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"Telling teaching and the dilemma of doing"

Donald Freeman Center for Teacher Education, Training, and Research School for International Training

Telling: the Actor, the Drama Critic, and the Storyteller Vivian Paley is a preschool teacher ho !egan audio taping her "indergarten classes as a ay of #listening to hat children say$# %Paley &'()a*$ +er efforts launched her into t o decades of riting a!out hat ent on among the learners in her classrooms$ She says of this endeavor, The classroom has all the elements of theater, and the o!servant, self-e.amining teacher ill not need a drama critic to uncover character, plot, and meaning$ /e are, all of us, the actors trying to find the meaning of the scenes in hich e find ourselves$ %&'()!, &0&* 1s a teacher capturing her o n or", Paley !alances ho the insider as #actor# and the outsider as #drama critic# see things$ 1s the teacher, she played a lead role in creating and sustaining the plot of her class$ Then, later, as she listened to the tape of hat her children said, she found she could #uncover character, plot, and meaning# of the drama in hich she as a "ey player$ She thus em!odies the essential human drive to o!serve and ma"e sense of one#s orld$ 1s she says, #/e are, all of us, $$$ trying to find the meaning of the scenes in hich e find ourselves$#

What is telling teaching? I !egin ith Vivian Paley#s comments !ecause they frame hat I ould li"e this column to !e a!out$ 2i"e an anthropologist, Paley devotes considera!le energy and talent to understanding her o n students as they go a!out learning$ She uses the t in processes of o!servation, or trying to truly see hat is happening, and self-e.amination, or hat e might call reflection$ She thus em!ar"s on studying !oth the outer and the inner orlds of her or" as a teacher$ This process is hat I ould call telling teaching$ The or" com!ines careful, disciplined e.amination of hat is happening in among students as they learn, ith self-e.amination and reflection on hy that learning is unfolding as it is and ho one#s teaching fits into the pu33le$ To tell teaching, then, is to e.amine hat is going on in one#s classroom, to 4uestion hy it happens as it does, and to assess ho one#s teaching is suiting that learning$

Why does it matter? In this last phrase, #ho one#s teaching is suiting that learning,# there is a clear statement of value and !elief$ Cale! 5attegno %&'6)*, the instigator of the Silent /ay, used to rite and tal" a!out ho teaching needed to !e su!ordinated to learning$ 2i"e 7aria 7ontessori, ho pioneered or" in child-centered elementary education ith her philosophy of #follo ing the child,# 5attegno advocated for the primacy of learning over teaching$ 8et een teaching and learning, learning is the more po erful and comprehensive process of the t o$ 2earning can !e present ithout teaching9 !ut, as Earl Stevic" as"ed in Teaching languages, 1 /ay and /ays, can you say you have taught if someone has not learned: 1s teachers, e tend to forget, or at least overloo", this commonplace hen e are in the classroom$ /e can fall into the false and untena!le logic that hat e are doing as teachers is someho causing our students to learn$ This process of telling teaching can !e an invalua!le corrective to that illusion9 it can recenter the process of teaching on learning and hat learners are doing$ There is a second, and perhaps more political, reason for hy telling teaching matters$ Teaching centers on activity, on doing things ith students that may lead to learning$ 8ut !ecause the common perception is that teaching causes learning, teachers are constantly caught in the dilemma of hether hat they are doing is the #right# thing, hether there might !e something #!etter# that could !e more effective, en;oya!le, etc$ Psychologist Eleanor Duc" orth has spent her professional life #understanding children#s understandings#$ In her essay, <The virtues of not "no ing<, Duc" orth %&'(6* spea"s a!out this dilemma of doing$ She rites that <in most classrooms, it is the 4uic" right ans er that is appreciated$ =no ledge of the ans er ahead of time is, on the hole, more valued than ays of figuring it out$< %p$ )>*$ In concluding, she ma"es the o!servation that, </hat you do a!out hat you don#t "no is, in the final analysis, hat determines hat you ill ultimately "no $< %&'(69 p$ )(*$ ?nfortunately most teaching is not oriented to ards #not "no ing9# students and teachers are !yand-large not encouraged to ta"e ris"s, to speculate, and to pro!e things they are not sure of$ The pressures of accounta!ility-- as measured !y covering curriculum, successful performances on standardi3ed assessments, and of maintaining classroom order and authority-- leave many teachers ith little space to e.plore hat does not ma"e sense, hat they do not have an ans er for, or hat they do not understand a!out their students# learning$ References: Duc" orth, Eleanor$ &'(6$ <The virtues of not "no ing<$ In The having of other essays on teaching and learning$ @e Aor", Teachers College Press$ 5attegno, Cale!$ &'6)$ The commonsense of teaching foreign languages$ @e Solutions$ onderful ideas and Aor", Educational

7cDonald, Boseph$ &''C$ Teaching, 7a"ing sense of an uncertain craft$ @e College Press$

Aor", Teachers

Paley, Vivian$ &'()a$ <Dn listening to hat children say$< +arvard Educational Revie , E) %C*, pp$ &CC-&0&$ Paley, Vivian$ &'()!$ 7ollie is three, 5ro ing up in school$ Chicago, ?niversity of Chicago Press$

Povestirea red!rii "i dilema l#cr#l#i $ine f!c#t%

Donald Freeman Centrul de formare Fi cercetare pentru profesori Gcoala internaHionalI de formare

A ovesti: Actor#l, Critic#l "i Povestitor#l Vivian Paley este o educatoare care a Jnceput sI-Fi Jnregistre3e grupele de la grIdiniHI ca o metodI de Kascultare a ceea ce spun copiiiL$ %Paley &'()a*$ 1 scris timp de douI decenii despre ceea ce se JntMmpla cu elevii sIi$ IatI cMteva o!servaHii Jn urma demersului sIu$ Clasa are toate elementele teatrale, iar o!servatorul, educatorul, nu va avea nevoie de un critic de teatru pentru a descoperi persona;ele, intriga Fi semnificaHiile$ Suntem cu toHii actorii care JncearcI sI gIseascI semnificaHia scenelor Jn care noi JnFine ;ucIm un rol$ Ca educator ce JFi Jnregistrea3I propria muncI, Paley comparI felul Jn care KactorulL Fi Kcriticul de teatruL vId lucrurile din interior, respectiv din e.terior$ Ea a ;ucat rolul principal Jn crearea Fi susHinerea intrigii clasei sale$ 1poi, mai tMr3iu, ascultMnd JnregistrIrile a ceea ce spuneau copiii, Fia dat seama cI poate sI Kdescopere persona;ele, intriga Fi semnificaHiileL piesei de teatru Jn care ea ;uca rolul cheie$

Ce este ovestirea red!rii%? Nncep cu o!servaHiile lui Vivian Paley pentru cI acestea schiHea3I ceea ce vreau sI redau Jn acest articol$ 1semenea unui antropolog, Paley alocI multI energie Fi talent Jn Jncercarea de a-i JnHelege pe elevii sIi Jn procesul de JnvIHare$ Ea foloseFte o!servaHia pentru a JnHelege cu adevIrat ce se JntMmplI Jn clasI Fi reflecHia sau meditaHia asupra propriilor activitIHi$ 1stfel, JFi propune sI studie3e atMt lumea interioarI cMt Fi cea e.terioarI a muncii sale de dascIl$ 1cesta este procesul pe care eu Jl denumesc Kpovestirea predIriiL Fi presupune e.aminarea atentI Fi disciplinatI a ceea ce se JntMmplI Jn grupa de elevi implicatI Jn procesul de JnvIHare, precum Fi propria reflecHie asupra felului Jn care se desfIFoarI procesul educativ Fi a rolului educatorului$ 1 povesti JnvIHarea JnseamnI a o!serva ce se JntMmplI Jntr-o clasI Fi a aprecia dacI stilul de predare al educatorului este unul adecvat nevoilor de JnvIHare$

&m ortan'a ?ltima fra3I repre3intI o afirmaHie de valoare Fi o convingere$ Cale! 5attengo %&'6)*, din Silent /ay, o!iFnuia sI scrie Fi sI vor!eascI despre faptul cI predarea tre!uie sI fie su!ordonatI JnvIHIrii$ Ca Fi 7aria 7ontessori, deschi3Itoare de drumuri Jn educaHia centratI pe copil prin filosofia ei de Ka fi pe urmele copiluluiL, 5attegno considerI cI JnvIHIrea este pe primul loc, Jnaintea predIrii$ NnvIHarea, spre deose!ire de predare, este un proces mai intens Fi mai cuprin3Itor$ NnvIHarea poate avea loc fIrI predare, dupI cum Earl Stevic" Jntrea!I Jn Teaching languages, putem afirma cI am predat dacI nimeni n-a JnvIHat: Ca JnvIHItori sau profesori, avem tendinHa de a uita sau cel puHin de a trece cu vederea acest fapt cMnd suntem Jn clasI$ Putem cIdea Jn raHionamentul fals Fi ne;ustificat cI ceea ce facem noi ca dascIli Ji determinI oarecum pe elevi sI JnveHe$ Procesul de povestire a predIrii poate fi o metodI e.celentI de corectare a acestei ilu3ii9 poate centra din nou procesul de JnvIHare asupra JnvIHIrii Fi asupra activitIHii elevilor$ E.istI un al doilea motiv pentru care povestirea predIrii este importantI$ Predarea este centratI pe activitIHile reali3ate cu elevii pentru a-i determina sI JnveHe$ Deoarece percepHia generalI este cI predarea declanFea3I JnvIHarea, JnvIHItorii Fi educatorii sunt prinFi mereu Jn aceeaFi dilemI, Fi anume dacI ceea ce fac este !ine pentru elevii lor, dacI nu e.istI alte metode mai eficiente, mai plIcute$ Psihologul Eleanor Duc" orth a studiat de-a lungul Jntregii sale cariere felul Jn care copiii raHionea3I$ Nn eseul sIu, KVirtuHile lui @u GtiuL, Duc" orth vor!eFte despre aceastI dilemI$ Ea scrie cI KJn ma;oritatea claselor, acesta este cel mai rapid rIspuns corect apreciat$ CunoaFterea rIspunsului Jnainte de timp este, per ansam!lu, mai !ine cotat decMt Jncercarea de a-l afla$L %p$ )>*$ Nn conclu3ie, ea face urmItoare o!servaHie, KCeea ce faci despre ceea ce nu Ftii este, Jn cele din urmI, determinarea a ceea ce vei Ftii$L %&'(69 p$ )(*$ Din pIcate, de cele mai multe ori predarea nu este orientatI Jnspre recunoaFterea faptului de Ka nu FtiL$ Elevii Fi dascIlii nu sunt Jncura;aHi Jn general sI-Fi asume riscuri, sI specule3e Fi sI pro!e3e lucruri de care nu sunt siguri$ Presiunea responsa!ilitIHilor numeroase, parcurgerea programei, respectarea evaluIrii standard Fi menHinerea disciplinei Jn clasI nu le permite JnvIHItorilor sI ai!I timpul necesar JnHelegerii a ceea ce nu merge !ine la clasI$

(i$liografie Duc" orth, Eleanor$ &'(6$ <The virtues of not "no ing<$ In The having of other essays on teaching and learning$ @e Aor", Teachers College Press$ 5attegno, Cale!$ &'6)$ The commonsense of teaching foreign languages$ @e Solutions$ 7cDonald, Boseph$ &''C$ Teaching, 7a"ing sense of an uncertain craft$ @e College Press$ onderful ideas and Aor", Educational Aor", Teachers

Paley, Vivian$ &'()a$ <Dn listening to hat children say$< +arvard Educational Revie , E) %C*, pp$ &CC-&0&$ Paley, Vivian$ &'()!$ 7ollie is three, 5ro ing up in school$ Chicago, ?niversity of Chicago Press$

Sursa articolului, http,OO $hltmag$co$u"O;anPPOmart&$htm, +umanising 2anguage Teaching, Aear C9 Issue &9 Banuary CPPP