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Transcript of CCCC 2013
Wayne State University
March 2013 How does one integrate teaching that emphasizes these habits and dispositions into the FYC course while also considering the larger context within which one teaches? “Bear in mind that the purpose of the inquiry method is to help learners increase their competency as learners. It hopes to accomplish this by having students do what effective learners do. Thus, the only reasonable kind of logic or structure that can be applied to this environment is that which is modeled after the behavior of good learners. Good learners, like everyone else, are living, squirming, questioning, perceiving, fearing, loving, and languaging nervous systems, but they are good learners precisely because they believe and do certain things that less effective learners do not believe and do. And therein lies the key” (Postman and Weingartner 31). Good learners are confident they can learn (31). ...they like problem solving (31). Good learners can identify "what is relevant to their survival and what is not" and they appreciate relative autonomy in this identification, in this judgment (31-32). Good learners are okay with being wrong, and they think before answering (32). They are "flexible" (32) They're willing to say "I don't know" and can ask meaningful questions (32-33). •“The teacher rarely tells students what he thinks they ought to know.”•“His basic mode of discourse with students is questioning.”•“Generally, he does not accept a single statement as an answer to a question.”•“He encourages student-student interaction as opposed to student-teacher interaction. And generally, he avoids acting as a mediator or judge of the quality of ideas expressed.”•“He rarely summarizes the positions taken by students on the learnings that occur.”•“His lessons develop from the responses of students and not from a previously determined “logical” structure.” •“Generally, each of his lessons poses a problem for students.” •“He measures his success in terms of behavioral changes in students: the frequency with which they ask questions; the increase in the relevance and cogency of their questions; the frequency and conviction of their challenges to assertions made by other students or teachers or textbooks; the relevance and clarity of the standards on which they base their challenges; their willingness to suspend judgments when they have insufficient data; their willingness to modify or otherwise change their position when data warrant such change; the increase in their skill in observing, classifying, generalizing, etc.; the increase in their tolerance for diverse answers; their ability to apply generalizations, attitudes, and information to novel situations” (34-37). •Reflexive inquiry requires a “learner’s stance” (Qualley 1997), which “requires a deliberate decision to critically examine the present in light of the past—with an eye toward revision” (74).•Reflexive inquiry “creates a dialogue between two sites”: the teacher’s classroom(s) as learner, and his or her classroom(s) as teacher (74).•Reflexive inquiry “refuses closure” because of its dialectical nature (74-75).•Reflexive inquiry requires “self-reflexivity”; the teacher must ask himself or herself what about his or her subjectivity caused him/her to make particular teaching decisions (75). “If there’s a “lesson” to be drawn here, it’s that teaching is a messy business, and that the best we can do is be vigilantly reflective about the choices we make as teachers, and that our students make as well” (40). “We argue that this negotiation supports instructors in making professional, reflective decisions about their teaching while, as a program, we work to promote a particular curriculum. Acknowledging instructors as informed professionals means allowing them space to decide how they will implement a WAW or other teaching for transfer approach while also providing them instructional support and opportunities to discuss theory and practice. Just as any teaching approach develops over time, we believe a major shift in curriculum requires this reflective dialogue” (Risse et al).