Saturday, June 5, 2010

Changing pedagogical practices - a reflection

When we read a professional journal or a curriculum book, how does it change our thinking and what we do in the classroom? Do we try to think about what we are already doing and make it fit to that, or do we think about how to change current practices? My guess is that unfortunately, we fall into the comfort of the first. Why? Change is hard. The period of disequilibrium that is created when learning something new is so uncomfortable that as adults, we find it difficult to approach. Isn't it just easier to do what we have always done - that is our comfort zone after all. I say no. Every day we are stretching the minds of our young adolescents and asking them to change their thinking and ways of doing things; therefore, we as adults should model this as well. I do think that educators can fall prey to calling techniques different things or making them appear to be the latest and greatest. I believe that we go back to these words: developmentally appropriate. If we teach and build our repertoire from those two words, we will make our decisions with instructional integrity rendering a product that is in the best interest of students. All this to say, the next time you read your favorite educational piece, think about its root, its purpose, and how it applies to the development of the age of student with whom you are working. Keeping this in mind will make that element of change a bit easier. Our students continually change - so must we. How boring life would be without it.