Reflective pedagogic practice

Author: joe

Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 21:53

...is a big way of saying that it pays to stand back and think about what you're doing when you're teaching - or more properly - creating environments in which people learn.

I recently started as tutor on a brand new MA course at BMS, which is delivered entirely online. The course is work-based, so the students are all professionals in their field, using their professional practice as a vehicle for reflection, learning and development.

Since everything happens online, I've been thinking quite hard about how to approach it. Normally when I'm in a forum, I can be quite argumentative and provocative, and I particularly like trolling people for reactions. Yes, I know, I'm a child. When I read /. I go for the funny comments, by and large.

However, as a tutor in an online environment, I'm trying very hard to hold back, so I don't end up dominating conversation, or closing off conversations with statements that mark closure rather than aperture. Poor me, having to engage in rational-critical discourse, eh? Which of course makes me wonder whether I oughtn't to do that in the other online environments I visit...

In f2f teaching, I found it fairly easy to develop a practice of balancing tutor-led activity with creating spaces in which learners can argue, conjecture, discuss and explore - but of course a lot of that is mediated by body-language, tone of voice, and physical presences.

More significantly, though, it has made me think hard about how and why I write at all. For me writing is transformative, because it is often how I actualise my understanding of something. Putting something into words changes it from a nebulous idea to a concrete perspective, even if the perspective is subject to constant shift thereafter. Hence I realise my writing style has become very positive, statement-based and argument-driven.

So, all in all, I guess standing back and forcing myself to be more reflective is probably, um, a good thing. No, hang on, that's not right: is it not a good thing that I am standing back and forcing myself to be more reflective? Mmmm, maybe need more work on that :)

Categories: e-learning, reflection, teaching,
Comments: 1

Comments

Hello, I'm a human and my thoughts are... it's really interesting to see how you've been able to describe your identity as a writer compared to your identity as a f2f tutor. I know you as a friend, which is another identity entirely. And that identity bridges the gap between the characteristics you describe in the writer and the tutor.
I'll leave that with you to work out what I mean. :-)

Author: Catherine Sent: 2006-10-11 08:58:22


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