What should the relationship be, between students and teachers in the classroom? The answer to this question, I have found, has many different answers. Each teacher, in my opinion, has their set ways to teach, in which they believe is the right way . So no matter which answer you come up with, the person next to you might come up with a totally opposite answer. This explains why we ask this question in the first place. No one answer is exactly right. There are advantages and disadvantages to two different pedagogical means of which I will discuss: (1) The idea that teachers force issues on students and (2) The idea that teachers sit back and let the students be free to say what they feel.
Many teachers start a new class off with set rules. The teacher is already set in his or her ways of teaching and what is expected in the class. When students come in, they have an idea of what the class is about only by it’s title, for example: “ Freshman Composition”. The student then expects to learn more about writing and ways to better his or her writing techniques. Some teachers turn courses into something other than what they are supposed to be to satisfy the ideals they believe in. Lynne V. Cheney, author of the essay, “PC: Alive and Entrenched” states that “composition courses have become particularly susceptible to ideological teaching,” (The Presence of Others, A. Lunsford and J. Ruszkeiwicz, p. 114). In Cheney’s essay, she discuss es a statement from Maxine Hairston, former chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The statements show how Hairston believes that “the new model for freshman writing programs as on ‘that puts dogma before diversity, politics ...
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..., and is probably always difficult, but not more so than overcoming another teacher’s poor instruction.” (p. 130) This statement draws the two together and I cannot think of a better relationship between the student a nd teacher. I would like to sum this all up with a conclusion from Zawodniak, (p. 131)... “Students and teachers have to get personal: students have to get into the personal to write about it, and teachers have to talk about the personal to help us talk about it. Teacher and student must work and continue conversations together...”. “When we recognize the necessity of mutual involvement, students and teachers can work together to achieve a pedagogy that is truly student-centered.”
Lunsford, Andrea A., Ruszkiewicz, John J. The Presence of Others:
Voices That Call For Response, Second Edition. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1997
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