Continuing the ConversationPosted: July 27, 2007
There’s quite a conversation going on over at David Warlick’s 2Cents Worth. It has morphed from teacher education into another discussion. I want to add my 25 cents worth regarding the first few comments about the need for pre-service teachers to be taught to make the connection between the technology they use personally AND its application to their future teaching. This is not an automatic process … in fact, I agree with the previous writers, it is not a process that occurs in most teacher ed programs.
In fact, I am the only one in my department who is implementing a vast majority of read/write web tools AND one of a small number who are willing to take the heat from the students … that’s right, they don’t want to change the way they do things. That is, they don’t really want to do school any differently than how they’ve been schooled. Notice the emphasis on schooling – not learning.
They don’t like student-centered classes where they are responsible for their own learning. Too many of my students leave comments on their course evaluations that say something about why their instructor (that’s me) didn’t do the teaching. Last semester I had students lead discussions on the course issues – too many didn’t like that approach. Most of them wanted me to stand and lecture – all the responsibility for their learning then falling on my shoulders.
I believe strongly that I am doing them a great disservice by employing a teacher-centered approach – that does not prepare them to be teachers … to respond to the unpredictable classroom (in which they will be student teaching within 2 semesters) … to make decisions regarding what to focus on, what is important enough to discuss, what they believe and how that effects their teaching … or to learn the skills that they will need to pass on to their students.
As a teacher educator, it is my responsibility to prepare my students to be successful teachers. To me that means helping them (sometimes forcing them) to make the transition from sit-and-listen students, to informed risk-taking teachers. I will not back down, I will continue to present as many alternatives for teaching as I can; many of which take advantage of the vast availability of Web2.0 tools.
For me it’s not as much about the tools as it is about the pedagogy. Too many of my students have seen only one way to teach. When they come to my class they see many other methods … and … they see good applications of technology to those methods.