Am I crazy or just over-reacting?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Am I crazy or just over-reacting?
3
Tue, 09-07-2004 - 7:19pm

I just had three classes of undergrad education majors today. The topic was engaged learning. I asked them what lesson they really remembered, why it was so meaningful to them, and I asked them to work together to make a list of characteristics that made the lesson appealing and engaging. More then 3/4 of the students just sat there and did little to participate or work with their group.

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Wed, 09-08-2004 - 6:16pm
Sounds like fear of being wrong to me.

Adults need to be taught these behaviors as much as children do, imho. I have several friends who give teacher workshops who beg me to come once in a while to be a plant on how to interact in these groups.

That being said, I do much better with these type of assignments in journal format rather than discussion format. If I can do a little writing and reflect in my writing all the things you want me to discuss in the group I learn just as much. And, if I then need to participate in a group my own thinking is much clearer, I'm ready to listen because I know what I think, and I can more easily compare my perspective with someone elses perspective.

I'm sure you don't do this but I was tortured throughout training with cooperative learning groups. You learn quickly that one person will from desire or default "rise to the top" and become the public persona for the group. That person or another will essentially become the work horse for the group and the rest can kick back and get a grade for doing little to nothing.

By time my training was half over I was insisting on alternative assignments. I wasn't willing to hand over my learning and grades to a group I couldn't count on. I never did experience a good working group.

Maybe your students are suffering from post-cooperative learning group traumas and aren't willing to be the spokesperson and/or workhorse.

Just a couple thoughts,

Lori.....bless you for the job you do!

Avatar for foxinsox1
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-10-2004 - 1:36am
How tragic....but, it sort of falls into place...teachers make the worst students, but for you maybe you can turn it into a teaching moment. Talk about your own experiences in a narrative form and talk about an important component to teaching involves motivation. Say you have this student...or a whole class that seems disinterested and unwilling to participate...brainstorm...how exactly could you go about motivating them? Also, is participation part of their grade? I think I'd stress that as well. It's unfortunate that there is even apathy at that level. You'd think once they reached this level of education and are paying for it that they'd show some responsibility. And if worse comes to worse...be a tyrant and collect work from them every single day...give pop quizzes and keep them on their toes. I was always more awake and participated when I knew there were consequences.

There are so many things involved with our job that any opportunity you can use the classroom to illustrate that I think would be valuable.

Good luck!

D

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Sun, 09-12-2004 - 1:12pm

I guess it was just surprising to me that , considering there was no wrong answer, they could not state why they wanted to teach. If they are afraid of speaking before a group, they're on the wrong career path.

Sherry