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28 December 2006 @ 08:25 pm
critical reflection on practice  
"... the practice of critical teaching... involves a dynamic and dialectical relationship between 'doing' and 'reflecting on doing.'... a correct way of thinking that goes beyond the ingenuous must be produced by the learners in communion with the teacher responsible for their education... For this reason, in the process of the ongoing education of teachers, the essential movement is that of critical reflection on one's practice... Its epistemological 'distance' from practice as an object of analysis out to be compensated for by an even greater proximity to the object of analysis, in terms of lived experience."
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom, 43.

For more on critical reflection, see Stephen Brookfield's Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher: http://trc.virginia.edu/Publications/Teaching_Concerns/Fall_1997/TC_Fall_1997_Lasser.htm
Current Location: Concord, MA
Current Mood: creative
Will Rieffer: Percival and the Holy Grailforce_of_will on December 29th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
"Ghandi" was on today, and I considered that his approach was that as idealized by Freire...

Ah, epistomology! How do we know what we know? At the level of this question we may expect a reduced answer, but the answer is actually exploded to a different level. The library, the school, the dictionary, the encyclopedia, these all take knowledge for granted and act accordingly.

And so from this the "authority" of the teacher. If Vygotsky is correct, and all cultural artifacts are more or less mnemonic devices, the teacher is only about to help students faciliate their engagement with things i.e. technology where one considers such activities as writing technological. As we go forward, this poses a problem for a diversity based in economics on engagement with the social structure as artifact. How many of your students have a computer and high speed access? For such questions will surely reflect in their output. To transcend this, the only judgement the teacher can make is of effort in engagement, that is, they have to judge the judgements of reflective activity in their students. "Is Jane thining about math? I must see representation of this in action. Jane must show me her work." That or the teacher must guess. We know how to make these judgements by our own reflective practices and our own actions. Action, as the point of judgment however, always allows behaviorism to creep in...and well, I think it is becomes the more effective method in terms of some limits of scale. That is an approach shaped by an outlook on Friereian dialog theory and constructivism is one which is limited in time based on the need for time for dialog. At some point, when faced with instruction larger numbers of students, the teacher is forced to dominate the dialog and then cross their fingers and hope the more reflective and resourceful students figure the rest out on their own. Hopefully, they have an engagement on a personal level with someone else. Hopefully a parent...