All posts by Steve Greenlaw

Comment on The sage on the stage by Steve Greenlaw

At the risk of appearing too much of a fanboy, let me relate some of the responses that your sage post prompted in me. I love to hear your wisdom. I learn from it every time. I wish there were (better) fora for experienced teachers to share what they’ve learned with novices. A craftsman or artist doesn’t need scaffolding to create his or her work. They are post-scaffolding. I suspect, though, that novices need a structure to learn how to create. It may not make them a master, but it would help them become journeymen, which is a fine achievement. I know that I needed scaffolding as a new teacher. I wish I’d known about backwards design, learning outcomes and other buzz words back then, but then the only models I had were what my teachers has done, back when I wasn’t paying as much attention. I now use those tools to inform my teaching, but not to limit it. (One of my greatest pleasures was the year I spent thinking about what it was I really wanted my students to get out of my intermediate theory course. The result doesn’t look like a list of learning outcomes–it’s a bit too abstract for that–but it is what I strive to help students achieve.)

A wise mentor once told me that he thought teaching should be learning-centered rather than learner-centered. Yes! And, it should be metacognitive. If I can get my students to think about their learning, and how well they are learning, and what’s limiting their learning, I feel like that’s success.

Comment on Online Class meeting preshow by Steve Greenlaw

When my colleagues and I were thrown into “remote” learning, many all but panicked, asking “How am I going to teach (the way I used to f2f in an online environment. You, by contrast, asked a different question: “How can I use the affordances of online learning to provide what my students need to experience learning in a new environment.” You make the answer look easy, but it requires knowledge of what’s possible online, an open mind, and deep thought about what effective learning requires. Thank you for sharing your insights. Like @cogdog, I might steal some of your ideas. At least, they’ve made me think.

Comment on Faculty and New Media Literacies by Steve Greenlaw

“[O]ne of my ongoing nodes of discontent with the status quo has to do with how, all too often, faculty do not themselves have the knowledge, skills, or dispositions to be members of the participatory cultures supported by the open Web.” This is the same point that grabbed my attention.

We are asking faculty to develop in ways that they haven’t been trained. On top of that, the culture says (by omission) that these are not important to higher education. Right now, all we’ve done is tinkered at the margins. I’m waiting to see a university promote these to the first rank in terms of tenure, promotion and pay raises. This article from today’s Chronicle might be on point:

Comment on Conceptual Frameworks: some thoughts by Steve Greenlaw

I agree with everything you’ve said, Gardner. But to be fair, our students– especially FY students– have a lifetime of experience seeing education the wrong way, so I would emphasize the critical need for the scaffolding you mention. We need to explain what we’re doing and why over and over.

PS, I’m going to email this to my senior seminar, and ask them to think about what *our* conceptual framework is for the class. We’ll discuss it on Monday!