Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Invisible Teaching #1

Invisible Teaching is just that. I guess, to paraphrase Bruce Lee, it's the art of learning without teaching. At least in the traditional sense.

The idea of the teacher as a 'transmitter of knowledge' has long been out of fashion and rightly so. There are so many ways in which people invisibly teach every day, indeed people have even made careers out of it (check out the lazy teacher). But it begins with you as a teacher. Or maybe it doesn't. It certainly begins with stimulus (provided by you), then follows opportunities for learning (at first provided by you) and then comes the blank canvas that students will fill in the most wonderful and unexpected ways as they begin to shape the course of the lesson, before leading it.

Here is a small invisible teaching task, a comfortable risk if you will(!)

A few years ago, I would have taken the students through the definitions and carefully explained it meanings, showed some examples of contrast in practice in loosely connected images of works by reputable fine artists such as Bridget Riley or Joseph Wright of Derby.

Nowadays, I would create an opportunity. Here's my first slide at the start of a new project on contrast. This starter might run something like 'What is Superman and the Joker talking about?', using the AFL recommended no hands up policy I'd select a student to have a go. Once they'd finished I might look around the room expectantly, nodding encouragement and let the responses come in. Before I know it students will start identifying examples of contrasts and sharing them with the class that I hadn't even realised I'd put in. When the ideas have run their course I might ask someone to read out the keyword/ title of our new project. Then I'd ask them to read it out. Then I'd ask them to READ it out properly, while throwing in as much drama and full body performance as possible.

And there you have it. Not big, maybe not original or new, but a small, safe, 'risk'. Invisible Teaching in action.

Now the fun starts.....

more on this later

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