The Question of Teacher Roles in Blogging-yet-Traditional Classrooms

The tension we face right now is how to navigate between the demands of the traditional structures we find ourselves in (i.e. the teacher as local power-holder: designing the syllabus, dispensing knowledge through lectures and assignments, and evaluating through testing and grades–and in turn being evaluated on just how successful the students are according to prescribed standards) and the realities of the fluid, emergent knowledge spaces existing outside this realm in places with Internet access, where everyone is an expert and an apprentice connected within that space, where we might not need “teachers” at all, where learning doesn’t happen according to set schedules and syllabi. If we take the traditional role of designer-director-evaluator in our classrooms, how are we helping young people become active citizens in this world with its inequities, its fragility, its violence, its power relations, its potential, its connectedness, its beauty? How are we helping them learn how to learn and learn how to give and to act? To take responsibility for their learning and their use of that learning? And yet for many of us, the structures in place (disciplines, majors, departments, school calendars) make it incredibly difficult to break away from the lecture-absorb or call-and-response model of education, especially for student from ages 12-22. Who has the time? Who has the energy? Who has the nerve? And who has the skill?

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Tag: blogging in education

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