Educator: Heal Thyself

 
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papertalker
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:10 pm
PostPost subject: Educator: Heal Thyself
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Listen to this Talk of the Nation segment.

In several instances, the participants draw parallels between doctors and teachers. We in education work in a culture that, like medicine, has lost touch with its essential human mission. Until we recognize that fact, and find ways to rise above the culture, then we remain contributing members of a dysfunctional system. Classrooms that thrive on playful communication, carried forward by the energy of play language, possess the means to humanize and sensitize all involved.

Responsiveness and empowerment are the key words here. As teachers play and model the freeing effects of play, their students naturally become more attuned, responsive, and engaged. Later in life they will be able to speak up and advocate for themselves because of experiences like this. Our early years in education are formative. If we learn, wrongly, to adapt to a system of learning that requires us to keep still and our mouths shut until only when asked, we grow up self-censored and at risk to the systems that have learned to take advantage of us instead of serve us.


Last edited by papertalker on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:56 pm
PostPost subject: Re: Educator: Heal Thyself
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I quite agree with this. Responsiveness and empowerment should indeed be the aim of education. And there is no better way to achieve this than through the language of play. I wish there were more teachers who believe in this and use it too.
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papertalker
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Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:03 pm
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Aparna, thank you.

Perhaps you could give us a small taste of the challenges that you face as a teacher, and tell us what the inclusion of play means to you. It would be interesting for members of the community, many from Europe and the US, to be connected to a colleague in India.
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:02 pm
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Its a mixed reaction for me when it comes to explaining the challenges I have met in this regard. There are a whole set schools here that belong to the 'old school of thought' that frown upon play for the simple reason that it makes the child disinterested in academics. I do see now that there are new schools that use the 'playway' method of education but that right now seems limited to the preschool and the primary grade levels. This is true especially in the major metro cities where the culture is also changing.

I primarily like to work with grades K-3. Whenever I have approached schools to conduct workshops in puppetry they all want to see an 'end product' at the end of each session. For instance they want the children to take home a craft activity. I would prefer it if the child has learnt to help clean up after class because his puppet teacher does so.

Other teachers tell me parents still believe a school is good if their child takes home completed worksheets or crafts. It will take a long time to break into this but I do see it happening.

Aparna
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