domingo, 17 de diciembre de 2017

Hanging on a very thin thread

This metaphor could ilustrate a couple of experiences typical in this moment of the course, more specifically in our subject on Developmental Psychology.

We began last week our set down. I mean we began to integrate what we have been doing so far since september. Maybe it is too late, although I think it is now when we have to do it.

That's a typical dilemma when teaching from a process perspective. You need time to activate, to experience and to connect different kind of content and experiences into a meaningful pattern. It takes time, patience and to a large extent trust.

I know that part of my students could have felt lost during the last weeks, without a clear understanding of what we were doing or learning. Without a clear sense of direction. At the same time I know that also another part of my students have been actively struggling with the sessions. At least a third of the whole class.

I know this in part because of the questions and answers I listen in class during our conversations. I know it after reading the summaries in padlet and of course the few group papers I have been reading throughout the subject.

This subject is quite paradoxical. I can't teach what I want from the beginnning because what I want to teach doesn't depend on theory or on mere information. It is not something I can say. I cannot be learnt like that. What matters is not the amount of information but how we manage that information, how we connect that information with new information, how we make sense of previous information from different perspectives, how we connect that information with ourselves (another way of making sense of it), how we can transfer all that information into new future scenarios, and on and on. We could say that we have creating a new perspective to manage information in a different way.

And there is some information that cannot be understood unless there are some previous learning experiences. Because complex concepts require complex experiences to, let's say, embody our meanings.

And as we discussed last week in order to construct meaning we must be active. Active while being in class processing information coming from different sources such as texts, videos, peers' discussions. But also being active in between the sessions connecting tthem, reading extra texts and thinking about the topics covered, being sensible enough to notice daily experiences related to our theoretical topics and so on.

Thanks to a third of the students I could make a follow up of our progress during the sessions. Around ten of them have been filling up our daily evaluations. Without them I would have been more blind. Not exactly blind because most of my information comes from carefully watching what happens during the sessions. But there is really important information coming from this questionnaires.

Thank you so much to Bla bla bla, Danko, Ercobi, Moi Meme, Buzz, Belén, Maxi,  Thoros, World Education, Happy, 24 and all the anonimous answers without a nickname. Thank you too also: Beep beeb I'm a sheep, DS99, Sasenach and all the rest who at least participated once.

Thanks to your information we could track our own session development which really helped me to plan our sessions.

Today I read the following comment regarding our last session on Thursday 14th of December:

"This was the first session when everything that we have been talking about in class started to make sense. I was so happy and surprised. I felt so engaged and, to me, it was extremely useful."

There was another interesting comment although not so informative "I liked a lot this session". 

Both comments are evidences that finally we began to set down, to integrate. And this comes now. This is when I hope everthing will be clearer. But because most of the experiences, information and skills practiced are going to be available. 

It called my attention  the mention to the surprise and happiness. Making sense was a surprise for him or her (maybe to others as well) because it was not expected to understand the session as it was. That this kind of understanding could happen was included in my active feedforward so this is a wonderful positive feedback for me. Curiously this surprise is felt as a happy experience and increases the feeling of being involved or engaged with the learning process, with the group (me included) and because of that, the meaning creation is evaluated as useful. Really interesting sequence. 

I hope there will be more of this in the following weeks.... 

See you next two sessions


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