I'm pleased to announce a new page on 'Teacher Greg's Education Home'.
The motivation for it came from my desire to engage the many colleagues with whom I work, in a conversation about ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course of Study) and EAP (English for Academic Purposes) programs and how they operate at my institution. Like many workplaces, the pressures of just keeping on top of the teaching have meant that opportunities for genuine discussion, sharing and reflection have become rare, formal meetings have become ineffectual, and inefficiencies have naturally arisen as a result.
'TESOL forums' will be a chance to recover lost ground, to re-ignite the discussion, and to move forward in more practical ways. It will take some effort to 'sell' the idea and overcome the hesitation of others, but I'm taking the first steps while hoping this will lead them to continue the conversation.
Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history. -Joan Wallach Scott
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. -Maria Robinson
Some useful ideas that I would also support – particularly using the textbook as only one of many resources, drawing out students’ existing knowledge and skills, and providing useful material for life beyond the classroom.
However, I don’t think we should be considered bad teachers if we haven’t updated our lessons for next week with new stuff on the Internet this week. Not everything changes that fast, not everything that is new is good, and not everything that is “last week” is bad.
Also, as an English language teacher, I’m afraid your proposition of no longer teaching content won’t work.
How are Taiwanese elementary school kids supposed to learn English if all I do is show them “how to find, access, analyze, understand, and create content”? I assume I would have to get my Chinese co-teacher to write this in their first language and then leave it up to them to discover what they need by themselves.
They would then some how search the English web – not easy when they can’t read, write or type English characters, there are few computers available and I only see them 40-minutes per week – work out what would be appropriate – again not easy as they can’t read English – and then show me their great discoveries. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to explain to me what they discovered, as I don’t speak Chinese and they won’t have magically learned how to speak English.
Oh, I forgot to mention, some of these are grade one students (about 5 years old).
Come on, this just won’t work in my situation. What about those that teach students to play a musical instrument? What about those that teach ballet or sport? According to your proposition, they can just read about it or watch it on the Web and go out and play.
Honestly, what is required in your remarks is the context you are speaking about. When you say ALL teachers, you should clarify the educational sector you are talking about. That way they might make more sense to those of us not working in that environment.
Posted on May 23, 2010 at 4:32 AM on http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/hunter-gatherer-teacher/