Thursday, May 17, 2007

Relinquishing my authority as teacher

In the chapter, Relinquishing my authority as teacher, Kibbie Naidoo argues for student-centred teaching pedagogies that shift power from teacher to students. This makes the teacher a co-learner and validates student experience and knowledge as crucial bases for education. Kibbie describes how she tried to do this with political activists and trade unionists—adult learners—attending an Access course for admission to a university degree course. They were surprised to enter a classroom where all the usual signifiers of teacher authority—strategically placed tables and chairs, teacher at the ‘front’—were absent. In fact there were no chairs and tables, only cushions. Kibbie reflects on how she tried to act as co-learner, discussing the issues students broached when generating knowledge themselves. The students appreciated working as a group rather than as individuals expected to take down notes or write private essays (as is traditional).

Naidoo, Kibbie. 'Developing transformative learning approaches and relinquishing my authority as teacher', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 407-412.