Teach Less and Teach Deeply: My Teaching Philosophy
Dec 5, 2011 Teaching 2749 Views
Change is constant. Challenges are continuous. Reflections on both needs and results yield positive changes and consequences on the way one faces the future challenges. One of the predominant challenges experienced by many educational societies, institutions and organizations across the world is the need for evaluating and analyzing the impacts of temporal changes apropos in teaching methods and methodologies on teachers and students. It is of primary importance to dwell on this issue and reflect. One of the essential changes that we need to address and analyze is the pace at which the curriculum almost in every subject area is expanding. Teachers have more to give while students have more to receive. Indubitably, both giving and receiving are abilities that individuals claim to have or not.
Perhaps, Socrates realized proactively and foresaw clearly this need resulting from expanding knowledge of humans and increasing need for teaching and learning. He deliberately showed us all a way to succeed in this ever-changing world. He confirmed to the world several times that he could never teach. His whole purpose of teaching lied in "making people think". It gives me an impeccable insight that my job, as a teacher, is not to continue to teach and pour knowledge in student's mind-vessel. As the curriculum seems to raise its altitude uncontrollably like Mount Everest, teachers cannot be successful in the society of ever - rising - thirst - for - knowledge. Socratic Dialoging calls us for an alternative.
It is my understanding within the tiny amount of experience I have, that teaching in a university is not to complete the curriculum to give all the available information to students; rather, according to its newly acquired dimensions, teaching is just unlocking the doors for students' learning. Our essential objective has to be on how we can succeed in showing the laid path-for-learning effectively and adequately to the students. Going back to the American Education standards in the beginning times, following the American art and philosophy of living, their fundamental question was on how they could improve teaching methodologies in order solely to transform the dependent students into independent learners. At this juncture, I put my philosophy forward, which is a result of fair amounts of reading books and other vastly experienced teachers in my community and reflecting deeply on my own experiences: Teach less and teach deeply!
Apart from a great grip on the concerning subject matter and the essentially required active teaching-learning methods, a reflective teacher should possess a high level of ability in 'reflecting and making students reflect'. These reflections from both sides yield a productive and healthy teacher-student relation and interactions. These interactions will in turn benefit teachers to keep raising the quality of their effective teaching and students to keep growing as independent learners. Remodeling the contemporary abundant (seldom redundant) curriculum to come up with brisk and vital curriculum is the essential task of every teacher. Curriculum is meant be structured on the basis of two most important aspects viz., a reflective teacher's ability to give and an active student's ability to receive within the given timeframe and resource-frame. The teaching-learning process constructed and well-planned by a teacher on these bases can make the whole process a smooth and pleasant journey.
Although the term 'teaching' has now been in the process of cleaning, like Wittgenstein puts it, and the term circulating now is 'facilitating', I believe, as a lifelong learner, in teaching less but deeply. Thank you for this chance to share my views.