December 17, 2009

Dialogue with Sotto

This blog has attracted the attention of Eric Sotto, a respected and experienced educational developer and author. I feel privileged to engage in dialogue with him. He has given permission for me to copy our email correspondence into the blog.

He first wrote me with the following email:

Dear Alison,

I've just come across your blog, and thought you might like to have a few general responses.

1) Much of what you write is on how to avoid a conventional teacher/student situation, and the allied question of how to encourage a collaborative atmosphere in a classroom in which everyone feels inclined to participate. I warm to such wishes, but believe that you omit a consideration of something essential. This is that learning is not only a matter of debating, but also a matter of taking in factual information. Although I did not read all the earlier entries in your blog, I did not find any consideration of this essential matter. In short, how are factual matters, and especially the matter of scholarly evidence, to be brought to the attention of students in a non-didactic manner?

2) Your entries strongly convey that you not only believe in but also practice honest reflection. It also so happens that I am personally strongly attracted to such a quality. However, it seems to me that your focus on honest reflection eventually results in the neglect of an attempt also to view the matter under consideration in as objective a manner as is possible. Indeed, I note with respect and affection that your focus on honest reflection sometimes leads to what a critical person might consider self-indulgence.

3) You often mention student centred learning, but I have the impression - it can be no more - that you are not closely acquainted with the originator, Carl Rogers, of this notion. Among other things, the position that Rogers advocates is at odds with the requirement for knowledge to be assessed by objective criteria; and his focus is so completely on the individual, that he tends to ignore the needs of a community.

4) I thought your comments on what I sought to do in that debate posted in the THE plain unkind. My first responses were, I believe, succinct, but I had so much flak and rubbish thrown at me by the great majority of participants that I thought I must respond as best as I can. I also believe that in your blog you are often guilty of that of which you accuse me. But this item is of course not very important.

5) Lastly, I do hope you will continue to express your concerns on this matter of teaching and learning! The topic is of course very important.

Kind regards, Eric Sotto


- No comments Not publicly viewable


Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

December 2009

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Nov |  Today  | Jan
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         

Search this blog

Galleries

Most recent comments

  • Hi Alison I liked the mind map–group work activity. You mentioned that the reasons you did it were f… by Emma Nugent on this entry
  • Dear me, some of us have been "teaching"using experiential learning techniques for years, why would … by Tony Ingram on this entry
  • couldn't access from the link but I will track it down. Thanks Alison :) by Teresa MacKinnon on this entry
  • Further to our interesting conversation about educational academic writing, it automatically brings … by Anthony Ingram on this entry
  • Well that went well then, apart from a couple of my typos, which I would have hoped you would have c… by on this entry

Blog archive

Loading…
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXIX