Reflection: How Do Children Understand Themselves As Learners
The article was a very interesting read and touched on many topics that are routinely ignored.
The author wanted to explore how children see and relate to their learning experiences. She found out that for students, it's not merely if they are interested in a subject or not, or whether the content they are studying is relevant, something that all previous and even ongoing educational reform attempts are focused on. But rather, for them, learning is really all about who they are learning it from. If they feel accepted, empowered and cared for by a teacher who knows what he''s doing, they will be more willing to pay attention, try their best and feel engaged, thus resulting in better performance and fuller understanding.
"Bion suggests that learning and thinking can only take place when the links between ideas and people can be tolerated. This is borne out in the data where ‘knowledge about’ – curriculum content knowledge – was only acceptable when it was offered intimately bound to the K relationships in the classroom; the emotional connections to, and work with, teachers and peers. When curriculum content knowledge was presented alongside a denial of that interconnectedness (in a –K relationship), it was reduced to unsatisfying, disconnected
We can see that in the students' interviews, where in Steve''s case, a K relationship was exhibited. Mutual respect and connectedness existed because the students felt that Steve listened to them, respected them, knew what they needed and was an "expert". But in Rachael's case, a -K relationship existed because Rachael failed to invest in an engaged relationship with the children and chose to focus on content, standards and professionalism, thus delivering a cold lesson every time, leaving the children feeling isolated, left behind and not liked.
I can see how putting on a mask of inferiority and superiority where your control is...