18.263 teaching and learning (speaking & writing)

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 08:07:59 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 263.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2004 08:01:35 +0100
         From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli_at_indiana.edu>
         Subject: Philosophies of Teaching and Learning (was: speaking &

Bob Este at Calgary posted a thoughtful examination of issues of teaching
and learning styles. His post connected with issues I constantly think
about this semester. Here are some clearly biased reflections on related

As a French-speaking Quebecker teaching in the American MidWest, I need to
be acutely aware of cultural differences in not only teaching and learning
styles but also basic teaching and learning philosophies. For instance, in
terms of broad format, lecturing and group work seem to have different
values in those two contexts: long interactive lectures seem more prominent
in Quebec while in-class group work seem more prominent in Indiana. In
turn, these formats relate to student and instructor responsibilities. In
one context, students are expected to use a variety of their own learning
strategies with regards to one specific teaching strategy (interactive
lecture) while in the other, the instructor is expected to use a variety of
teaching strategies so that students are led to use a variety of learning
strategies. Ultimately, these points relate to the very definition of the
concept of learning. Important questions on this topic include: Should all
students learn the same thing? Do they need to know specific aspects of the
material or should they understand broad issues of the class? Is the
classroom the main location for learning? Are instructors responsible for
their students' learning?
Obviously, the broad philosophies behind these differences "work" equally
well in their given contexts. Because one person's behaviour is probably
easier to change than several people's implicit ideas, what might be most
important here is for instructors to connect to their learners' expectations.
But even this type of adaptation might not be so easy.

Alex Enkerli, Teaching Fellow, Visiting Lecturer
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Indiana University South Bend, DW
1700 Mishawaka Ave., South Bend, IN 46634-7111
Office: (574)520-4102
Fax: (574)520-5031 (to: Enkerli, Anthropology)
Received on Tue Oct 05 2004 - 03:20:20 EDT

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