Monday, November 17, 2008

Pedagogical Thoughts

The art or science of being a teacher: Pedagogy.

Literally, to lead a child.

Is there any wonder, then, why these books should have resurrected themselves from the corner of my mind...hidden away with the other rather useless information I received in my early education classes?

The art or science of being a teacher; I liked that. It is worthy of pondering on it's own.

Pondering, however, was getting me nowhere as I tried to sort through curriculum packets, lesson plans, teaching methods, teaching styles, handwriting styles, traditional vs. classical vs. Montessori vs. who knows what! It gave me a headache and I quickly realized that if I wanted to be informed with what methods I was going to be following, I needed to go to the sources.

And that is where I am.

Fortunately, Jake's "sit down schooling" at this point takes no more than 40 min. per day. And for a wiggling, imaginative kid...I think he is thankful for the short spurts of constrained activity. This leaves me time to sit down with the great thinkers of pedagogy and let them present their arguments to me.

I think I may be making a mistake by reading two such books at the same time...what do you think? Oh well. I begin this way, but I am sure that one will grab my attention over the other before too long.

If there is one thing that I have come away with in the beginnings of the books, it is that teaching and learning are found in the entirety of our days. It is the water of everyday living that, when combined with the educational ingredients, make a savory stew with which we feed our children. Learning must not be reduced or boiled down to classroom work and model curriculum. Doing such is, I am afraid, the equivalent of feeding our children with vitamin capsules. The knowledge may be going in, but where is the pleasure? The substance? And can it really sustain a child as they enter adulthood?

Who knows where I will be headed with the education of my children. I do know that it will not be accomplished through the "sit down" times but in the everyday moments.

I pray God will continue to bless me in allowing me the honor of leading my children down their educational path, and for grace to lead their minds to Him.

If you made it this far, here is a quote I found particularly interesting from Paulo Freire's book "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" (who, by the way, is Brazilian)

"In order to understand the meaning of dialogical practice, we have to put aside the simplistic understanding of dialogue as a mere technique. Dialogue does not represent a somewhat false path that I attempt to elaborate on and realize in the sense of involving the ingenuity of the other. On the contrary, dialogue characterizes an epistemological relationship. Thus, in this sense, dialogue is a way of knowing and should never be viewed as a mere tactic to involve students in a particular task. We have to make this point very clear. I engage in dialogue because I recognize the social and not merely the individualistic character of the process of knowing. In this sense, dialogue presents itself as an indispensable component of the process of both learning and knowing"


Janine the Bean said...

Sounds like we need to sit down over coffee and chat all thing pedagogical soon.

It's fun going on this homeschool journey with you and I look forward to the years to come.

We had a little hands-on lesson in earthworms yesterday and I thought of that photo that you have of Max with the earthworm in his hands. That is one of my favorites.

Kellie said...

Wow. This is why I leave the homeschooling up to you. So much time and thought going into your child's education is awesome. Do you think if I ever have kids you could homeschool them for me? I'm certain they wouldn't get near the education from me :)

JPB said...

P.O.T.O is an excellent source for forming one's pedagogical foundations.

I think I'm going to put together a few of my other favorites ...

The Six of Us said...

Yes, Jon. I am reading it at your recommendation. I would like to hear other favorites of yours.