Classroom Roles – A Prelude

Every educational institution defines its reality through its norms, thus establishing its patters of common behaviour to the participating members. When considering the different levels of education and their reality of age differences – i.e. age differences between teachers and learners will create different social relationships, e.g. age differences between secondary and tertiary students will develop different patterns of behaviour in the relationship with the teacher and syllabus. However, there remains an impertinent question in regard to tertiary classroom cultures:

i) Is there really less “management” of learning at tertiary level than at other levels?

ii) If the managing of learning is still there, though less visible, hence more intangible, does it is more subtle?

iii) And if so, what are then the markers of that discourse?

Related to these issues, is of course the purpose of formal education and classrooms as we know them in their present state: is the justification for the object of teaching meant as a need for learning, learning here meaning the internalizing of external modes of reality in order to continue sustaining that reality?

From my experience and observations in classrooms, these are features which I have found and reflect upon.

1)    It is the institution which pre-determines the roles of teachers and learners, though one should always take into account the different personalities of each of the participating members.

2)    These roles and statues will also contribute to the determination of the teaching approaches applied by the individual teacher.

3)    The curriculum – syllabus and its testing – may condition teaching attitudes and procedures in the classroom.

Nevertheless, there are changes in process.

Changes which will not be stopped nor prevented any longer.

Classroom walls are open.

Learners have free access to whatever they want, whenever they want.

Roles are changing.

Can these changes be measured? And if not, are they not worth inquiring into?

“Questions which cannot be measured are not seen as challenging the notion of measurement, but rather as not worth studying. The impact on society of such a definition of knowledge is the undermining of independent thinking an decision making.”(Reinhartz 1990:422)
What Students Want on PhotoPeach

http://photopeach.com/public/swf/story.swf

What do your students want?

References:

Reinharz, S. – 1990 “Implementing New paradigm Research: A Model for Training and practice”, in Human Inquiry, ed. Reason, p. & J. Rowan, John Wiley &  Sons

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