Matt Eddy

What is good teaching?

Blog Post created by Matt Eddy on May 6, 2014

Tao - When the student is ready, the teacher will appear

 

Are you a good teacher?  Why would you say that?

 

And before you throw something at me, I completely believe there might be as many varied answers as people reading this post --- all 4 or 5 of you.

 

Can anyone teach?  We all know there is much difference in the theory of education and the practice of education.  "If it were easy, everyone would do it".  Listening to the talking head pundits of education, it should be easy to quantify and box up all neat and tidy. Right?


The Dagget model would have us understand that the application of knowledge is key to highly rigerous education.

 

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I think that the easy part of learning is the transfer of knowledge.  Information. Facts. Certainties. Knowledge / Remembering --  Anyone can do that.

 

What I think is the hard part is sustaining the learners thirst for more, and furthering the growth from the gathering of facts. Level B and hopefully D --  and I'm not sure that everyone can do that... without help.

 

So how do we do that hard part?  And notice I asked about good teaching earlier... not good learning.  Teaching implies what we do as educators to create the environment where a student can learn.  Learning implies what the student does.  We will never have a model so good that the teacher is removed from the equation.

 

Teaching is an art.  An art that is based in science and sound methodologies.  How do we go about perfecting our teaching?

 

  • How much time really goes into reflection? of our teaching?
  • Do we challenge the process we used?
  • Does the inquisitiveness of the learner matter?
  • How much self-actualization are we capable of as teachers?
  • Can we put our ego's aside as we reflect on our shortcomings?

 

Sometimes we need a change of venue to make us reflect upon what our practices really are.

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As Ag teachers, some of our most important reflective time needs to be put into teaching.  Honing our craft.  Studying the pedagogy that is being used and tried in the current educational profession at-large. Time spent not creating new materials, but considering new methodology.  I find the variety in Agriculture Education across the country to contain a certain beauty.  But the thorns on that rose give me concern.   Can we be sustainable?  Is it transferable? Can we make system wide adjustments easily to continue to follow best practices or are we stuck with trickle down (or up) to implement changes to our current practices?

 

Aristotle wrote: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."


How should you best teach?  I don't know and I sure can't tell you.  I DO think that you should teach the best way you know how - including constantly considering the HOW.  Continuing to perfect your art for the benefit of your students.

 

Artists don't perfect their art without improving their techniques. Even Jackson Pollock

 

To quote Jay Bilas: "I gotta go to work"

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