Knowing, Learning and Teaching in NGL

elementary school teacher and student high five

What would be the role of the educator? How should we teach?

Similarly to Angela’s post, I think the role of the teacher is to act as the facilitator of learning. If a student asks me for information, I always try to respond with an appropriate question that will lead them to the answer they are seeking. Unlike traditional notions of teaching, I don’t believe the teacher simply transfers their knowledge and views into the brains of students. If students are simply given information, their understanding of why this information is most accurate, relevant or objectively true will be much shallower than if they were to discover and decide truths for themselves. Furthermore, if you teach someone something and they are not convinced of its validity, there is a good chance that information will be discarded. By using teaching techniques that require students to find evidence and draw their own conclusions, learning is much more convincing and valid in the minds of students.

What would be the role of the learner?

As suggested in the reading posted by David, I agree that the learner’s role is that of the wayfinder and should be self-directed. Beyond this, learners need to find a way to make learning interesting and relevant to themselves. This requires deeper reflection in order to better understand what motivates and draws the attention of the learner. In better understanding themselves, learners can identify and harness methods of learning that are most effective for themselves. Finding what intrinsically motivates me is integral if I hope to work to my full-potential. I think this is similarly important for other learners, too.

The role of the learner is also to ensure that sufficient time and resources are planned and made available for the requirements of a course. This again requires self-reflection to identify each learner’s unique needs.

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