Door Dick van der Wateren.
Dit artikel van de Amerikaanse onderwijsauteur Alfie Kohn kan helpen onze gedachten te bepalen tijdens ons bezoek aan scholen in San Diego. Wanneer we zien wat in die scholen gebeurt zijn we geneigd te denken: “Hoe kunnen we dat in mijn school voor elkaar krijgen?” De vraag is dan: “Welke manieren zijn er om dat ineens dan wel geleidelijk in te voeren. Dit artikel kan daarbij inspireren.
Transformation by Degrees
By Alfie Kohn
Three concepts emerged independently in different fields: quantum leaps (in particle physics), punctuated equilibrium (in evolutionary biology), and paradigm shifts (in the history of science). All of these converge on the revelation that change doesn’t always take place incrementally. Sometimes things stay pretty much the same for a long time, and then, suddenly — ka-pow! – rapid transformation that seems to come out of nowhere.
This notion is intriguing precisely because it’s so counterintuitive. Generally, we expect evolution, not revolution. And those of us who are trying to serve as change agents in education had better not count on teachers’ waking up one morning prepared to adopt radically different practices. In fact, we would do well to have some examples ready for how they can get from here to there step by step.
Imagine, then, a teacher who recounts the following story of professional growth:
Awhile back, someone – I forget who – suggested to me that, since I was lucky enough to have relatively small classes, I should start the term by having each student take a few minutes to introduce him- or herself. Why not, I thought; it won’t take that long. So I asked everyone to say a little something about their personal background and also mention an experience or two relevant to the topic of the course.
What I didn’t expect is that this tiny change would end up making such a difference in my perception of what was happening in class. You know, I’m very serious about the subject matter I teach. But learning a bit about each student on the first day turned them into flesh-and-blood people for me, and I realized with an unpleasant little start that for all these years I’d been so focused on what I was teaching that I was ignoring the students who were learning it. I had forgotten that what matters isn’t so much the knowledge itself as the uses particular people make of that knowledge. It’s not the ideas that count; it’s the experience of the individuals who consider those ideas.
Lees hier verder.