Your role as a teacher
Participating in this reflective activity in a group might make it more fun and if there are differences of opinion, this should encourage depth of reflection. The point of this exercise is to see the linkages between your conception of yourself as a teacher, the ‘model’ you adhere to, how you see your students and what you actually ‘do’ in the classroom, and in this way, to consider what kind of relationship you would like to have with your students, in order to facilitate their learning most effectively. It may be easier, for the purposes of this exercise, to choose one class you teach rather than all your teaching responsibilities. Now ask and answer the following questions:
1. How do you see your role as a teacher?
You can use the list of eight conceptions by Kincaid and Pecorino, or create other conceptions that more closely characterize your view of your role as a teacher. If you make up an additional conception, give it a name and describe it.
If you feel you adopt more than one of the conceptions, name them, but for the purposes of the exercise, try not to name more than three.
Kincaid and Pecorino’s eight conceptions:
2. How do you view your students?
Here your choices might be influenced by the eight conceptions you considered above. You should feel free to make other choices or select more than one below, but try not to name more than three.
- Recipients of your professional decisions and choices
- Learners with areas of weakness that need to be modified
- Learners to accept your views and practices on faith
- They pay, so they should make the choices about what to learn and how
- As equals, they should make the choices in collaboration with you
- As equal parties to a contract
- They will only learn if they are engaged viscerally, by being entertained
- As committed to the learning process and to being transformed via learning
3. What model of lecturing do you subscribe to? The code, the contract or the covenant? (or another …)
4. What examples can you provide of your adherence to this model?
5. What do you believe are the effects of this model on your students’ learning?
6. Is there any aspect of what you do that contradicts your conception of your role and your model?
7. If so, what should change: Your conception of your role? Your view of your students? Your model of lecturing? What you actually do in the classroom?