Like, Tweet, Tag and Blog

Source of the image: mettacenter.org

I was recently having a conversation with our CAS Co-coordinator about teachers and students’ roles in the present. We discussed ideas ranging from Tony Wagners’ 7 key skills to the abilities and talents that can be developed in constructivist and constructionist environments. However, we made a pause in our conversation when we mentioned dialogue as an element of the teaching- learning process that has either shadowed by many other initiatives or simply ignored.

If teachers and students are key agents in the learning process, they need to have frequent conversations, and two-way feedback. Having this interactions will allow them to develop an understanding of how learning is happening, and teachers will plan learning experiences that will engage students with significant and relevant content knowledge in order to become confident, independent, self-managed learners for life. Sadly, we reflected, very little dialogue can be happening in some contexts, schools and situations.

Source of the image: teaching-excellence.blogspot.com

Is this the disconnection that the teacher-student idea of learning as a life style is suffering from? Dialogue should be a frequent habit among teachers and students, and should address how both of them are being transformed by the learning that is occurring in the classroom; by the new ideas that are being generated and targeted as projects to pursue and destinations to discover. Dialogue must be genuine so it becomes valuable and, hence, inspirational and transformational.

The teaching-learning process should be inundated with situations where teaches and students become witnesses of each other’s talents, passions and learning plans, so that collaboration acquires a new nuance and maybe, they can learn even more from each other.

So what happens when students encounter stimuli that teachers often discuss, and incentives that provoke thoughts in teachers? What dialogue scenario can this experience generate for teachers and students? Would students be able to sympathize or relate with the ideas that are being portrayed? Would teachers feel uneasy against criticism that could arise? Would students feel troubled if they, indeed, feel that they are not getting what these stimuli say they must?

As we began to launch our new unit on ‘education beyond the 4 walls of the classroom’, I asked students to watch Sir Ken Robinson video on ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ and Tony Wagner’s TEDx on 7 Key Skills, and all I hoped was that they became prepared to share their reflections in class. While some may question the reason why I asked them to watch them in English for the Spanish class, it was their thoughts and ideas that interested me, not their language comprehension.

Once again, students did not disappoint me! On the contrary, they revealed the critical thinkers I expected them to be, and they demonstrated again what good observers they have become in the IB MYP. I was just happy that we could have meaningful dialogue on an item we were both involved in: our education. Ours, because I am a teacher-learner all the time.

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And it was here that I started thinking how many opportunities for dialogue we have, not solely face to face, but in the platforms where we (teachers and students) interact, in the trending moments we are a part of or tagged in, and in every ‘like’ we give for every tweet and blog where our learning experiences are carved and tattooed.

This post will be my 1000th tweet, and I think it is worth celebrating it!

This post will be my 1000th tweet, and I think it is worth celebrating it!

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About Rafael Angel

Teaching and Learning Director; Language and TOK Teacher; lives for traveling, reading, learning and tasting new flavours; culture and art lover; passionate about cinema and music. IB MYP, DP Workshop Leader. Mexican YouTuber and Soundclouder.
This entry was posted in ATL, IB DP, IB MYP, Inquiry, Reflection and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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