WHAT IS TEACHING?
"I believe that the teacher's place and work in the school is to be interpreted from this same basis. The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences." (Dewey, 1897) "Dogma is actually the only thing that cannot be separated from education. It IS education. A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching. There are no uneducated people; only most people are educated wrong. The true task of culture today is not a task of expansion, but of selection-and-rejection. The educationist must find a creed and teach it." (G. K. Chesterton, 1910) When we are pragmatic, we accept the status quo, even if we do not like it. It is about figuring out how to fulfill our values and mission in the real world rather than spending our energy complaining that things should be different. We explore the cause and effect relationships that govern our lives, and then use the power we have to make things better. The goal of teaching is to be that guide that prepares people to live in the world by teaching current affairs. Not to indoctrinate an authoritative position in the classroom. Pragmatic philosophers believe the role of the teacher is to create a learning environment in which students can have meaningful interactions learning with peers. A good teaching strategy is interactive instruction. This skill develops healthy discussions and interactions with the peers and learners. As a teacher he/she creates the environment for students to interact with each other for them to engage in a talk which is relevant to what they are learning. Discussions can lead to engaging activities, debates, role playing and problem solving. A good way of teaching problem solving is by looking at the child’s age; the younger the child, the simpler the technique. By prompting and showing the correct way of responding it gives the child a sense of empowerment within that problem situation. Teaching is a process of both instruction and procedures used to guide students to the information they will need and challenging them to engage in critical thinking and problem solving. It is the interaction between teacher and student for their benefits.
WHAT IS LEARNING?
"As long as there were people asking each other questions, we have had constructivist classrooms. Constructivism, the study of learning, is about how we all make sense of our world, and that really hasn’t changed." (Brooks, 1999) “ Learning is more than the acquisition of the ability to think; it is the acquisition of many specialized abilities for thinking about a variety of things” (Vygotsky, 1978) Corresponding to the constructivism psychological theorists believe that each person has a unique concept of things based on experience and each person can construct knowledge based on experience. Their view of learning states that students learn through solving real world problems and engaging in tasks that they would encounter in the real world. The teacher’s role is to design problems for students to solve and act as the facilitator who helps students think about real world tasks and problems in real ways. The student in turn solves real world problems and engages in actual world realistic tasks and collaborates with other students to construct new knowledge. In turn students provide solutions to real or contrived problems. Vygotsky saw the relationship between learning and the learner’s social development and experiences. A good learning strategy is to have group projects about real life issues. Students would be able to solve actual problems and engage in tasks that they would encounter out in the real world. Questioning about situations encourage student participation to arrive at the answer or solution. Learning is something consistently...
References: Dewey J. (1897) My pedagogic creed.
The School Journal. 54(3), pp.77-80.
Chesterton G.K. (1910). Part 4. Education: or the mistake about the child.
What’s Wrong With the World.
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Interaction between learning and development.
Mind and Society. pp. 79-91.
Open Educational Resources of UCD Teaching and Learning, University College Dublin (2005)
Resources and literature, Education Theory: Constructivism and social constructivism. Retrieved from: http://www.ucdoer.ie/index.php/Education_Theory/Constructivism_and_Social_Constructivism
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