Monday, January 03, 2005

Teaching and writing
   Better teachers are active readers

Over on Pedablogue Michael Arnzen discusses the relationship between reading and teaching.

Reading non-fiction can enhance teaching, even in ways we don’t realize. . . They outline a “process,” usually following the steps in chronological order one must take to put something together, or to go from point A to point B, or to simply arrive at some understanding of an abstract idea. Obviously. But the strategies the writers take teach us along the way about teaching. Whether it’s sharing a personal experience as an example, coaching us to do a little exercise in the margins, offering us insider secrets and tricky’s all teaching strategy as much as it is information. . .

A good deal of what I’ve learned about consciously planning a sequence of experiences for learners, I’ve learned from writers. Arnzen also mentions the relationship between teaching and writing, suggesting that writing is essential for teachers:

Of course, writing—the active organization of knowledge—really does the work to make such knowledge about the teaching process conscious, and this partially explains why educators must write theses and dissertations. If you can write a book, you can probably teach a course (and not just in the subject of the book itself), though obviously there’s more to teaching than just organizing ideas.

The nexus of being a learner and being a teacher and being a reader and being a writer can be a vital center: trying to organize our minds in response to the riches around and within us.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 01/03 at 07:55 PM
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© 2005 Michael L. Umphrey
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