T oday, we finished the second week of an interpersonal communications course. The students in the course are first term college students, a few fresh out of high school. As is my common practice, I end my week of instruction with reflective questions for the students:
- What was your significant learning this past week?
- What principles for everyday life can you extract from our class activities? (Note: The activities are experiential).
- What did you learn or what was reinforced about yourself?
- What can you take from the class activities to use in your life outside of class?
I asked the students to get in small groups to discuss these questions. They got in their groups and just looked at one another with baffled looks on their faces while remaining silent. I tried rewording the questions and providing examples and still got blank looks when they returned to their group discussions.
When I began this journey two years ago, I was looking for answers to a question that had become increasingly pervasive and yet frustratingly intangible in my teaching practice: how could I resolve the student I was with the students I now teach? Despite my exposure to some new ways of thinking about teaching and learning and my development of some powerful professionally collaborative relationships, there was still a disconnect. I was ready to do something about that. (more…)