Monday, November 2, 2009

Resistance to the Revolution

Why don't schools change? Why do we keep doing the same things over and over even when research, experience, common sense and personal feelings dictate otherwise? This quote gives me som fodder for the rant cannon:
However, they also believed that the use of cooperative learning would increase student off-task behaviour and take up too much class time. It was found that the concern for off-task behaviour was a bigger predictor of a teacher’s intention to use cooperative learning. Although the authors did not draw this conclusion, it seems that this conception of teachers as needing control over student behaviour is a conservative force that makes many curricular innovations difficult.
I was reading an article with my wife that had the above quote in it. It seems to state that the teachers nne for control is one of the greates obstacles to innovation in the classroom. Well...DUH! When so much about the system discourages teachers from losing control. There are all of the legal and litigious reasons that a teacher needs to keep control of his or her students. When administrators come in and are concerned that kids are in their seats and 'on-task'. When parents wonder 'what are my kids learning' not 'are my kids enjoying learning. Then no, teachers aren't going to try something new. It's frustrating but true that so much of the system reinforces ( literally re-enforces) the teacher as authority and in charge. It takes so much effort to truly switch to a new way of doing things and to create an atmosphere in class that values safety and respect without me as the teacher having to be the one in control. I felt like I had this my last few years of teaching, but I still got the message from folks who came in to see my class that my students were out of control this was because they weren't in their seats all doing the same thing. Each student was engaged in the work they needed to be doing at the time.

That's why there is so much resistance to the revolution!

Citation Nod:

Castro, Paloma, Lies Sercu, and Maria del Carmen Méndez García "Integrating language-and-culture teaching: an investigation of Spanish teachers' perceptions of the objectives of foreign language education." Intercultural Education 15.1 (2004): 91-104. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 2 Nov. 2009.

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