Slowing down classes

Just by slowing down nice things begin to happen. I have so many things to do this semester, and so many classes to teach, that anxiety is often lurking in the background. If I see the problem with the traditional lenses of a teacher who has to transport knowledge into the students’ minds, that would be a very difficult task. Mission: Impossible!

If, however, I let myself to be taught **by** those students while we **do** the class together… voilá, suddenly I can teach a thousand students at the same time! Perhaps I should. Are they going to learn? Who knows. What does it mean, anyhow, to learn? They can discuss a paper: meaning they give me hints on how they analyzed and interpreted it. If I can observe such a participation, I may infer something is going on with them, though some observer may not label it with “learning”.

IT and e-learning technology have taught us we need to shape teaching and learning differently, and that we have the right tools to do that. When you slow down, you allow yourself to actually see the concrete chance to do classes and not teach them. Also, you may enjoy some slow coffee in the meantime.

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
This entry was posted in education, manifesto-elearn, philosophic-discourse. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Slowing down classes

  1. João Mattar says:

    Antonio, my classes started almost 1 month ago and I am in the process of reviewing my strategies for the whole semester. I will also continue to post here on that.
    See you!
    João Mattar

  2. Antonio says:

    I don’t think I have any real suggestion… your ideas are great, Joao, very varied, and in the end I believe it all sums up with the classic cycle: a bit of an introduction, then a problem presented and assigned, then feedback, and so on… sometime I run late with the course “program”, but then, I hope students got more involved and learned deeper. I tend to use blogs and wikis when I can, as well as Moodle. I find that collaborative work is great both for students and for me: I can pay more attention to 5 reports than 25! In any case, I am focusing on the “doing” part of my course… sometime I feel I **am** the bottleneck in my courses! This is a topic I want to pursue in the next posts too!


  3. João Mattar says:

    I agree with you, but I confess I still face some challenges on how to transport this idea to real life classes. I am trying to use different dinamycs in each class – talk, group discussion, group writing, personal writing, music, drawing, seminars etc.
    I also like to have a text as the guide for the whole course.
    What practical suggestions can you give us?

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