[SLED] RE: Multi-tasking vs specific skills

K.Becker becker at minkhollow.ca
Sun Jan 28 16:38:58 PST 2007

Peter Reilly wrote:
> Thanks Katrin;
> Would the situation improve if  the teacher took 100% accountability 
> for engaging students?  
> Pete
I don't think that kind of accountability is ours to take. I'm convinced 
that increasing our own sense of accountability helps but I am equally 
convinced you will not be able to keep the attention of all of the 
students all of the time - no matter how good you are. I bet even Martin 
Luther King Jr. had people drifting off sometimes.

I've been teaching at university a long time and have taught classes 
that range in size from 5 to 250. I've taught freshmen, grad students 
and all the ones in between. I was a university student as a young 
person and again as an 'old' one. There's a difference there too. 

Someone recently asked me facetiously if, as a student, I expected my 
professors to entertain me. This was after telling me they thought kids 
should go to school to LEARN, not to have fun. This person is a teacher. 
My answer was YES. That comes with a proviso though: if that is ALL they 
did, I would feel very cheated.

Each party to this 'dance' - professor/teacher and student must do their 
part. A skilled teacher can help to bring more students into it than an 
unskilled or uncaring one, but if the student is not willing to meet you 
part way, there is little you can do.

Katrin Becker   
Ph.D. (ABD), Educational Technology;
University of Calgary (Alberta,Canada);   
E-mail: becker at minkhollow.ca;   
HomePage: http://www.minkhollow.ca/KB

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