Emily Columpsi

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery" -Mark Van Doren

Chapter 1-Kumashiro Reading

In chapter one, Kumashiro provides three images of “good teachers.” Through these images he not only describes the role of the educator, but he also informs the reader how these images can actually hinder our “efforts to challenge oppression.” After completing the chapter I looked over the prompt that was provided in the wiki, and I came to the conclusion that the best image that describes my experience of learning is teachers as learned practitioners. The reason that I choose this image is because I am aware of my own knowledge, I know the knowledge I have yet to gain, and I know the limits of this knowledge. Furthermore, the three things that Kumashiro highlighted for learned practitioners, 1) learn about the students, who they are, how they learn; 2) learn what to teach and demonstrate, know subjects; and 3) learn how to teach and implement classroom management, have been a constant theme in most of my classes. For the most part, they are drilled into us as we progress through this program. I know as a fact that knowing how to teach and what to teach is important to me as future educator. As well, to me, being able to understand my students in all aspects is key to helping me formulate lessons. Therefore, this image best describes my experience of learning.

Professors, other educators, readings, etc.. all highlight the importance of getting to know the students. However, even though I agree that it is essential to know your students there is one point that we need to realize, and Kumashiro touches on this as well. We as educators cannot know everything about our students, and we should not try to know everything. As well, there is much that we can’t even know because student’s themselves may not be aware of it. As a result, teachers need to understand the limits of their knowledge. If they do this then appropriate lessons can be made that result in educational success. Furthermore, knowing the limits of our knowledge can hopefully result in anti-oppressive ways of teaching.

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