Friday, September 11, 2009

Re-Understanding 'Understanding'

I do have the pleasure of revisiting and questioning some of my teaching approaches these past few months, as I make preparations to develop and refine my institution's curriculum further. It is good to have that luxury of time and space, no matter how little it may be, to reflect on what you have done as a teaching professional. I do believe it is only fair that in as much as we want our students to learn, we as teachers, must also be relearning ourselves. We should set the example, and just like what my boss said a couple of weeks ago, we as teachers are actually teaching our students what we are. Interesting concept actually, but upon reflection, it is indeed true. Can you remember how so many times we as teachers have taken the prescriptive approach and role of deciding for these students what is right or wrong, what is the 'right' way of doing things, and what is 'wrong'. But in reality, all things do not necessarily gravitate into clear shades of black and white. There are certain things that exists within the middle shades of grey, and if the predispositions and the values that we imbue in our students are not grounded strong enough, or if it is left to be unfacilitated, then all I can say is that we might actually see a preponderence of young adults that would grow up to have questionable value systems.

Which leads me to the reflections that I have on this thing about 'Understanding'. So many times, we as professionals and educators, have faltered in clarifying our understanding about what understanding is all about. Can you count how many times do we take the easy way out of assuming that students have understood what we have taught by just being able to do the homework and assignments that we have given to them? Or conversely, the number of times that we have enlightened the students' perspectives of the knowledge content by enlightening them even further, and perhaps make them SEE the knowledge that they have just learnt, into something that is even, should I say, deeper?

This short slideshow on the idea of understanding is one of those things that I have uncovered these past few weeks, thanks to my boss. It is good to know that I am constantly re-learning at my present environment, and I guess I won't just stop anytime soon, or for that matter, anytime at all. I hope my dear readers would begin to appreciate what understanding is all about, by looking at it from the proposed 6 facets in the slideshow. Enjoy!

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