Lisa Lane has written a blog post – The Guiding Force – that has captured my interest. In her post, she asks us to identify our ‘guiding forces’ in planning our work as teachers – or as she calls them – instructors. (As an aside, I find the use of language here an interesting cultural (?) difference – I assume it is a cultural difference – because I interpret ‘instruct ‘differently to ‘teach’).
For me my guiding forces (as they stand now – but this has not always been the case) are informed by my involvement with MOOCs and connectivism. I cannot think of better guiding forces than autonomy, diversity, openness and connectedness – the four principles of learning in Moocs (described by Stephen Downes ) – with for me an emphasis on autonomy. If we understand what we mean by autonomy (which Carmen Tschofen and I have discussed as ‘psychological autonomy’ – autonomy as an expression of the self – in a paper we have had accepted by IRRODL – but not yet published), then diversity, openness and connectedness all fall into place.
I think assessment would also fall into place – because it would mean that the control of assessment would be in the hands of the autonomous learners – but as yet I can’t see clearly how this would work – other than it would need to be negotiated. So, if autonomy is the ‘guiding force’ and part of that autonomy is that students want their efforts to be validated and accredited – then students will need to have much more control over their assessment. But where does this leave ‘the expert’ and will students have the skills to take control of their assessment?
I think Lisa’s question about guiding principles, highlights the changing role of the ‘teacher’, ‘educator’ ‘instructor’ in relation to their students. Lots to think about in this – thanks Lisa :-)