1-310-390-0131 - Outside U.S.
Who gets to speak in class? Whose ideas count? Who chooses the assignments? How do students receive feedback? Do students have a chance to conference with their instructors? Can YouTube be a valuable source for homework assignment? Do you want your students to become self-directed – or autotelic – in their studies?
Here’s a quick checklist that ESL teachers that I created for a recent CATESOL workshop called “Techniques for a More Democratic Classroom”. My core assumption remains that giving students more opportunities to literally speak, write, and share their insights leads to a more engaging, dynamic, and valuable classroom experience. I will write more on this topic in a few days, but here are some questions to consider.
- Who do you currently teach? How would you describe the students?
- What are some of their personal interests?
- How can student interests be better incorporated into the curriculum?
- Which assignments do students currently choose? Which seems most successful? Why?
- What are some benefits of greater student participation?
- What are some risks of greater student participation?
- Do you want to increase the number of choices students make?
- What critical language skills can be taught by tapping into their interests?
- How can you tweak current material to better individualize instruction?
- What internet resources can you use to augment the current curriculum?
- Which exercises or activities do you find most successful in your classroom?
- What decisions do you keep as your prerogative as the instructor?
- Will your students become self-directed learners?
- How can you encourage that possibility?
- How can you create a more democratic classroom?
- What are some obstacles to a more democratic classroom?
- How does technology encourage a more democratic classroom?
“Education is a kind of continuing dialogue and a dialogue assumes, in the nature of the case, different points of view.” Robert Hutchins (1899-1977), former President of University of Chicago and educational philosopher
Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Feel free to let me know.
I’ll post an article in a few days outlining some of my thoughts and sharing some materials.
Ask more. Know more. Share more.
Create Compelling Conversations.