So Chris Sessums is learning from his blog by deconstructing his learning, on his blog, which is what this is really all about. I know I sound like a snob when I start talking or writing about how blogging is an intellectual exercise, but that’s what this is for me, and I think his post today is a good example of what I mean. I also like the way he defines the scope of what teachers can do with a blog:
1. Modeling: the teacher �puts his/her mind on display�
2. Coaching: teachers observe students performance of a task, offering feedback
3. Scaffolding: helping a student complete a task slightly more difficult than the student is capable of completing on his/her own.
4. Articulating: drawing students out dialogically, helping to convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge
5. Reflecting: debriefing, replaying and discussion after an activity
6. Exploring: students tackle new areas on their own
What’s interesting to me is how the items in that list have less to do with teaching than facilitating and creating a learning environment. And thanks to a bit of Web serendipity, I stumbled across this relevant link in one of my del.icio.us feeds today excerpting Carl Rogers’ “Freedom to Learn”. There’s more than what I’m snipping here, but this will give you the gist of what he has to say:
a) My experience is that I cannot teach another person how to teach. To attempt it is for me, in the long run, futile.
b) It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential and has little or no significant influence on behavior.
c) I realize increasingly that I am only interested in learnings which significantly influence behavior.
d) I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influence behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning.
e) Such self-discovered learning, truth that has been personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another.
f) As a consequence of the above, I realize that I have lost interest in being a teacher…
Like I said, there is much more to it that needs reading in order to fully understand his ideas. But the learning here for me at least is an even more heightened sense that blogs can be spaces for self directed learning, and that to use them well as teachers, we may need to stop thinking about how to teach with them as much as focus on how we might bring them into our own practice to model what our students can do with them.
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