As I sat in class on Tuesday, listening to others speak about their opinions of Illich’s work, I began to wonder about questions brought up in class…what is the point of teaching? What is the goal? Like I mentioned in my last posting, I feel like some teachers have lost their inspirational touch. Many teachers do their job and don’t make learning enjoyable to why do they do it? For me, I think the best answer to this question comes from taking a step back and looking at the classes I have taken.

Being a Econ/Marketing major, I have had to take courses in accounting, business information technology, etc. These classes haven’t made my semester enjoyable and I really dislike attending them, but they have made me realize something very important. I have learned that in order to flourish, I need to set my own expectations. Like we talked in class about a certain level that we are expected to perform at, I feel like I have a high level that I have set for myself. I realize though that I have set lower bars for courses that I don’t enjoy. But why?! Shouldn’t I have a certain expectation that I want in all of my classes?

I realize that as a learner, I need that guidance and direction that professors give. If a class, like accounting for example, doesn’t give me that leadership role, I tend to lower my personal goals. I absolutely love economics, but I have also had professors who have been willing to help and answer questions. These professors help create a spark in learning. They have helped me realize why I like their course. It’s not that I am better at econ over accounting, it is the fact that my professors have made me curious. They have made me want to learn the material.

We spoke about how in some classes, teachers just simply go through powerpoint presentations that come directly from the textbook that you are supposed to read. Well if they come right from the textbook why should I read it? I feel like if a greater effort was made to relate classes to real-world scenarios, people would begin to realize how a subject can affect them. They then get a spark…they understand how the class can enhance their well-being in the future. We would begin to become so curious, we would want to become experts in the material! I feel like this is the goal of teaching. It’s not to have the class get the best grades or have the class love the teacher, it is about making students comfortable. If a student is comfortable around these leaders, they will ask questions, they will do work, not because they are required to, but because they want to. Do you think that these characteristics of teaching and learning relate to “Deschooling Society?”

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One Response to Sparks

  1. lisskane

    I think that is totally relates to Deschooling Society! And I completely agree that a huge part of learning, and something we have a problem with, is students being comfortable around their leaders. If students don’t feel comfortable they won’t ask questions and if they don’t ask questions, they will get more lost. As students get more lost, they lose interest and stop paying attention. Classrooms need to be an environment that encourages questions and learning. The reason we go to school is to learn. If we already knew everything, we wouldn’t need to go to school. We need to be able to ask questions, this is crucial.

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