Vicki Suter

Discovering the power of good questions

What is my philosophy of teaching and learning?

I see all learning as social. Social learning as I understand it is meaning-making emerging within and through everyone.  My role as a teacher is to model and create an environment for mindful learning, which involves “the continuous creation of new categories, openness to new information; and an implicit awareness of more than one perspective” (Langer, 1997, p. 4).

I see all participants in my classes  as producers of knowledge, as well as consumers. This means that, while we read and discuss texts, the value is added through our analysis and interpretation of concepts in the context of our own unique experiences, our profession, workplace, or other working environment. I believe that the richest, deepest learning occurs through interaction and collaboration with others. Team projects are a favored strategy for this purpose.  This also means that I limit the use of lectures as a classroom activity. I hope that the value for each student will emerge through participation in class discussions, individual reflection, presentations by all class members, and through application of their learning to an authentic project. Ultimately, what I emphasize is the ability to ask good questions, not to have “the” answers – in my field, the shelf-life of particular knowledge about particular technologies is short, and answers expire quickly.

Finally, what I see as the attributes of good teaching are:

  • Understanding of the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Mastery of the subject
  • Ability to overcome the “expert’s blind spot”
  • Commitment to the co-creation of knowledge
  • Open mind and sense of play

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2013 by in Social learning and tagged , .
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