Can Teachers Learn the Way Students Learn?

I am planning my instructional strategy for teaching a group of teachers who want to learn how to use their interactive whiteboards. This takes place the third week of July. Some are new to the whiteboard others are intermediate users looking for greater depth. I think they are all expecting to sit down in straight rows in front of their laptops watching as I demonstrate the tools on the board. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or is there?

Seymour Papert sparked in me some new ideas for teaching. He pioneered project based learning and links this successful approach to a change in learning-priorities. Function over form? Surrender the need to rely on a traditionally paced curriculum. Replace it with learning for authentic and immediate application. Can I change the sage on the stage approach and start teaching teachers the way they are expected to be teaching students? Will the teachers moan act annoyed that they have to take personal responsibility for their learning? I wonder?

My grad classes have taught me to be a reflective learner but they have not modeled teaching in a way I would consider suitable for the classroom. From where I sit I am hearing, “do as I say, not as I do”. The concentrated classe time seems to necessitate a method closer to a mother penguin feeding her young than a trainer and her sled dog team training for the Iditarod. I think it’s time that teachers demand to learn in the way they are expected to be teaching. I plan to shake things up in my whiteboard sessions. The students are going to be doing all the work and teaching each other. I plan to facilitate this process. After all, I wouldn’t send someone into the woods without a compass, or up a creek without a paddle. 🙂

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One Response to “Can Teachers Learn the Way Students Learn?”

  1. Jill Says:

    I agree. I am an instructional technologist for a school district and I am tired of hearing that we need to teach in a 21st Century manner while being lectured to!

    I teach an introduction computer class to teachers and I structured the class around individual need and immediate application. They love having choice and a set rubric that details the skills.

    Yet, when I mention they can approach their classes like that – I get puzzled looks. They don’t realize that I had a set curriculum of skills but free choice and immediate application to their classes were what they focused on.

    I think directly helping teachers versus just modeling is needed.

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