I would like to say that Dr. August "lecture" or conversation as she put it, was fantastic! I went to URI for my under grad and did many observations/lessons at the Child Development Center or CDC on campus. The educators there have a similar teaching style to Zeke. They question the students, while giving them plenty of explore time. The students, for the most part, worked out their problems with classmates and had the freedom and opportunity to help plan the activities for the day. I took this knowledge with me when I taught in a kindergarten classroom for a private daycare. I used the techniques that Zeke and the educators used at the CDC. I feel that the students wanted to learn more because they had ownership of the lessons and activities. After reading the articles and listening to Dr. August, while relating it to my own experiences, I support August and Shor's articles, Making Room for One Another and Empowering Education.
"In a curriculum that encourages student questioning, the teacher avoids unilateral transfer of knowledge."
I have stated this over and over again in my blogs about students learning from teachers AND teachers learning from their students. This give and take setup is fantastic. It shows students how important it is to share their knowledge, while gaining self confidence and respect. I never have a problem letting my students know I need help or need to look something up. I encourage questions because that is the only way students are going to learn and understand their what is confusing to them.
"The teacher brings lesson plans, learning methods, personal experience, and academic knowledge to class but negotiates the curriculum with the students and begins with their language, themes and understandings."
Again negotiating gives ownership in which students will be more apt to participate and get involved. The teacher figures out her base plans and works with the students to make it their (students and teachers) own. The information will be delivered regardless, but having the students and educators working together will create the most effective and successful lesson. It sounds so easy...So why aren't we ALL doing this!!!!
"A participatory classroom offers chances to hear the largely silent voices of students from which teachers learn how to integrate subject matter into their existing knowledge."
Relating new material to students existing knowledge makes it easier for students to relate and internalize it. This classroom style is open, interactive and FUN. Students have the opportunities to share their ideas and opinions, while teachers listen and find ways to incorporate information to enrich students. Again, I stated in my past blogs, that communication is huge part of learning. If you don't communicate your questions or concerns, then how are you going to fully understand the material?