Understanding 1: Teaching From Within is Learning From Within

The teaching / learning dynamic isn’t unidirectional. The most powerful role a teacher can play is that of learner; likewise the most engaged role a learner can play is that of teacher. Learning and teaching are flip-sidesof the same coin.

“To be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. I am not a teacher, only a fellow student.” –Soren Kierkegaard

  1. Getting the News From Within by Parker Palmer
  2. Video: Parker Palmer on Inner Authority / Music Video for Playdough Boy


by Rumi

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

2 Responses to “Understanding 1: Teaching From Within is Learning From Within”

  1. Nancy Rohrbach April 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm Permalink

    This really speaks to me as a teacher. My greatest teacher (without a teaching degree) was my grandfather. He was a life long learner, constantly looking for knowledge. This Fountain sprang forth from him with every visit I shared with him.

  2. Dodie Schlueter July 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm Permalink

    My link: https://www.verywell.com/what-is-intrinsic-motivation-2795385

    In the book by Bob Sullo, as well as the reading I did on the above link, it is stressed that more is learned and the desire to learn is increased when learning is intrinsically motivated versus using extrinsic motivation. It was even discussed that when students were learning something they enjoyed and were intrinsically motivated by, and were then given extrinsic rewards/motivations, the enjoyment and desire decreased. Though extrinsic motivation or reward systems are intended to motivate students, it often has a counterproductive or opposite result. The material I read taken from “Making Learning Fun: A Taxonomy of Intrinsic Motivations for Learning” by Thomas Malone and Mark Leeper, emphasized five key points to consider while attempting to encourage intrinsic learning. 1. Challenge…Students like learning to be applicable and meaningful to them, and this aides in more positive student self esteem. Give students choices. 2. Curiosity…Students like to learn about things that interest them; makes them hungry for more. I believe inquiry-based learning has a place in this point. 3. Control…Students want to feel like they have some control in their learning; in what they learn about, how they learn about it, the medium they use, the way they demonstrate their learning, etc. Again, CHOICES. 4. Cooperation and Competition…When working collaboratively and cooperatively with others, students can discover that helping others is a reward in itself, and that motivates them. Many sources over the years have told educators to minimize and/or eliminate competition in the classroom, but this article points out that some students are motivated by gaining positive feedback while their performance is compared to others. I would use this point of motivation carefully. As an educator is difficult to fully know what each student perceives as a favorable comparison to another student. I would advise caution when using competition as a motivator, although I have seen its effectiveness in certain circumstances. 5. Recognition…A number of students are motivated within simply because they desire the recognition of their accomplishments by others. I believe this one also needs to be used with caution. What one student may see as a positive recognition, another may see as embarrassing. Also, educators need to be aware of how this recognition is accomplished; this could easily be transformed into an extrinsic reward if the recognition involves a tangible reward such as a trophy, coupon, treat, or other type of extrinsic reward. Praise, mainly verbal, is all that would be necessary.

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