Are We Really What We Teach?-A Self-Evaluation By A Troubled Mind

truthThe pessimism and reluctance to change harboured by those around me are finally beginning to engulf me. I feel like I miss important details trying to focus on the big picture that is the implementation of a learner-centered system to facilitate learning. Specifically speaking, the detail that is ignored is the presence of tests. It is sad to accept for such an enthusiast for the dream design that teachers will always choose to follow coursebooks, and students will always expect to be spoonfed knowledge because there just isn’t enough time for autonomy and reflection. For this very reason which is the requirement to meet deadlines, nobody ever has the liberty to act as they are supposed to.

Tony Gurr mentions in his latest post that one of the teachers in a meeting exclaimed “Tiyatro oynuyoruz” (It is just a theatre play that we stage). Although I regret to write this, I cannot say I totally disagree with that teacher, for s/he touches upon a piece of reality that most people like me prefers not to see, hoping in vain that if we do not look at it, it will go away.

So what is supposed to be the action to take?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer. I have no idea who is right or if it is ever possible to change minds. All I can say is that I have been trying to make myself the change that I want to create in my context of teaching, but will I be of any influence at all on those who are right to play it safe? Or is it that we are only wasting our time, and it is never in our power to revolutionize learning because old habits will not just die as long as the examocracy prevails?

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3 responses to “Are We Really What We Teach?-A Self-Evaluation By A Troubled Mind

  1. Thanks Guven for such a reflection.
    I don’t think that at this point it is healthy and productive to concentrate forces on who/what/why. I have always thought that like it is said in Brazil – uma andorinha não faz verão… meaning that you alone can’t do anything. We grow up with this in mind and if you believe, sadly you lose hope. That is at least what happened to me for while.
    On the other hand, there is a bible verse that says that “It is not through violence or force..” Although I know this was taken out of context, but it has something to do with people changing paths. So, maybe they are related.
    Here is what I am thinking right now… I want to be available, to make time to connect with teachers locally , not in we-must-meet situation. We don’t have a local organization, but I don’t want that kind of meetings where things end up being about doing for the sake of it. I got two teachers who work with large groups and in High school interested in having regular meetings. So, I’m taking from there. The aim is to support each other, encourage to reflect and discuss, try out new things, help each other evaluate and change approaches if necessary. I know it is hard for them. I work with small groups (10 max) and it seems like paradise comparing to their teaching context and the pressure they have. I will start with them, and hopefully others will join in and more small groups to support each other will be created. I’m sure our school will support us with labs and all that we need for ICT development for example. But I want meeting to be in a coffee shop. A place where we can relax and share freely about life and teaching.
    I am in the system, but it doesn’t own me.
    In my department though, the language center, there is still this feeling of being afraid to share our challenges and problems and to reflect together. But we are working on it. This was a very good year and our pedagogical coordinator did a great job proposing us to work together monthly and present topics for the group. What do you think I talked about in my last presentation??
    The great thing about being online is to get inspired by you all. Tks so much for this.
    (forgive me if I made any mistakes in my post. Family is calling me for lunch. And I have to hurry. No time for editing.) 🙂
    Rose

    • It makes me happy to see that you understand how I feel. I see you are going through such a challenge of showing to people the ideal way as often as I do. The things you write about are really to the point that I find encouragement in your words. I must also say that I value your your interest in my reflections. Thanks for all!

  2. Thank you for bringing up this important issue “the necessity for authonomy in classes” and I couldnt help but sadly smile at what one of the Turkish teachers said, “we are actors playing on the stage”…Yes, I loved this phrase as it simply explains whats sadly going through our education system. Packed scheduals and hours leave no time for teachers to create an authonomous atmosphere where they feel that students are enjoying and as a result learning. On the other hand, teachers have little time for self-developement and also rest to start the day refreshed. This is and has been my motto: “Quality is important not quantity.” As long as we can create a suitable learning environment for the kids, the amount of hours we teach them loses its significance. Lets hope for a time that we really care about the core of the education and for this, our society needs an awareness and readiness…Cheers!

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