Posts tagged expert
A couple days ago, iTunes roused itself out of its torpor and suddenly downloaded a podcast episode from Merlin Mann at 43 Folders, that he posted several months ago. Maybe iTunes knows more about my head than I do, because Merlin caught me right where I am right now, thinking about how we learn and how we do…
Take a minute (well, more like 45 minutes) and at least listen to the podcast, if you don’t actually watch the video. It’s worth it. It’s thought-provoking. And it addresses some real issues in professional development and in teaching and learning.
Merlin’s core idea, throughout, is that the situation of the knowledge worker is to be constantly figuring out not just how to do their job, but what role they’re taking on to do that job — “who am I today?” And he takes on the idea that we’re all advanced beginners, suggesting that, in fact, expertise is real and attainable and hard to quantify. And that the difference between an expert and a master is the ability to articulate your expertise to learners.
There are so many ways that this is both scary and inspirational from a teaching and learning perspective, both in the classroom and working with my colleagues on professional development. So many, in fact, that I’m going to need to come back to this in a few days to really unpack what I’m thinking.
But go watch the video.
I’ve been working and reworking this idea, and would rather get it out there short and sweet than turn it into an epic:
The hardest thing that I am doing right now as a teacher is to try to be less authoritative and expert in my own classroom. This springs from the realization last year that, as it is my inclination to answer questions as they are posed to me, projects that I have structured for my students to do their own learning are sabotaged by my answers. If it’s easy to ask me a question and get a (decently accurate) answer, my students have no incentive to work out their own answers.
With my change in schools, I suspect that I am also experiencing a shift in student culture, so this may be a moot goal in another month…