Creatively: A Symbiotic Process
by Elizabeth Adams & Halima Brewer
from the Teacher Development MG newsletter, Summer 2001. The
article is a write-up of a paper given at the 2000 IATEFL
SIG Symposium in Madrid
teaching as something much more than the transmission of a
body of knowledge reveals teaching and learning as a process
which bounces back and forth between teachers and learners.
Feedback is crucial, however it is come by, and acting on
that feedback helps to make the process a symbiotic, two-way
one. By responding to what goes on in the classroom, by noticing
students' responses, by collecting feedback in any ways that
we can, the experience of teachers and learners is enriched
by the ongoing process of teaching and learning.
Workshop formats are interesting because they allow participants
and presenters alike to try out, to actively participate,
to think, to discuss, and to reflect a little on the ideas
and activities which have been presented. Also, they provide
some feedback for everyone to take away with them.
Metaphors are useful and often surprisingly fruitful for the
light they shed and the new perspectives they can open up
in areas which we sometimes take for granted. We took the
idea of teaching as an art to help focus our thoughts, as
a kind of lens through which to view the teacher and the teaching
process; how we might make it more creative and how it then
becomes a process of learning and personal development for
teachers and learners alike.
is an art, in the sense that teachers like painters, composers,
actresses and dancers, make judgements based largely on qualities
that unfold in the course of the action. The ends they achieve
are often created in the process.' Eisner
qualities unfolding in the course of action are part of what
makes the teaching situation unique and incalculable.'
we think about creative processes in general they seem to
be characterised by certain common elements:
Constraints and flexibility
Skills, techniques, knowledge, experience and judgement
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