June 01, 2009

Who has the power in your classroom?

"It is hard to believe that my first steps given in teaching would be as power-shared as the ones on the class observed, I am afraid I lack self-confidence to deal with classroom management if I resign to the monopoly of decision-making. However, when teaching, besides linguistic and affective objectives, the one of learning how to let go some of the power is one of my personal objectives as teacher, specially in teens’ courses. Hopefully, after several observations I will be better prepare to assume the challenge that this represents for my career."

Come an have a look at my second experience observing a high school lesson... ENJOY IT!

Observation 2 - 3rd year - Colegio C. - Methods2 - 2009


  1. Hello Dear! I really liked your work! I think it's great that you observe classes taking into account all kinds of points of view and I liked this one in particular. You lnow? When I was coursing the introductory course for my studies, we read one text written by a cordovan sociologist about the growing tendency on students to abandon studies or to evade knowledge during the courses. No one liked this text very much, this man writes in a very complicated way, but I thought it was really interesting that we met with such a reflexion even befor beginning with our formal studies and I related it with the matter on Who has the power in the classroom, it's easy for students to put the power in the teacher, that way they lack of commitment with knowledge becuase its something that belongs to the teacher and that makes studies so much easier. Now a days students don't tend to go deeper than what the teacher suggests and avoid all kinds of responsability, that way they grow up not knowing how to make a good critic about something because they never had their own arguments. I think that sad story is a direct consecuence of the situation in the classroom, in which the teacher stands in front with the truth in his/her mouth and the students listen, take notes, sit for exams and thats it.This sociologist, whose name I can't remember but promise I look it up and tell you, said that teacher's aim should be to reach an "a-didactic" situation, such as the one Plato once used, in which the knowledge was built between the teacher and the students, by asking and answering questions, by making judgements, etc.
    Ok, I have to go on with my studying, lol, but thats my humble contribution to this excellent place for teacher to be to reflect.

    Your little cousin, lol

  2. Hi once again, Yoha!

    Let me start by saying I've definitely enjoyed going over your report (and Dido's enriching comments as well!). Must have taken you long to write it!

    Now I'd like to add my own views on the issue: I believe we can only have as much power over others as they agree to let us have (remember Savater and his "hammering" about choices?). And that educators have a moral responsibility to empower learners and help human beings learn to use the power they have by right responsibly (to benefit themselves and others). Students who never get a chance to "take control" eventually become either submissive or violent (as they react to long periods of repression).As both of us are in Argentina, I'd say no more words need to be added... Just looking over the last 50 years of our history could give us so much more food for thought!

    Having said this, the teacher is also a human being and needs to have their own "piece of power" respected. An "anarchic" class, in which the teacher had no power at all would not do any good (educationally speaking, I mean) to either of the parties involved. Unless you were thinking of "teaching for anarchy", a possibility I've never considered yet! :-P!


  3. Hello Gladys, hello Yoha, the sociologist I mentioned is Facundo Ortega and the article "Docencia y evasión del conocimiento" I think its in the internet... kisses!