Saturday, July 31, 2010

CMK - More Deborah Meier and Alfie Kohn

Rereading my notes from Constructing Modern Knowledge (something I should do more often) I am struck by the connections I see between various conversations and presentations. Those connections did not jump out at me during the conference. I'm glad to have the time to review and notice.

In an earlier post I wrote about Gary Stager's remark that if we want kids to be good at learning they should spend time with good learners.

Now I notice that Deborah Meier said, "I want kids to keep company with strong and powerful adults so that they grow up to be strong and powerful adults."

Teachers (and educators of all sorts) are role models for students. They spend a significant amount of time with us. It certainly makes good sense for teachers to be good at learning and strong and powerful. As is often true, what makes good sense to me doesn't seem to be the popular opinion.


jb said...

I'm a little puzzled by that last paragraph.

Does conventional wisdom hold that teachers should be weak and dumb? Since when?

Jenny said...

jb: I don't think that conventional wisdom means that teachers should be weak and dumb. Simply that teachers being strong and smart is not highly valued. Teachers who can follow a script or set lesson plans in order to raise test scores seems to be what is important.

Anonymous said...

in reply to jb: Most teachers do not, and often are discouraged from displaying that they are powerful adults, having little leeway to make meaningful decisions, and discouraged from showing that they act in the real world or have opinions about things. Also, given the pace of teaching, and the large class sizes, students often do not really keep company with their teachers. They stand in front of them and lecture to them and monitor them. That is not the same as keeping company, which implies a personal relationship.