Exploring the theory, practice and commitments involved in teaching and pedagogy
What is pedagogy? Many discussions of pedagogy make the mistake of seeing it as primarily being about teaching. In this piece Mark K. Smith explores the origins of pedagogy and the often overlooked traditions of thinking and practice associated with it. He argues that a focus on teaching as a specialist role is best understood in other ways. Pedagogy needs to be explored through the thinking and practice of those educators who look to accompany learners; care for and about them; and bring learning into life. Teaching is just one aspect of their practice. He also looks to some of the issues facing the development of pedagogical thinking.
Learning theory: models, product and process. What is learning? Is it a change in behaviour or understanding? Is it a process? Here we survey some common models.
Caring in education. In this article Nel Noddings explores the nature of caring relations and encounters in education and some of the difficulties educators have with them. She also looks at caring relations as the foundation for pedagogical activity.
The question we most commonly ask is the “what” question – what subjects shall we teach?
When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the “how” question – what methods and techniques are required to teach well?
Occasionally, when it goes deeper still, we ask the “why” question – for what purposes and to what ends do we teach?
But seldom, if ever, do we ask the “who” question – who is the self that teaches? How does the quality of my selfhood form – or deform – the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, my world? How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes? (Parker Palmer 1998: 4)
Parker J. Palmer: community, knowing and spirituality in education. Parker J. Palmer’s explorations of education as a spiritual journey and of the inner lives of educators have been deeply influential. We explore his teachings and contribution.
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Acknowledgements: The picture of Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika is by Valerie Hinojosa. It was sourced from Flickr and is reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) licence [http://www.flickr.com/photos/valkyrieh116/1093807815/]. The picture of Parker J. Palmer and Staci Haines is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) licence. It is by fteleaders/6220986487 – and sourced from Flickr.
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