Monday, August 18, 2008

What kind of teacher do I hope to be?

L. Dee Fink's book Creating Significant Learning Experiences sums up my ongoing challenge to be an effective, caring, and competent professor of Social Work. In the chapter "Creating Significant Learning Experiences," Fink cites William Campbell and Karl Smith's comparison of "old and new paradigms" for college teaching (New Paradigms for College Teaching, 1997). Their list struck me as a good tool for me to use to evaluate if I am the kind of teacher I hope to be. This comes from page 19 in Fink's book - (I have made a copy and posted it in my office to remind me of what I am striving to achieve in my classrooms).
  1. Knowledge
    1. Old - Transfer from faculty to students
    2. New - Jointly constructed by students and faculty
  2. Student
    1. Old - Passive vessel to be filled by faculty's knowledge
    2. New - Active constructors, discoverer, transformer of knowledge
  3. Mode of Learning
    1. Old - Memorizing
    2. New - Relating
  4. Faculty Purpose
    1. Old - Classify and sort students
    2. New - Develop students' competencies and talents
  5. Student Growth, Goals
    1. Old - Students strive to complete requirements, achieve certification within a discipline
    2. New - Students strive to focus on continual lifelong learning within a broader system
  6. Relationships
    1. Old - Impersonal relationships among students and between faculty and students
    2. New - Personal relationships among students and between faculty and students
  7. Context
    1. Old - Competitive, individualistic
    2. New - Cooperative learning in classroom and cooperative teams among faculty
  8. Climate
    1. Old - Conformity, cultural uniformity
    2. New - Diversity and personal esteem; cultural diversity adn commonality
  9. Power
    1. Old - Faculty holds and exercises power, authority, and control
    2. New - Students are empowered; power is shared among students and between students and faculty
  10. Assessment
    1. Old - Norm-referenced (that is, grading on the curve); typically use multiple choice items; student rating of instruction at the end of the course
    2. Criterion-referenced (that is, grading to predefined standards); typically use performances and portfolios; continual assessment of instruction
  11. Ways of Knowing
    1. Old - Logical-scientific
    2. New - Narrative
  12. Epistemology
    1. Old - Reductionist; facts and memorization
    2. New - Constructivist; inquiry and invention
  13. Technology Use
    1. Old - Drill and practice; textbook substitute; chalk-and talk substitute
    2. New - Problem solving; communication; collaboration; information access; expression
  14. Teaching Assumption
    1. Old - Any expert can teach
    2. New - Teaching is complex and requires considerable training
I hope that my teaching style reflects the New Paradigm outlined by Campbell and Smith.

1 comment:

Cara said...

As a former student, I can definitely say that it does!