Pandaji's Blog

Art, research, education

Profile 2. Teaching and supporting student learning, May 2010

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“I never teach my students; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge…”

—Albert Einstein

US (German-born) physicist (1879-1955)

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I never teach my students, but creating the conditions for learning is also a major part of my job. (See 4. below.) I try to encourage peer assisted learning (PAL) amongst the students. In accordance with Phil Races’ presentation called Ripple (2004) “consolidating what they have learned by putting them into a position of helping others“ gives students increased self-esteem and confidence in themselves as well as in their ceramic skills.

As Brookfield (1995) points out, “A teacher who encourages peer learning shows how important it is to trust other students.” My action research proposal starts to investigate the potential for formalising peer-assisted learning by using a chart designed to help students identify who have particular ceramic skills amongst them.

These students need to have the confidence to sign up under a particular skill, thus agreeing to help others who will then seek them out for help with a specific skill or technique. I try to make sure that I then follow up with both students concerned to ensure both parties are satisfied they can trust each other.

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Author: pandaji

Ceramic artist, educator

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