Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Controlling Teachers

How did you interpret the title of this blog post?

Did you see it as teachers who are controlling or that someone is controlling teachers? or both?

As a teacher, I truly value my autonomy. I am fortunate to not have anyone standing over me saying that I have to do the exact same lessons as someone else. I don't have anyone knocking on my door if my test scores are low, and I don't have someone prescribing for me standardized tests that I must use to measure my students' learning.

Some of this is possible because I teach a grade level that happens to not have a Provincial Achievement Test at the end of the year, but some of my autonomy is becoming endangered. There is currently a movement in my district where common exams are being enforced.

If I appreciate my autonomy, don't I have to appreciate the importance of students' autonomy? But how many teachers prove to be hypocrits on this issue? How many teachers demand their own autonomy and expect to be trusted to do their job well, but turn around and teach in a controlling way that provides students with little to no autonomy. I'm talking about sitting in desks that are in rows, facing the front while reading the textbook and completing teacher dictated assignments. I'm talking about curriculums that provide teachers and students with little to no time to learn about things of their choosing and force students to show their learning on tests that they had no input on producing.

Controlling will gain compliance while autonomy will produce engagement. Teachers and students alike need autonomy to learn.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for another great post.
    Giving up Power doesn't have to mean Losing Control. And demanding compliance is just a way of faking engagement.


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