I like a syllabus I do. I don’t hav to be nought fancy like but avin one nice!
Translation: I like a syllabus but it can just be some rough topics or ideas not just a full-blown official one.
Now, from time to time I have students who 1)don’t do a proper DT/NA 2)seem to have no clear idea why they are taking classes or 3)change their mind like the wind. In these situations I plan things on what they’ve said they may need but then after a lesson or two they tend to get bored and want “something else”, problem being that they don’t say what it is or just don’t know.
I think this idea stems from their education being teacher-led. But in a 121 class it’s quite important to know what you should be giving them, to some degree anyhow.
So, what’s the solution? Well, my current ones is to take every lesson as it comes, use conversation, news, ask about work, other studies, bring in stuff based on the previous lesson or overall themes and generally use whatever I have picked up on during the course. I’d rather this than saying “today is…because I like it”.
Am I wrong or is there another way?
Following Anthony Gaughan’s recent webinar I’ve been thinking more about what a course actually is. Perhaps I am just viewing it in the wrong way.
The net defines a course as:
A complete body of prescribed studies constituting a curriculum
But the word also means:
a. Onward movement in a particular direction; progress: the course of events.b. Movement in time; duration: in the course of a year.c. The direction of continuing movement: took a northern course.d. The route or path taken by something, such as a stream, that moves.e. A mode of action or behavior: followed the best course and invested her money.f. A typical or natural manner of proceeding or developing; customary passage.g. A systematic or orderly succession; a sequence: a course of medical treatments.
Now, the last ones seem to fit my context, don’t you think? I am not giving a prescribed course ie materials and lecturing. the course is moving naturally and the students is continually progressing week-by-week. The lessons take their own shape and the best course evolves as we go because if the student isn’t happy with something he just says. As he’s paying and has renewed and is happy then it seems his money is being well-spent. The natural way seems to work and from looking at the post-lesson notes there is succession and things are getting done, reviewed and built on.
It seems that I’ve just been thinking of the wrong definition. Now I wonder what else I have misunderstood…
Thanks once again Anthony!