Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Student-Teacher Relationships

I've been thinking about the teachers I have whose classes I enjoy, and whose classes I dread. I think I've found a pattern. There are really two types of student-teacher relationships. One, I guess I could simply call, the student-teacher relationship. That is, the relationship where the teacher teaches, and the student learns. The teacher sees his or her role as imparting information onto the student, who can then do with that information what he will. These are the teachers who let students do their own thing. If they want to learn, they can learn. If they don't they don't. I find that I like the classes taught by teachers who establish this sort of relationship with their students. The other kind of relationship, is the adversarial relationship. In this relationship, the teacher sees his or herself as almost one of childcare. The teacher spends most of their time babysitting their students. They get angry over a student's swearing. They don't allow students to listen to music while doing their work, wear hats, chew gum, that sort of thing. This creates a relationship between the student and the teacher that is almost one of competition. The student and the teacher become mortal enemies. I dread going to classes taught by this type of teacher. I think I learn better in the first relationship as well. The adversarial relationship creates much fighting and bickering over nothing, and is simply as waste of time and energy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

must say I definitely agree with you. I also find it interesting that teacher's who say that they "care" and "love" their students the most are actually the most authoritarian.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Shieva said...

But then there are the teachers who, for instance in some upper level seminars, just have fun. They don't see their role as simply being the conveyer of information, and they don't see the students as simply passive receivers of it, but rather they encourage discussion and exploration of the material so that everyone involved can have fun while doing Philosophy. I love that type of class.

11:50 PM  

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