So this weeks’ chapter is about the students’ resistance to learning. Once again I like Brookfield’s approach to this topic.
The idea of a student resisting to learn something was a really new concept for me. I have had times in my courses where my students seemed to “zone out”, but most of my students actively participate in my courses as they are optional, or hobby courses.
As noted by Brookfield, as a teacher we assume that we have to draw everyone into our lessons, and if someone is not engaged, it is our fault. It was interesting to learn that students have different learning styles that could clash with my teaching style. I had never thought of that. Of that in my attempt to draw everyone in, I may be alienating, or losing other students’ interest in the process.
One idea that struck a chord with me is the fear of the unknown. I recognize this in myself. As an advanced sailing educator I find that people assume that I know everything. Well that is just plain ridiculous! Like everyone else, I know my stuff, but there is always something new to learn. Also, I may know my Sail Canada curriculum well, but that does not mean that I know everything surrounding that particular subject.
So, as a student myself, sometimes I have a fear of failure when learning something new. I have extra pressure on myself to learn the subject quickly and explicitly. This sometimes translates into feeling overwhelmed or disengaged from the course. I also find that my time is precious and if a course I have signed up for is not moving at the pace I like, I disengage. Something for me to be aware of when taking a course from fellow colleagues! Putting myself in the learner’s shoes is really helpful.
Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher on Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.