September 29, 2011

Throwing Stones...

The day after getting totally riled up by Sal Khan  I feel frustrated with myself. I find that what I am doing in my IB classes looks more and more like lecturing. Why is this happening?

A little background: For my own organization I write up notes and post them on a website, I began doing this years ago in physics and got more intent on publishing my notes at the request of another teacher. A request that came in via email...

The other day I assigned some reading from my site. I did this simply because I couldn't figure out how to convene the information in a student-centered way. Judging from their understanding it seemed to work or at least no worse than if I had lectured. Judging from Google Analytics they spent about 13 minutes reading, which is considerably less time than if I'd tried to lecture.

I can make excuses; I am teaching 4 new classes at a new school in a new country, I can't seem to get a grasp on what my students understand or the class dynamics of having 5 students makes discussions almost impossible. This last excuse bothers me the most as it is a result of my school's desire to "track" students in math. But in the end my IB classrooms are not the dynamic interactive classrooms that I used to have or want to have.

On the flip-side. If having my students read was (relatively) successful does that mean that reading is a good option? If I can't, for whatever reason, find a better way to expose students to material than to lecture is reading then good teaching practice? 

So if I start to use this tool more and more then how different am I from Sal Khan? 

Sometimes I feel like I'm throwing stones in my own glass house. 

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