24 Oct 201815 Comments
Teaching As A Creative Manifestation of Ideas – By Efon
Paulo Freire tempo-political narratives of teaching are perhaps the most systematic assessment of pedagogy concepts that I have read in my educational career. While I agree with his banking concept of education, I would argue that social, economic and political philosophies may have stronger underlying influences than any actual teaching method. On the other hand, project-based learning practices are demonstrable examples of problem-posing education. But we must also acknowledge that there is not a one-size-fits-all model of teaching, especially when we engaged in academic inquiry, knowledge creation and transformation of ideas on a routine basis. Process learning – an iterative process of teaching and learning is probably good for research and instruction. Challenging conventional wisdom through questioning and re-processing of facts based on different assumptions.
I am certain that an authentic form of teaching as noted by Paulo Freire, will require a binary flow of actions and activities – that is, enabling both teacher-students and students-teacher to have an open dialogue and reflect simultaneously on themselves, and their thoughts and actions. For the most part, situational awareness, content, and context must be defined on an individual basis. As a future teacher, I must find my mojo as an individual – that is, what would work best for me and my students based on several factors. But the goal must always be to create a mutually beneficial atmosphere, allow for full understanding and comprehension of the subject-matter by students, as well as for teachers to seek opportunities to learn from students. I believe that the role of the teacher is to facilitate and enable the conversation to take place among peers, establishing norms for dialogue, and re-examining assumptions through prompts. Encouraging the free flow of ideas from different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences – and critiquing from the sidelines.
All in all, education must enable teachers and students to become independent knowledge creators. Students and teachers alike must be able to learn from each other’s experience and to use their awareness of differences to further inquiry through critical thinking, questioning assumptions and dialogue in the learning process. To be clear, people learn more from their immediate environment and associations, which is often outside formal educational instructions. As such, social, cultural and political realities have a role to play informal learning. Any attempts by a teacher to control thinking and action is unhelpful to the development of authentic thinking by students. While totalitarian regimes have found ways to educate and re-educate their citizens on their political doctrines, in liberal democracies, education cannot be guided by fears, political ideologies, and prescriptive communication. Critical thinking and the freedom to think is what has powered ideas and independent thinking, which has translated economic and social concepts in medical, economic models, governance and technology. Education without the creation of ideas is wasteful. The outcome of any education is based on pedagogical practices that can translate into economic, community and societal benefits.
October 30, 2018 @ 11:07 am
I really liked your post and felt that I was relating to what you said. In your last paragraph, I especially loved where you said, “Education without the creation of ideas is wasteful.” It is so contradictory to the old fashioned idea of education as the teacher dumping knowledge into wide-open student minds who engulf the information without question or true understanding. Well Said!
October 30, 2018 @ 7:59 pm
Thank you for your comment. I think being open-minded is critical in the learning process, to both teachers and students.
October 31, 2018 @ 1:59 pm
Indeed it’s a bright statement of goals for critical pedagogy, and I would humbly add the individual liberation to it too as we all benefit from the empowering transformations of education.
October 30, 2018 @ 5:41 pm
Hey Efon! I enjoyed reading your post. You bring up a number of good points that are important to critical pedagogical practice. I particularly like that you mentioned how important it is to be honest with both yourself (as a teacher) and your students in search of finding what works best. Thinking about this on an individual level stresses the value you place on each individual student. It also allows you to check in with yourself and ensure that the material/methods you are covering/using are effective and interesting for your students.
I also like how you acknowledge that the majority of education happens informally outside of the classroom. In-classroom education shouldn’t try to work against this, but instead should make an effort to integrate itself with other aspects of students lives.
October 30, 2018 @ 8:08 pm
Hi Carter, good to hear from you and thanks for your comment. Indeed, informal learning experiences are important, especially in the arts and humanities. As you noted, I agree that students will be better served if teachers recognize and acknowledge that in the teaching process.
October 30, 2018 @ 6:16 pm
Hi Efon, I liked your post and your viewpoints towards critical pedagogy. I agree with your outlook and enabling teachers and students to become independent creators of knowledge. I think what we overlook and students especially overlook is that building knowledge requires work not only from the teachers, but from the students too. The students need to identify why the topic they are learning is relevant to them and have a desire to learn it to truly appreciate the lessons of a teacher.
October 30, 2018 @ 8:21 pm
Thanks for the comment, Antonio. I agree that we cannot overlook the influence of the learning environment in the knowledge creation process. Respect, mutual understanding and acceptance is a prerequisite for learning.
October 31, 2018 @ 3:10 pm
I liked your comments about the role of a teacher: “I believe that the role of the teacher is to facilitate and enable the conversation to take place among peers, establishing norms for dialogue, and re-examining assumptions through prompts.”
This sentence is a great way to conceptualize how a teacher must both teach (by setting standards and guide the classroom) and yet avoid the pitfalls of banking education (by allowing students to engage in conversations and peer-to-peer dialogue).
October 31, 2018 @ 9:11 pm
Hi Rinaley, I am happy that you share my conviction that the role of a teacher is to be a good facilitator and enabler of academic conversation and class discussions. Thank you for your comment.
October 31, 2018 @ 4:38 pm
Hey Efon, you put a great post in here with some very critical perspectives. I relate to the social, economical and political influences on the education and believe that in spite of those influences, education can prevail and as you said enable us to become independent thinkers. I like your ideas and the importance of ideas in the learning. Thanks for the post!
October 31, 2018 @ 9:08 pm
Thank you, Akshay for your comment. I am glad that you find the influences of our (both students and teachers) diverse background an important aspect of learning and in becoming independent thinkers.
October 31, 2018 @ 5:59 pm
Efon- spot on with the description of teachers and students as “knowledge creators”. I think about the research process and how much more invested and involved we are, how critical and creative we are, the way that new ideas beget new ideas. This is a powerful vision for what our classrooms and campuses could be. Thank you for your post this week.
October 31, 2018 @ 8:48 pm
Julie, thanks for your comment. I like that you share in the concept that knowledge creation is a binary and iterative process with contributions from both teachers and students.
November 1, 2018 @ 12:15 am
This is really true, critical thinking add a lot of good to the world( for instance :inventions, medical enhancement).
November 1, 2018 @ 11:43 am
Helen, thanks for your comment. We are on the same page that. Critical thinking is a fundamental requirement in higher ed.