Friday, May 18, 2012

Blog Post 1 (for real this time)

After reading through the readings this week I was particularly drawn to the Kelly reading as it attempted to, essentially, deconstruct the role of the teacher in facilitating classroom discussion. Now, there is plenty of discussion and debate about how a teacher should act or present him or herself during a classroom discussion, but I especially appreciated the critique of the four "positions" that are popular or typically used by teachers. In probably a lot of words and using extremely precise language Kelly really went deep into the thinking and logic of these positions while exposing the flaws that make, what otherwise might sound like a great position to take, almost indefensible.

To be precise I was captivated by the last section where Kelly espouses his "Paradox without Contradiction" and preferred position that he terms committed impartiality. Now, it's easy to see why, at a glance, it's difficult to think about being committed to a position would go against the need to remain impartial, but I think Kelly's argument is extremely sound and well though out. He supposes that teachers, earnest in their belief yet willing to openly discuss different view points, are in fact essentially role modelling good discussion behavior to his or her students. I find this position, not only something I have never really thought about, but actually extremely clever in a way as it allows the teacher to embody everything that a good discussion should be about, openness and free-discussion, to the students while not hiding things from the students just because the teacher might have some overpowering influence over the opinions of his or her students. The teacher acts like a student by bearing their true opinions, though in a way that isn't intended to convince, deceive, or directly attack others.

The paper was a fun read. I've never seen someone take so much issue with the idea of neutrality and how it's probably not really all that neutral.

1 comment:

  1. I am so looking forward to your Julena blog. Aside from this, I enjoyed your take on the Kelly article. You really get right to the heart of his argument about how and what we should really be modeling. Nicely written!