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Randy Corn
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Teaching is somewhat narcissistic...we create dependence in our students and insecurity, so that they will forever need us. But the mark of a great teacher is that he becomes increasingly unnecessary. You're right...This was not a Socratic Seminar, because it was the very specific outcome that the teacher wanted which engaged students at all. And this was not a lesson involving inquiry or discovery. This was only a Hollywood spin on traditional teaching...much like that seen in The Dead Poet's Society.
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It is interesting how often administration wants teachers to learn a different way of teaching, so they deliver the message through lecture and sit-and-git sessions. Since administrators--of which I am one--are to be instructional leaders, one would expect that they would model the behaviors they are looking for in teaching. It comes as no surprise to me that you do this. Thanks for the thought regarding making teachers comfortable with student-centered learning. Now, I only have to decide how to begin.
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I mentioned before my involvement with Socratic Seminars. In trainings we often spoke of the limitation of the one-to-one-to-one discussion model requiring all comments to filter through the teacher. That is why the circle was preferred as not only allowing but encouraging students to talk to each other. I've yet to enter the world of Twitter, but I'm encouraged by your entry. Thanks, again. I'll be sure to send the link to your blog to my colleagues....Randy
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Eric, Thanks for the compliment and please do include the information on your web site. I have just visited your site and plan to make it one of my regular stops. Randy
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Thanks for the web sites. As a building administrator, I appreciate the teacher interview questions site as a source for revising the questions I ask in an interview. I don't know how useful this may be (or if I am being self-indulgent) but I'm asked every year to talk to a class of aspiring teachers about the interview process. The students provide me with the questions ahead of time, so this year I posted them on my web site. I'm a bit verbose, so it is a long document. Hope you find something useful there: http://staffweb.brownsburg.k12.in.us/~RCorn/NewTeacherQuestions.pdf Randy
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Nice video. But I'm seldom certain how to react to such. The reality is that lots of educators and many schools are taking steps to incorporate more technology, to engage students more collaboratively, and to provide more opportunities for performance assessments. The best I can say for such videos is that they provide content for dialogue regarding how educators might better meet the needs of students. I can't help but wonder if through empowering students in such ways whether we might also be guilty of over-simplifying the educative process. When conducting a training on Socratic Seminars once, a teacher responded, "You can't do that every day." I thought he had made a breakthrough. We can't teach using any one method exclusively. I've sat through good lectures and learned much, and I've sat through many worthless lectures. As educators, we need to expand our toolkit, and make sure we're picking the right tool for the lesson and for our students. Do they realize that?
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I connected with your statement about moving from a dispenser of knowledge to a designer of learning environments. When I began teaching, I must admit that I was impressed with the lectures I designed and the worksheets that I created (those available through the textbook company were insufficient). But I soon realized my students were as bored as I had been when I endured high school. It was when I learned to be quiet--what Finkel called Teaching With Your Mouth Shut--that students began to learn...and I did as well.
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