Learning to become…Teaching as bringing more than I contain.

Learning to become

I really like this reference: The point of pedagogy is not to teach particular things but to develop in the subject the capacity to learn (Todd, 432). The point of early childhood education is to not fill the students minds with knowledge for them to later try and make connections, but to allow them to develop the capacity and desire to learn and make connections on their own.

Educators often think about who we want our students to become, we teach them so that they can become something in our society. The idea that pedagogy is about the demand for ‘learning to become’ solidifies both the dream and nightmare of education itself (Todd, 435). We teach our students to follow a set of duties or obligations that if followed they will learn our societies rights and wrongs.   We feel safe in an environment where we have rules to follow, if we follow them then we know we are right. For example, I experienced this in class this week, without a guide or rule on how to move and experiment with paint I began to doubt my abilities. We look to education and the curriculum to see what students have to learn and how teachers need to teach to ensure that they are achieved. Todd mentions that we often forget the unpredictability of pedagogy itself (Todd, 436). Every student is different, each student has a unique character, and pedagogy cannot predict or control this.

Teaching as bringing more than I contain

The view of teaching as ‘bringing more than I contain’ is to look at who you are and realize there is always going to be more that you can learn or develop. I like how the ‘Other’ is referenced as ‘what I myself am not’ rather then the ‘Other’ being referenced as someone else (Todd, 437). We must teach as an encounter with our ‘Other’, meaning we must remember as educators that what we might find as a personal connection to a topic might be a very different connection or unnoticed to your students.

From this article I understand that the teacher must become a learner as well and to allow opportunities to learn from our students. I am nervous, as a teacher candidate, knowing what connections to make with students? When to probe further with discoveries and findings? What if making a connection with my ‘Other’ allows the classroom to fall into complete chaos? How will I know the line between the pressures of following curriculum guidelines and allowing students to encounter opportunities on their own?

Resources
Todd, Sharon. (2001) `Bringing more than I contain’: ethics, curriculum and the pedagogical demand for altered egos. Retrieved from: http://journals2.scholarsportal.info.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/pdf/00220272/v33i0004/431_mticectpdfae.xml

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