A comment on my post underlining the connection between pedagogy and best practices sparked my attention. How can we define best practices if we assume them to be the be all and end all of well, effective classroom practices? Made me think and consequently, led me to connect the above mentioned thoughts with an interview I heard on the radio. Yes, I still listen to the radio.
While en route to run an errand, I tuned into a quick interview with a musician/music producer who is constantly pushing the limits of what music is no matter the genre. To him, music should not be defined by genre and instead be defined by the changing attitude of the creator behind said music. In essence, is the musician/producer trying to evolve and get better at their ‘practice’ and out due themselves through creative pathways?
This being said, then how can we redefine best practices in the classroom where student voice is concerned? Is it solely through pedagogical practice, research, or word of my mouth? If we only base our teaching practice on the fore mentioned , then how do students fit in? They simply do not and that, my colleagues, is not how education should function. So, my thoughts for best practice where student voice is concerned – we simply listen to our students.
A conversation with a colleague from another board not that long ago spoke of the need to let go of some buzzwords and “edubable” in favour of listening to our students. In essence “start with the kids and ask them what they need, they may know” (M. Champagne, Personal Communication, June 14, 2015). Within that same context, we often push technology on students, especially those on IEP’s, without actually carrying meaningful conversations as what they, the student, needs to help them improve their strengths while fostering their room for growth.
So, all this being said my educational friends, what does pedagogy/best practices really mean if we only intend to stick to what we think is best? Perhaps we need to a rotisserie of sorts in our brains that circulates through ideas pending on how our students advocate for their learning needs; then again, how do we foster their voice in the first place?
The brain is going on this one…