Friday, January 13, 2012

Critical energizing components for teachers.

Understanding where someone has been is important to learning. Creating an environment for people to be encouraged to learn from you is even important. Check out some validated principles for charging an environment for creative learning. 
Long (2002) provides a list of positive characteristics of the kind of teacher necessary to teach for learning, e.g. they are creative, flexible, risk-takers, friendly, learner-centered, have a sense of humor. In addition, a teacher should be able to nurture students, is optimistic, positive, self-confident, enthusiastic and passionate about the subject matter (Long, 2002, p. 39). In sum, an effective teacher is one who is self-aware.
After dealing with the necessary attributes of the teacher, Long promoted six critical elements of a proper teaching context. Teachers seeking to create energizing environments are encouraged by Long to follow these ten critical energizing principles:
 (1) create activity oriented environments;
 (2) provides opportunities for students to exercise control;
 (3) goal are perceived by students as useful/relevant;
 (4) content and goals of the context are at an appropriate level of challenge;
 (5) facilitation of feedback;
 (6) is nonthreatening;
 (7) frequently uses humor and other anxiety-releasing activities;
 (8) prior abilities/knowledge are applied;
 (9) students exercise choice among the senses/styles for expression and  appropriate options are available; and
 (10) students are helped to address attitudes and state conditions that serve as  distractions as needed (pp. 112-113).
From personal experience, I wholeheartedly agree with the qualities that an effective teacher must possess as well as the energizing principles for unleashing student creativity/energy.
Long, H. B. (2002). Teaching for Learning: Professional practices in adult education and human resource development. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company.