Monday, November 29, 2010

Interesting article in the Economist on how Michael Grove wants to change how and what schools teach.

One idea -  that trainee teachers spend more time in schools might have a downside in that the trainees might learn bad habits instead of good ones.  As I talk to colleges of education about how they train teachers, some already place them in operating schools.  This can be good for learning the tools of the trade, but also imbues teachers with a fixed idea of the spaces they will need to deal with when they are teaching.  In general they learn to "overcome" their environment and yet at the same time are unwilling to see it changed very much when we as architects recommend changes. 

I find that experienced teachers tend to resist change in their environments in part because they learned how to teach in a classroom that is focused on them as the givers of knowledge.  As architects we are told by educational reformers that this must change.  Student centered learning with teacher as facilitator is where we need to go.  Project based learning, collaboration, and personalized learning are hallmarks of such environments and the reasons to go in this direction seem compelling. Yet, when we suggest this to many teachers they resist any change that might alter the way they go about their business.

Will placing trainee teachers with more experienced teachers prevent changes that improve the teaching environment as an undesirable side effect?

 At the chalkface - The Economist November 27th, 2010

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