Building a Participatory Pedagogy

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Given my love for teaching, and my forced time off this winter semester, a time I would typically be teaching, and the various teaching opportunities I have with Camas Friends, I have been reflecting a lot on what it means for me to be an educator. I want to share some of the key building blocks I am using as I try and build participatory pedagogy.  I see three main areas of a participatory pedagogy being: the Quaker tradition, participatory culture, and liberation theology.

All learners are learners within a tradition; apprentices participating in the learning of particular skills, dispositions, vocabulary, practices and styles of thinking and ways of constructing arguments. Therefore, I see myself as an apprentice within the Quaker tradition, seeking to educate other apprentices. Every large-scale tradition has had to develop its own modes of inquiry as it seeks embody its particular arguments in the world. For instance, the Quaker argument that “Christ has come to teach the people himself” becomes for Friends an argument that our ongoing tradition contends for. If Christ has indeed come to teach the people himself then what kind of community must we be? How must we be formed and informed? What are the practices and dispositions a community needs to participate in in order to live into the reality that Christ has come?

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Using Wiki's for Class Collaboration – Fall Quarter 2008

This year I will be assisting Ryan Bolger (his new website) in his classes again, for the fall quarter we’re doing Church in Mission. Over the last three years I’ve TA’d a number of different classes with him and he’s always doing some really great things with technology and the classroom. Our typical approach has been to utilize blogs for class discussions, reading reviews and student comments, but in years past we’ve also used delicious.com for web research, and wiki’s for group projects. This year we’re returning to the wiki idea and I’m pretty excited about how it’s turning out (we borrowed lots of great ideas from Michael Wesch). We set up a Church in Mission wiki, using the free service from Wetpaint.com (for educational wiki’s they’ll even turn off the ads), and are structuring the whole course around the website. The class of 70+ students are separated into various groups around various ethnic traditions, each group then spends the whole quarter working on a group wiki around post-colonial issues and their particular traditions. Continue reading Using Wiki's for Class Collaboration – Fall Quarter 2008

Returning to Woodbrooke

It’s been really nice to return to Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center this past week. I’ve been here now for about a week and a half and have just about that much time left in the UK before I make a return trip to Ohio for a little vacation with the family. The familiarity of returning here, having friends I looked forward to seeing, and having actual conferences, as well as studying to do has made it even more fun to be in Birmingham than last year, albeit also very busy. I’ve been spending my mornings getting up around 8am, eating breakfast, going to morning worship and then studying until about 4 or 5pm, doing dinner and then meeting up with friends. Continue reading Returning to Woodbrooke

Thoughts on Pedagogy: Does Technology in The Classroom Help or Hurt?

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A couple weeks back I had the great privilege to meet with some of the faculty and staff at the school where I attend, to discuss updating the classrooms on campus for better learning. The school was recently awarded a grant with this specific task in mind.

One question raised was “What are the best ways in which we can spend this grant money on technology for learning?” Continue reading Thoughts on Pedagogy: Does Technology in The Classroom Help or Hurt?

Setting Up Delicious for Researching The Web

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One of my favorite free, online tools is the social bookmarking website known as delicious (see my del.icio.us). Because I read a lot of blogs, and visit websites all the time I need a way to remember which ones were really good, which ones offer great critiques about such and such, and which sites I’d like to go back and study more closely later.

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