Learning to teach is like a religious conversion?

I’m reading Rob Bell’s “Velvet Elvis” for a third or fourth time. As he’s explaining his trampoline metaphor in which the doctrines of faith are flexible & necessary, but not the point (as opposed to a brick wall in which one doctrine, or brick, can bring it all down), I found myself thinking about my experiences learning to teach & the experiences of the preservice teachers with which I work. 

In one section, Bell notes that joining a religion is too often about knowing the right things. These pieces of knowledge are used to construct your wall. Yet, we can know/say all the right things with little impact on our hearts. However, in his trampoline model, the point is to jump. To jump into the unknown. To live. 

So, as new teachers develop, I wonder if we give them bricks (in the form of templates & must do strategies) instead of springs. I wonder if we try to keep them behind the wall instead of encouraging them to jump. 

What does it look like to encourage a new (or a veteran teacher) teacher to jump? What do they need to know about the springs in order to jump? 

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2 Responses to Learning to teach is like a religious conversion?

  1. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist says:

    This reminds me of trying to get students to understand physics “from their gut” instead of just as a collection of problem solving strategies to choose from. In physics teaching we do things like project-based learning (one long project where they and we don’t know what’ll happen) and I imagine in teacher prep curriculum things like student teaching does the same thing. Are you saying that it’s not enough, or that there are other things you’d like to do (or something else)? #NaBloCoMo


    • jerridkruse says:

      I think it’s about changing their heart rather than giving them the right tools. Like we want to change physics students intuition, I want the teachers’ intuitions to change. They must change because so much if teaching is reacting rather than planning. If your intuition is off, you can’t pull off even a well planned lesson.

      I don’t think giving them knowledge bricks is the way to help develop intuition. If we helped them develop knowledge springs, & highlighted the flexibility & need to bend, then we might be developing people who problem solve rather than people who look for “the” answer.


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