How does the culture of your current teaching environment differ from the learning environment you experienced as a student?
Interesting question. This is my take on the comparison. First there is the comparing the past to the present, but then a twist. I am viewing my cultural teaching environment as a teacher today to my learning environment as a kid. I am viewing from both an adult and a child’s perspective, but at different time periods. I can say both my teacher and child agrees the nature of children have not changed. Children still have to cope with the same challenges. However, the way we deliver instruction and support students has changed a bit and continues to broaden as technology expands into our classrooms. We are slowly going from whole group teaching to individualizing instruction for each student while keeping everyone connected. Big movement with small steady steps.
Back in the day my life as a child was filled with sitting in a row waiting for my dreaded turn to read out loud. I was so nervous about reading out loud that I couldn’t tell you what the story was about. I felt like an island amongst a group of islands. Today students continue to read out loud in small groups, so no real change there. Although, the movement of whole language brought a change in our classroom culture by introducing literature circles and creating a variety of ways to express your knowledge about the material you read. Creativity was encouraged and fostered. Unfortunately, phonics, spelling, mechanics of writing, along with other technical aspects of learning were pushed aside. As time past, results showed their importance and the pendulum swung back the other way. Yes, today we are stuck with teaching programs, but the creativity continues to be fostered by those who step up to the challenge to create a classroom that include both. Word processors made revising papers a less torturous task. Power points opened the door for a new way to write and present reports. The introduction of the internet increased our access to information. Today we have programs such as moodle, edmodo, google sites, and many others to create online learning communities. Youtube as changed the way we teach and study. Certainly creativity abounds for those who seek it.
Today the trend is flipped. Students’ homework is to view and research a lesson and then come to class prepared to apply your knowledge. Teachers are now able to give more time with direct feedback on the concepts they are learning. Students work together and share ideas as they finish projects. At our school we are not quite there but, I work with teachers who continue literature circles while teaching the language arts programs. We use internet programs to support programs such as ALEKS, Mobymax, screencast programs, moviemaker, the Promethean boards, to names a few. As Douglas Thomas reports, as well as other articles and blogs I read, we are moving from a stable infrastructure to a fluid structure. As creative and intelligent teachers we are to apply the tools that continue to present themselves into our fluid, individualized, teamwork learning environment for the 21st Century society.
Education Yesterday and Today, (Jan. 2012), thoughtful pastor
Education Yesterday and Today,(Feb. 2010) Elizabeth Peterson
Education: Yesterday, Today and ??? (Aug. 2010) Rose Yandell