Sunday, 26 February 2012

Week 7: Learner Autonomy and the One-computer Classroom

Learner Autonomy

I read Thanasoulas and Sheu's article on the topic. I found Sheu's article enlightening and pushing me to reflect small scale and large scale of the education system. He made me ponder. I wonder if maturity of our students have to do with the fact it is easy for them to be autonomous? Or is it only the way they are taught at school is what is stealing away their autonomy? Is it the school system? Is it the teacher's fault? Or are we teachers just in unconsciously repeating what we were taught or do what is expected from us?

I also like the concept that learner autonomy does not mean that it will become a teacher less class. Reading the articles suggested made me question myself and analyze from where should I start encouraging my students to be autonomous. Also how can I fight an educational system that is so authoritarian? Or maybe how to deal with teachers that want to have everything served (have the materials to be used in class all selected for them)?
I think these mental structures (from authorities or policy makers and comfortable teachers) are a product of instinctive way to have things predictable or to have control. To be honest, it is the way all of us were used to be taught. So how can we teach our students to be autonomous if us teachers find it hard to be autonomous?
I think we should be taught again how to be teachers. And this course is a way to push us towards that.

I really liked Samuel P-H Sheu's approach to the dilemma of authoritarian curriculum. He shares good strategies that I have applied myself in class. It had great results! My personal favorite to work on extensive reading and listening homework, which can be evaluated in process or at the end of the term. The fact that it has to do points will motivate students to do good. So 2 types of motivation are activated:intrinsic (because they read and watch what they like and share about it with others orally or written) and extrinsic motivation (because it has points for class).

Another complimentary webpage in Education World . Have a look at it for more ideas on the matter. I really liked the ideas in this one.

One- computer classroom

I do not have this kind of classroom, although I dream about it.