Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sit Still While I Instill

This question was posed to me last night - "How do education administrators help faculty and students break the habits of stereotypical F2F classrooms (”you sit still while I instill")?"

So how do we? is it the place of administrators to do it? If it is how do they do it? Hmmm...

I'm going to start from the premise that the days of the "sage on the stage" have been replaced in adult education by the "guide on the side". We facilitate learning. I certainly know that is true in my practice. More and more my job as an adult educator is to help learners learn to learn as much as it is to "teach" any particular piece of content.

Breaking the habits of the F2F classroom is difficult for both faculty and students - it is all that many of them have ever known, and it is safe and predictable. As a learner I simply have to sit there as an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge - no fuss, no muss, and not a whole lot of effort on my part.

Well sorry to tell you learners, but those days are over - you are responsible for your own learning and it takes work. We will help you learn, but ultimately it is your choice whether you do or not.

To help you learn we need to be creative, get out of our own "silos" and get support from our administrators that allow us as faculty to become innovative and interesting, creating learning environments that work. For this to happen administrators and faculty need to work together to explore and use educational resources and technologies that allow for learning to happen wherever it needs to - education without boundaries.

So we get you out from your comfortable rows of desks and into groups, the community (service learning has so much power), using technologies and tools that you master and learn with, and develop your life-long learning skills that will allow you to become discriminating learners ready to seize any learning opportunity that presents itself.

That's how we will break the habits of the F2F classroom - by breaking down the walls and expanding the horizons of ourselves and our learners, by really believing in and supporting education without boundaries...

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