What is authentic teaching and how can we find our teaching style? I certainly believe that teaching styles is dependent on ones personality and capabilities… I have seen many cases where professors are adapting some good teaching practices in the wrong way! One good teaching practice is to ask questions in order to guide the learner to the solution instead of just presenting the solution. This could be done by posing questions such as what do you think? Why do you think that is? Are you sure? What are we missing here? etc. As much as questioning the learners is a good practice, asking too many questions will confuse the learners! I took a course last semester in which the instructor would answer most of the questions with a question! And whenever someone responded to a question he would say are you sure? I found that too confusing and it seemed like he was not well prepared for the class…
This is when teaching styles should be adapted to ones personality and capabilities! You cannot just try to employ teaching techniques without customizing them to your teaching style… Maybe this professor was trying to guide us to the right solution however he could have better implemented this by accordingly planning his questions rather than questioning everything and confusing the students… Maybe he loses focus whenever he poses a question and has to ask more questions so that he can make time to get his focus back… Yes, questioning is good but the questions should be leading the student to right path!
As teachers we should have the ability to connect the theories with the reality… An interesting article in the Faculty Focus mentioned six paths to a more authentic teaching.
- Being sincere
- Being true to oneself
- Acting in the interests of learners
- Care for the subject
- A process of becoming
A great example of these practices was mentioned in the reading as we need to find ways to draw on the child’s vast experience of oral mathematics not teaching them things that computers can do! If we want to pose questions frequently, we should do this while we consider what the learners will be getting out of responding to these questions… Where are these questions taking them? Instead of just mindlessly posing questions so that we can convince ourselves that we have “employed” this great practice! So let’s take some of the great practices that are adaptable to our major and sincerely employ them in our teaching while we are aware of our circle of knowledge, are staying true to it, and considering what the learners need to be/are getting out of this process. Most importantly the road to success is always under construction (Lily Tomlin) so always ask for feedback from students and try to find places for improvement. One great thing that I liked about one of my Professors last semester was that he would not just rely on the departmental evaluations and would directly ask us for suggestions. I find this a great practice since it shows ones genuine care for improvement…
Becoming literate means thinking differently than one did previously, seeing the world differently, and this suggests that there are many different literacies!