The PIDP 3260 course is opening my eyes to the importance of Brookfield’s 3rd Core Assumption; “Teachers Need a Constant Awareness of How Students Are Experiencing Their Learning and Perceiving Their Teachers’ Actions” (p 22). I see how, in spite of our best self-perceived efforts to create a learning environment, learners may have very different opinions about their learning, so unless we use the right tools to obtain feedback we will never know what our learners are thinking.
Here is a link from the University of Waterloo that lists some great strategies to use as a way to obtain feedback from students. Some of their suggestions are (Tools for Reflecting on Your Teaching, n.d.). :
- One minute paper
- Muddiest point
- Blank index cards
- Suggestion box
- In-class trouble shooting sessions
Brookfield (2015) also includes suggestions for other feedback tools like twitter, TodaysMeet and the Critical Incident Questionnaire which he has created and has posted online.
An important point to keep in mind is to not let yourself fall prey to the syndrome that Brookfield himself confesses to having, the ““. . . Perfect-Ten” syndrome . . . the unreasonable desire to want to collect a batch of CIQ (Critical Incident Questionnaire) forms at the end of every class that contains no negative comments and a surfeit of compliments” (Brookfield, 2015, p 38). I must confess that I too am afflicted by the syndrome and, even though I also intellectually understand that this not possible in “ . . . the contextual, complex nature of learning . . .” it still happens. I suppose the next time this happens I will go back and apply Core Assumption #3.
Brookfield, S.D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom 3rd Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Tools for Reflecting on Your Teaching. (n.d.). Centre for Teaching Excellence Retrieved from: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/professional-development/enhancing-your-teaching/tools-reflecting-teaching