Do you do clean windows too?

Mary shared an interesting article posted this week in the Faculty Focus Teaching Professor Blog titled  “She Didn’t TeClick link for articleach. We Had to Learn it Ourselves.” It poses some good questions surrounding just what is your job as a “good” teacher? Should you explain everything clearly to students? Should you underscore all of the important information and answer every question that your students ask? Where do you draw the line? No, really, where do YOU draw the line? We’d love to hear in our comments area, your thoughts on this.

I personally like the idea of letting students think for themselves. But, I feel that they should know what you are doing and understand why you are doing it, otherwise it can be very frustrating. Click on the Teaching Professor Blog icon for the full article and then post a comment to give us your thoughts.

Also– we’re still accepting submissions to the Banner Competition!! It’s fun. We have 5 submissions so far, so please, send us YOUR banner!! You can view the banners we’ve received to date by clicking on the banner image below. Don’t put it off– send me your banner!! ksbaldwin@alaska.edu  P.S. any non-UAS faculty reading the FLC– feel free to join our challenge!

Banner Challenge 2014

2 comments

    • seaccr on September 11, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Constructing knowledge is how people learn best. I design my courses so that students construct knowledge with their personal experiences as a foundation. For some students, this kind of learning is new and a bit scary. Without strict parameters about what a product should look like, or how an idea should be digested, students sometimes find themselves in an uncomfortable Zone of Proximal Development, a place I refer to as The Zone of Temporary Confusion. Much to my students’ chagrin, I love it when they are in this place because I know that when they are in this place, a little panicked and a little angry with me, I know they are learning. I also know it will soon pass and that they will then appreciate having been left there on their own to construct knowledge. This should not give the impression that this is done casually or without empathy. I recognize each student’s entry point, his or her tolerance for ambiguity, and their life experiences and scaffold the learning as necessary modeling Gradual Release of Responsibility (just as I want them to do with their students) along the way. I also make a point to be explicit with them about what I am doing and why. They are not always happy with the process, but the feedback I get indicates they are very happy with the results.

  1. I love the term “zone of temporary confusion”– perfect description. Especially as you mention you particularly recognize each student’s entry point and tolerance for ambiguity.

    I read a study a few years back (anyone remember it?) where they found academically gifted students fell into two distinct groups, a group who thrived on learning challenges. They did best when they didn’t know the topic. They thrived when they were learning something totally new. The other group had a great deal of anxiety whenever they approached something new. They thrived when they were learning in their knowledge zone. They would dig deeper as long as it was an area they knew they could excel in. I’m sure I’m not getting all the details, but I think you get the drift. It is difficult to challenge some students without creating high levels of anxiety for others. Teaching isn’t always easy is it?!

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