Education | Examining Self As Teacher
F200 | 5434 | Ofer Levy
Welcome to F 200.
During the next 14 weeks we'll meet here, in room 1004, to ask
questions about ourselves as human beings, as colleagues, as learners
and as teachers.
"F 200" is only a bureaucratic symbol. It means that after filling out
all kinds of forms about attendance, fulfilling requirements,
assessment of performance etc, I'll assign each of you a letter grade
that you might need in the future. But the real F 200 - the atmosphere
in room 1004, how we treat each other, what we learn from each other,
what we can take from here and use later on, how we develop as
learners and teachers, all this is for us to build. For us, not for
me. To make our meetings lively, interesting and worthwhile I'll need
your help. I'll need your curiosity, your keen interest and enthusiasm
about what you choose to learn, your support of each other, and your
contribution to the newborn family of F 200 section 5434.
To make these things happen, I promise you the following:
1.I'll do my best to make all of us work hard and seriously.
2.I'll do my best to allow you to learn and focus on what you find
most interesting and valuable for you.
3.I will not give you any exams or quizzes.
4.I'll not ask you to memorize anything.
5.I'll do my best to establish a good, friendly atmosphere among us.
6.I'll respect you and your work.
Main assumptions -
1.People learn (and teach) best what they find relevant and
interesting for them.
2.Experience is central for learning.
3.To be a good teacher, one has to be a good self-learner.
4.Everyone can improve his or her self-learning ability, and, to some
extent, his or her teaching ability.
5.Most of us work better when we collaborate with others.
6.Writing is essential for organizing information and ideas, and
inevitable for good teaching.
7.Visual models that represent actual thinking and understanding can
be very helpful in organizing and sharing one's thinking with others.
1.I'll offer you some tools and techniques that could make you better
learners (not only in this course, but in whatever you learn).
2.I'll ask you to write abstracts for the reading material and either
hand it to me, or present the main issues in class.
3.I'll ask you to learn seriously and deeply a subject you choose, and
share what you learned with us (actually teach the rest of us).
4.I'll ask that you write (and have me look at) a structured lesson
plan for what you choose to teach us.
5.I'll ask that you build a Visual Model that will represent your
thinking and understanding of your subject.
6.I'll ask that you learn your subject, design your teaching plan and
strategy and teach sometimes by your own, and sometimes in pairs.
"Whatever I'll ask you to do, I'll do myself first, have you observe,
discuss and ask questions.
"The main resource for our F 200 is us, the group. We'll use each
other to get information and ideas, to get support, empathy and
feedback. Each of us is expected to contribute something to the group.
A tentative list of subjects for your teaching sessions -
1.What is teaching?
2.Different ways of presenting a subject.
3.Different teaching styles.
4.Socrates' philosophy of education.
5.Thinking-Hats in the class.
6.Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences
7.John Holt's view of teaching.
8.Genuine vs. fragile understanding.
11.Techniques for writing an Abstract.
12.Different types of Definitions.
13.Good vs. bad Arguments.
As a textbook I chose Merrill Harmin & Tom Gregory's book: "Teaching
It was published in 1974 and is currently out of print. I got
permission to copy it for us and added to the reading package the
1.Two chapters from James Wm. Noll, Taking Sides, clashing views on
controversial educational issues"
2.The final chapter from John Holt's How children fail
3.A few pages from Plato's Theaetetus,
4.Three poems from Kahlil Gibran's The prophet (Self knowledge,
Teaching and Talking).
5.Some quotes from Rumi's "The Glance"
(We will discuss them in our meetings).
Evaluation and Grades -
1.Attendance (10%) - you lose 2% for each absence; if you miss more
than 5 meetings, you cannot pass the course.
2.Preparation for class (40%) - written concise abstracts of assigned
reading; written critical evaluation of the reading; presenting
selected issues in class.
3.First Teaching Session (20%) - including abstracts, well structured
lesson plan, visual model, reflection and conclusions.
4.Second Teaching Session (20%) - same as First Teaching Session.
5.Group Grade (10%) - how supportive the group was: did you
contribute information and ideas to each other; were you listening
empathically, were you cooperative during teaching sessions, did you
provide effective feedback?
When needed, we might make changes in this syllabus and discuss them