t & l

guiding principles for teaching and learning, some my own and some adapted from Carl Rogers

Philosopher's Walk, U of Toronto

“I wish to share some very brief remarks, in the hope that if they bring forth any reaction from you, I may get some new light on my own ideas.” from Carl Rogers, Personal Thoughts on Teaching & Learning (1952).

  1. Everything is subject to change at a moment’s notice.
  2. Keeping it simple — whatever “it” is — is desirable and usually difficult.
  3. Thinking starts at the point of the fork in the road, at the dilemma.

And these thoughts I share with Carl Rogers, quoted or paraphrased, from Personal Thoughts on Teaching & Learning (1952) and Regarding Learning and Its Facilitation (1969):

  1. The only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, or self-appropriated learning.
  2. Such self-discovered learning, truth that one has personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another.
  3. One of the best, but most difficult, ways to learn is to drop defensiveness, at least temporarily, and to try to understand the way in which her experience seems and feels to the other person.
  4. Another way of learning is to state one’s uncertainties, to try to clarify one’s puzzlements and thus get closer to the meaning that one’s experience actually seems to have.
  5. “This whole train of experiencing, and the meanings that I have thus far discovered in it, seem to have launched me on a process which is both fascinating and at times a little frightening. It seems to mean letting my experiences carry me on, in a direction which appears to be forward, toward goals that I can but dimly define, as I try to understand at least the current meaning of that experience. The sensation is that of floating with a complex stream of experience, with the fascinating possibility of trying to comprehend its ever-changing complexity.”
  6. Learning which involves a change in self-organization – in the perception of oneself – is threatening and tends to be resisted.
  7. Independence, creativity, and self-reliance are all facilitated when self-criticism and self-evaluation are basic and evaluation by others is of secondary importance.
  8. The most socially useful learning in the modern world is the learning of the process of learning, a continuing openness to experience and incorporation into oneself of the process of change.
  9. I will regard myself as a flexible resource for the group to utilize.
  10. I will take the initiative to share myself with the group – my feelings as well as my thoughts – in ways which do not demand nor impose but represent simply a personal sharing which you may take or leave.
  11. I will endeavor to recognize and accept my own limitations.

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  1. For years now, as I have grown older, I have found it important to try to, “put myself in others shoes.” I try to understand the meanings of what happens in the world from as many aspects as possible. Why is a student causing issues? Why did this tragedy happen? Why can’t I always come up with a valid reason that answers my questions? Also, as a teacher I always found my most successful lessons to be the ones I can relate to myself, and to the students.