Teaching Dark Lord part 2

rohina at shaw.ca rohina at shaw.ca
Fri May 17 19:03:00 EDT 2002

> As to their expectations of their own students, I get the 
> impression that
> they believe now that they will encourage the students to question 
> whatthey say.  When actually faced with it, however, it's hard to 
> say how
> they (or anyone, really) will react.  This again is part of what I 
> see as
> ingrained cultural concepts about appropriate behavior from 
> children and
> teenagers.  

This is an interesting comment. I have been involved in some teaching
and learning interactions about NESB students (as well as teaching
them); and the received wisdom is always that, eg SE Asian students, are
taught to accept what the teacher says *as opposed to* western culture
where questioning the teacher is not taboo. 

I think there is a big issue for learning teachers in this context, too,
because being okay with being questioned by your students depends a lot
on how confident and experienced you are, I think. I have a seminar I
have given to new tutors (university instructors) in which the message
is that over-preparation can be a weakness rather than a strength. New
teachers are always worried about getting a question they can't answer -
I personally think that is a sign of a lively class.

>I think that it is a lot easier to celebrate rebellion and
> questioning of authority in theory than it is to deal with such 
> studentsin reality.  This is, again, why I spend quite a bit of 
> time in the class
> getting them to delve into and question their assumptions about
> childhood--and trying to get them to recognize when these assumptions
> sort of rise up and take over the critical thinking process...

This is what makes DWJ such an excellent author for them to read,
because so many of her books are about questioning established authority.


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