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Conventional Teaching

Sarah's picture

In Ellsworth piece she writes "If an exact fit between message and understanding, conscious and unconscious, curriculum and interpretation, is impossible, then teaching, as it is conventionally understood, is impossible" (pg 15).  It is important that she used the word "teaching" instead of "learning".  I've come to learn that even if you have a bad teacher or a lesson plan that goes askew, every opportunity is a learning opportunity .  However, some methods of teaching are certainly more effective than others. Freire and Shor discuss "liberatory dialogue", which is something I would consider to be an essential aspect of most of my classes.  They discuss how traditionalists might think this method of teaching is bizarre, and I can admit, I probably would have felt that way in the past.  I used the think that the teacher was the most knowledgable person in the room, and that by having discussions with classmates, we were wasting time and losing knowledge.  I also thought about how if I were ever a teacher, teaching the same thing year after year would be mind-numbing.  Although repetitive curriculum may be a little boring for some teachers, I had never thought that each year the teacher has the possibility to relearn if they allow their students to discuss and hear new perspectives and ideas each year.  I know some of my friends and family members at home probably consider liberatory dialogue a little bizzare; sometimes they ask questions like "What are you learning from your major again? Why are you becoming certified to teach? You really sit in a circle and talk for an hour and a hald during class?", but I've come to really appreciate this method of teaching, but as Friere and Shor discussed, I "start[ed] with reality and over[came] it" (pg 106).  I know that a liberal arts education may be "out there" to some, but I truly believe the skills I learn here (critical thinking, collaboration, etc) will benefit me no matter what I do in life.



Avoseh's picture


Please any other name for conventional teaching