECTATIONS &
CRITERIA
• PERSONHOOD VIA AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL
EXAMPLES
• RESPONSIVENESS TO LEARNERS’
CONCERNS
• ACKNOWLEDGING ERROR
Resistance to Learning
• Why Do YOU Resist
Learning Something that
Someone Else Says You
Need to Know?
Students’ Most Frequently Reported
Reasons for Resisting Learning
• Apparent Irrelevance of the Learning
• Level of Required Learning is
Inappropriate or Misjudged
• Fear of Looking Foolish in Public
• Fear of the Unknown & Difficult
• Lack of Clarity in a Teacher’s Instructions
• Personal Dislike & Mistrust of a Teacher
Students’ Most Frequently Reported
Reasons for Resisting Learning
• Fear of Cultural Suicide – ‘Not Cool’
• Too Much Effort – Too Difficult
• Racial, Cultural, Gender Differences
in Class
• Poor Self-Image as Learners
• Lacks Necessary Skills for Learning
Task
Dealing with Resistance
• What’s the best way to
engage and respond to
students who are resisting
an involvement in
learning?
NEWSPRINT DIALOG
• Small groups put their deliberations on
newsprint sheets – no reporting these out
• Newsprint sheets posted around the room &
blank sheets posted next to each sheet
• Each participant takes a marker & wanders
by herself around the room - she writes her
questions, reactions, agreements etc. directly
onto the sheets or onto the blanks posted
• Groups reassemble at their postings to see
what others have written
Post-It Appreciation
• What did someone say or do
today that you particularly
appreciated?
• Write on Post-It & Place on Board
• Different Participants Read Out
Examples
Further Resources from Stephen
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Books that Emphasize Practice:
Teaching for Critical Thinking (2012)
The Skillful Teacher (2006, 2nd. Ed.)
Discussion as a Way of Teaching (w/ Stephen
Preskill, 2005, 2nd. Ed.)
• Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (1995)
• www.stephenbrookfield.com
Further Resources from Stephen
• Books that Emphasize Theory:
• Radicalizing Learning (w/ John Holst) 2010
• Handbook of Race & Adult Education (w/
Vanessa Sheared et. al.). 2010
• Learning as a Way of Leading (w/ Stephen
Preskill) 2008
• The Power of Critical Theory (2004)
• All published by Jossey-Bass

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