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Monday, June 03, 2013

Students teaching students by Darren ‘Mike’ McGuire

Photo: eSchool News
Darren ‘Mike’ McGuire a fifth grade teacher at Granby Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio writes, "Learning should be centered on the student, not the teacher". 

American philosopher, psychologist, and educational crusader John Dewey often wrote about education reform, and although he died in 1952, several recurrent themes in his writings have special significance for modern teachers.

Dewey continually argued that education and learning were social and interactive processes. He also believed that students thrive in an environment where they are allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum and that all students should have the opportunity to take part in their own learning.

My beliefs as an educator mirror those of Mr. Dewey’s: Learning should be centered on the student, not the teacher. And isn’t that really what flipped learning is all about? It’s about compelling teachers like me to reflect on our practice and rethink how we reach our students. It’s about encouraging students to set the pace so that truly individualized instruction takes place. It’s about stirring teachers and students alike to change the way they’ve always done things.

As a teacher at Granby Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, I orchestrated a more interactive style of instruction, including my own version of reversed teaching methodology—or “flipped instruction”—in which students taught students.

Technology fascinates my students, but I have to make sure that the lessons I create are also genuinely interesting, so they’ll want to become engaged whether I’m teaching language arts, math, or science. Using the interactive whiteboard, for example, forces me to ask myself: What would be the best way to teach this lesson? How can I get the students involved? I’m constantly thinking through these teaching aspects ahead of time.

For example, when teaching line plotting in math class, I had students come up and create a pictogram using football helmet images from the software’s gallery as the dots. The graphics were far and away more interesting than actual dots on a line, and it made learning math more fun. The interactive whiteboard fits well with this curriculum, and it opens the students’ minds to recognizing different ways to solve the same problems.

Related link
MimioClassroom transforms a teacher and his students

Source: eSchool News - (@eschoolnews