It is now the day after our induction for cohort 2. It was indeed a full day and a very long one. It felt much longer than last time despite the fact that we have actually cut bits out. We need to do less. Yes, less is more and a lot of the stuff that we went through could be done through self-study and online activities. But then again you will have some people participating and others not. How will we be able to engage everybody from the very beginning and how can we create the so vital learning community?
Some people couldn’t make it, others arrived later and others left before we finished. It is a busy time of the year for everybody and I think this influenced yesterday as well. The levels of participation were good and I could sense some thinking and deeper engagement already but I also felt that some were just not there 100%. This is hard. Hard for us but also hard for the participants, or students how I like to call our participants. Some of the activities were not understood fully. Some didn’t see any purpose in these.
Especially the heart activity was almost a disaster. I have used this activity before, a few times, but I never experienced what happened yesterday. This was really interesting and I try to understand what people didn’t understand about the activity. The idea behind it was to introduce reflection as something that we are doing already in our everyday life by asking participants to open their heart and
– share an episode (and everybody was given a red-paper heart to capture their thoughts), something very good or bad that happened to them.
– They were then asked to move away from the actual event and think about the why it happened,
– then how what happened made them feel and
– what they would do differently if they would experience something similar in the future.
Isn’t this what we do on a day-to-day basis? Do I assume that what everybody is doing? Maybe we are not all reflecting. Maybe we don’t really know what it is. Maybe the instructions were not clear enough. But I wanted it to be something more organic and it didn’t really work well at all. I have to rethink my approach.
Teaching and learning and emotions? Some I think were surprised with this combination. Should education be something de-emotionalised? We all have emotions when we care about something, about somebody. Should we not care about our students or do we have a responsibility to care? Something to think about and I intend to come back and look at this a bit closer to explore if emotions and feelings don’t really have a place in education or if they are indeed a vital ingredient of teaching and learning.
We are currently thinking of shortening the induction up to lunch. I would like everybody to leave on a high and not on a low. I was thinking why was it yesterday so different. But whatever the reasons it showed again that each teaching and learning situation is unique and what might work in one won’t necessarily be good in another case. This is the big challenge, isn’t it? We need to be flexible, listen to what our students say. Also, it is very important to read the body language and some of the signs I was getting were that people were tired…
I will stop here for now. I will be back with regular reflections, this is my decision… if you were wondering.
Any comments would be very welcome. Yes, I am encouraging a dialogue about my thoughts and our joined journey on this module. Speak again soon.