Also on: Read Write Collect
I found it interesting reading your post on collaboration alongside this one. I always thought that if you provided the opportunity for teachers to work together that collaboration would be there. However, my experience has been that there are some who are more interested in their own agency and self-interest. It is for this reason that I cringe at awards and individual recognition. Maybe I am wrong? Jealous of the success of others? However, I would like to think that my interest is in supporting the wider systems, whatever that may look like.
Syndicated at Read Write Collect
Democracy requires active work. Every generation has to reclaim it. Educators have a critical function, at a moment when we live in filter bubbles and echo chambers, to create safe spaces and facilitate points of confrontation to break single identities. If we are serious about democracy, it is about how we teach. It is about living democracy in the classroom. It might be timely for teachers to consider whether they model authoritarian leaders, how they might support curricula disobedience and academic freedom, and what their professional code of ethics is.
One of the key learnings from educational research over recent years is that it is simply not possible to measure the quality of teaching the way people want to. Measurement is a comfort blanket but most of the measurement is meaningless. Coaching is our way of promoting a culture of trust, instead of an audit and micromanagement culture.
Some simple ways to begin practicing documentation include:
Sharing a short video clip of documentation at the start of class or a meeting by displaying a brief clip and then asking students their thoughts about it. Taking a photo of an especially powerful learning moment to revisit with students by using the classroom walls to display the documentation. Jotting down a provocative or insightful quote from a student to share with the class via speech bubbles on the walls.
Shadowing is not about evaluating classes, teachers, or the student. Indeed, it is a good idea not to tell the teachers that you are coming to their class so they are not tempted to put on a show. The goal is to immerse yourself in the student’s experience, preferably commencing as soon as they arrive at school in the morning. Recording and documenting your observations and taking pictures and videos throughout the day to support your observations are a key part of the shadowing experience.
What might pedagogies for supporting civic agency look like? How do students investigate civic issues? What are the complexities of gathering information in a networked age? How do students learn to talk across differences, imagine new possibilities, and cultivate skills to develop a social change agenda?