Change Over Time or Timeless?
Change over time or timeless?
As I read, and watched, our readings/videos this week, I was struck by two seemingly dichotomous observations. First that pedagogy changes, and should change, over time (great observation for a historian, right? 🙂 ) and, perhaps in opposition, that some pedagogical practices seemingly don’t change. There is almost a timelessness to them. Let me explain.
I will start with ideas that seem to me to be ageless. As I read and listened to ideas about learning through playing games and tinkering, I really couldn’t help but think that this sort of pedagogy sounded familiar. Exploring, trying something, failing, trying again, becoming frustrated, overcoming frustration and in the process, learning, seemed to me to actually be a very old form of pedagogical practice. In essence, a practice in which a teacher/game designer asks more questions than gives answers and creates the space for self-directed discovery for overcoming problems and initiating critical thinking seems a lot like the socratic method. This method is not unlike Harry Potter as he learned to use his wand.
But to say that pedagogical practices are just a different iterations of something familiar sells short and minimizes the need for educators to adapt to changes over time. I recently asked my sixteen year old granddaughter who is staying with me right now (she attends an online high school which gives her much freedom of movement and a chemistry experiment proceeds on the table in front of me as I write this), “Who taught you about networking with friends through the internet? How did you learn about social media?” Her answer was that she doesn’t remember being “taught” to use the internet for networking. To her, she just always “knew” how to do it (self-directed exploration probably). This is a very different attitude than I have about using the internet – especially for networking. It seems foreign to me, scary and non-understandable, but to her it’s like breathing – easy and second nature.
She is like many of the students that show up in my classroom……..
Times have changed since I first began teaching and I must change along with them. It is scary. It is hard for me to understand. However, I desire to capture the imagination of the digital student (the Reacting to the Past games seem especially intriguing.) Any change, however, will take a step on my part – a willingness to look at my teaching philosophy and be open to change. And while intimidating, I believe change can also be adventurous and rewarding.
(Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/category/etl411/ in a post entitled “The Integration of Technology in the 21st Century Classroom: Teachers Attitudes and Pedagogical Beliefs Toward Emerging Technologies by Chien Yu.)