28 October 2008

Teaching Students

I had a paper accepted at ACRL Seattle a few weeks ago. = Very cool. I will be bringing two students from Champlain's Emergent Media Center with me to talk about the process we have gone through in developing our new information literacy game. I have learned so much from these students about our approach to info lit and pedagogy. And I don't mean it in terms of just what's fun. They are tremendously creative and evaluative so they really push me to give session design my full attention. Talking with them often leads to long writing sessions afterwards where I try to put together my thoughts with the ideas we generate.

It's interesting to me how often we use the words "teach our students". For me, I have been fortunate to watch and learn from educators who view working with students as a two way street: we teach and they teach. Perhaps we are more intentional in our teaching but students teach me things all the time. And not just while I answer their reference questions. Just listening to them sort through a problem or respond to questions teaching me a great deal about the ways they use, understand, and relate to information and the library. But more so, they teach me about the world in which we live and how they participate in it. How do they interpret what is taught them at school? Are they learning? How does what they are learning relate to what we are seeing, doing, thinking, wanting? Especially when it comes to info lit, my goal continues to be to create skills that are applicable and injected into students' everyday lives. It's hard to know how to do that without really learning from students what they value, what they do, what they are interested in, what they are learning and wanting to learn.

Sometimes it is hard to create space for that kind of dual learning. Working on this project with Tim and Lauren has created a project dedicated to that kind of learning. We are collaborating, teaching one another, bringing our own strengths and vision to the table.

But what about when I'm not working on the proposal? When do I create spaces for that kind of teaching and learning? Where do I do it? Where do you?


Danah S. said...

Hi I am a student at Malone University in Ohio. I think you are completely right about the teachers teaching and students teaching us. I think its amazing to see how they think and try to comprehend and the best thing in the world is to help them understand the topic. While I am still in college I cannot really help you with your questions except for using upper level Bloom thinking helps the students dive even deeper into learning. Good luck!!!

david silver said...

great post!

i agree with everything you say here and bet tim and lauren have had an excellent learning experience working with you (and, soon, presenting a paper at a national conference!). in addition to students teaching faculty and librarians, there's my favorite: students teaching students.

i try my best to create learning spaces in my classroom and in the library.

excellent news, sheck, about your ACRL paper being accepted - yet another reason i'll make sure to be at ACRL!