Well… do you ?
I actually do and I’m giving a talk on it for #RSCON3 next month, so I’d love to have your thoughts after reading this post (which will help me brainstorm in a multi-perspective manner) !
I share my values, but do so without preachin ‘em.
I ask questions and wait. I challenge their views without giving my own— always more Qs.
Call it the “hmm… devil’s advocate approach w/o an ounce o’ emotion” for which I’d thank my FAVORITE sociology professor, Ken (i forget his last name !)
Ken taught S340, Social Interaction and it was an amazing class. It was one fascinating group discussion after another, and every now and again, a student tried to pin down what the professor thought, but alas… Ken was there to challenge us… and not to give his own opinions.
Every final class, I ask my students these questions:
Where did the clothes you’re wearing come from ?
What did you eat for breakfast ?
How did you get to class today ?
With each of these answers comes a certain diversity, but each answer is further explored.
My Polo shirt came from a such and such store.
…but where was it made ?
In a factory
Where ? How many people do you think work there ?
Somewhere in China probably… thousands
What about the cotton and the dies to make each shirt ?
From the farmer…
Do you think he picked it by hand ?
No way ! He uses a tractor
Where does the tractor come from ?
It’s endless and the students catch on REALLY fast without my ever “pinpointing my message”, which is of course that —- we are all inter-connected, and every element in our modern globalized life has been touched by thousands, if not millions of hands.
I also like to push the biological limits of “me” and “you” with other “silly” questions:
So, are you the milk you drank this AM ?
Am I the skin that I’m now shaking onto the floor (rub arm vigorously)
Are you the air you breathe ?
EXHALE DEEPLY… so are you breathing me ?
Where do I start and you stop ?
I’m a hippy and I love to share that philosophical “epiphany of interconnectedness”. Sometimes it explodes, sometimes it flowers only a little… sometimes they can feel I’m trying to get something out of them, but for me… I feel the need to share what I think is a rationally evident fact, though culturally forgotten.
It’s one of the most amazing gifts of a teacher— to affect learning… to share a bit of yourself ? Is it not, or am I being selfish and pushy with my world views… hmmm…
Dear reader… what do you think ?
Do you share this way in class ?
Do you feel it has a place in ELT ?
Look forward to hearing from you. ;-) Cheers, Brad