Teaching techniques

I’ve learned some very interesting and useful teaching techniques from the members of my PgCert learning set today:

  • dressing up/playing/acting/picking up a persona as a clown (not sure if this is what Richard would put it though) to give instructions to group members to throw ball, deliver an abstract to each other, nicely. This is to understand how creativity emerges (e.g. have a good aim/point of arrival, attitudes, soft catch of the ball, point of departure).
  • running an experiment for understanding communication processes and any problems that might occur during any communication processes: 1) everyone takes a piece of blank white paper 2) close the eyes 3) fold the paper into half, and tear the top right corner 4) repeat step 3 three times 5) open the eyes and compare the paper held in each person’s hand – are they appearing the same? If not, why aren’t they looking the same? Didn’t everyone follow the same instruction? (So the answers should be around whether the instruction is clear enough, whether we are given the right tools e.g. right tool to tear the paper and our eyes, and the individual differences)
  • Two members of staff from faculty of engineering delivered some scientific theories/concepts by drawing equipments or concept maps on flip charts. The drawing and talking feels like a real-time animation. (And I guess this inspired our tutor to advise us to look at http://prezi.com/ for presentation and teaching.)

I delivered a short talk on citizen journalism to demonstrate my event-based style of teaching.

The tutor of our learning set commented that we demonstrated “quiet authority” and “quiet confidence” in our micro teaching. But I wondered whether that’s because the members in the learning set were much more mature than our “real” students, and the learning set is much smaller than the size of cohort I’m teaching. I think that the “quiet authority” only co-exists with mutual respect between the learners and the instructors.

One thought on “Teaching techniques

  1. Thank you Hayashi – this is a useful place for notes. I hope you will link it to the module wiki on Blackboard.

    I was trying to get to a point where “students” could examine the relationships between impulse, flow and intention (objective) in a series of physical call and response exchanges. But the students were ignoramuses and I am an ignoramus and so we did something different ! haha.

    I agree that quiet authority could be understood more precisely: perhaps as a delegation of responsibility for transformation (of knowledge) from the teacher to the object of study. I almost expected the drawing of the 3G mobile phone mast we were examining to become a 3D mast before our eyes and walk across the flip chart to its correct location. I think the teacher called for an atmosphere of mutual concentration. “There is problem”, he says, “but it has an entirely probable and logical solution.” Nevertheless, he constructs an illusion in which his privileged knowledge suffers from a temporary stupidity. He supports the mystery by rooting through the mobile phone transmission system and its failures. He moves pedantically and step-by-step with an air of surprise that the engineering error even exists. Sympathetically, we rack our (more “clever”) brains and close our eyes searching for a logical solution to this impossiblity. It makes me think of the teacher as a magician playing a card trick.

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