Adventurous Metaphors: Exploring Personal Pedagogy with #CreativeHE
to use the idea of metaphor to explore the underlying orientations, qualities and characteristics of your pedagogical thinking and practice.
Rebecca Jackson (@chasing_ling) set the scene with her reflection on how she uses the brilliant metaphors of a toolbox, play-doh and a lucky charm to describe her personal pedagogy. So here are my ponderings.
I often see learning (and teaching!) as a journey or an adventure and encourage my students (trainee teachers) to try different paths, visit different ideas and explore what's out there. So that would make the metaphor for my pedagogy: the tour guide.
The Tour Guide
A tour guide performs many different roles, depending on the location and the needs or wishes of those who they are guiding. They might:
- Suggest places of interest or provide an annoyed map for people to go and explore for themselves
- Take people to a location and give them an introduction before letting them explore
- Take people to a location and give a full guided tour
- Give a detailed talk about a place they have visited
- Supply a guide book about a location
- Provide a variety of opportunities and experiences beyond what are available at face value
- Suggest where to find a more authentic experience
- Discuss and evaluate the experiences afterwards
On holiday these locations and experiences may be places of historic/cultural/architectural interest or they could be adrenaline fuelled activities. A tour guide takes learners to places which are interesting, which are significant, which stimulate them, which are thought provoking. They encourage learners to adventure, to seek thrills and take risks - but they also ensure their safety throughout. Tour guides also take them to contemplative, reflective places and also know when they just need a day lay on the beach!
What might a tour guide need? Or need to provide?
- Map - to help leaners visit the important or interesting locations
- Binoculars - to closely examine interesting features or spot far out ideas
- Camera - to record the important bits to remember or reflect on later
- Waterproof jacket - to help protect from the storms and rough patches or encountered along the way
- Map protector - to keep the routes available clear and stop them getting smudged in the rain
And not in the photo but all tour guides have them... one of those poles with a flag/ribbon/fluffy thing on top so everyone can spot you in the crowd!
Tour guides arrange excursions or give tours to places they know well, which they may have walked round them a thousand times. Other times they are suggesting places they may not have visited but are well read in and have researched the location. A good tour guide will continue to explore and visit new places and sometimes they will be giving a tour before they are an expert on that location. The same is true with teaching.
As a teacher it's important to explore new locations - new strategies and ways of doing things. It's also important take your learners with you on new adventures. But of course you have to make sure they are safe and well looked after along the way - you want a good review on Trip Advisor!