Sunday, October 9, 2011

Student as teacher

All this talk about the flipped classroom has gotten me thinking - not only can we relegate lectures as homework and use the classroom for practice work, we might also be able to flip roles with our students. Make the students into teachers. I touched on this in an earlier post, but thought I'd flesh it out a little more here.

I know from personal experience that the best way (for me) to learn something is to teach it. That's how I learned to speak Spanish, and that's how I'm improving my Chinese. Having to explain concepts to others in a way that they can understand them helps to make those concepts more concreate in one's own mind. Therefore, if students were made to take more of a teaching role, they might be more successful. Learn by doing.

That's not to say that students should be left to their own devices. Teachers definitely still have a place in the doing = knowing model. (Perhaps that's my own self preservation screaming forth!) But instead of being recepticles of information from which students scoop out what will be on the test, teachers can step away from the forefront and become guides in the autonomous learning process.

I keep envisioning a baby taking their first steps - a parent hovering but not helping.

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