The line between no and know
Posted March 28, 2015on:
This reflection was prompted by the #asiaED slow Twitter chat on SAMR.
The tweet was my response to a question posted on Twitter by the #asiaED moderator of the day. The original question was posted a day earlier than it was supposed to, so it may have been taken down. The question was whether the SAMR model could fit teaching, if at all.
As a teacher educator, I first analyze what teachers say, ask, or create for signs of their underlying philosophies or mindsets, and seek to address them. If I did anything else, like provide feedback, I might deal with a symptom but ignore the root issue.
Hence my question on the utility of SAMR.
If teachers are aware of the SAMR model, do they know how to use it as it was designed? If they choose to modify it, are they doing so for the right reasons or with a similar level of understanding it took to construct the model?
Are they aware of their own biases (what drives them or holds them back) and ignorance (what they do not know) so that they can use SAMR effectively?
There is a thin line between saying “no” to new way of thinking and knowing what that thinking entails.
It boils down to the curiosity and humility of each teacher to examine what they build their practice on. If a teacher cannot quickly and convincingly reply WHY they choose to do something a certain way, they have lost touch with their foundations.
They must get back to their foundations if they are to learn, change, or improve. To do that, they must be open to how theory influences practice (praxis).
Far too many are closed to such a mindset. Far too many teach in autopilot mode.
For example, teachers might pick up “best” practices from their colleagues about setting tests. When challenged to design assessment of learning, assessment for learning, or assessment as learning, they are likely to struggle. They might even fight against the theory in favour of “what works” or “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. They are refusing to be assessment literate.
It takes great humility to say “I do not know” because teachers are supposed to know. Imagine the challenge of getting teachers to unlearn that and relearn how to be co-learners.
There is a clear line between “no” and being in the “know”. Which side are you on? What will it take to help you jump to know?