DAY 5 Friday March 31st
This week has been about trying to understand and give meaning to the idea of a personal pedagogy. Because its personal we have to create our own meaning and by sharing our understandings we can create a better social understanding. I am still working through the idea by documenting the history of my own pedagogical thinking and practice and I will post my essay here when I have finished it.
Although we can, if we want to, distinguish between the development of our pedagogical thinking and practice from the rest of our life, I find it hard to do so. A decade ago I came across the work of Eduard Lindeman, an adult educator working and writing nearly 90 years ago. I found his thinking and his work with adult learners inspiring and as relevant to today's world as it was then. I have taken one of his thoughts, ' the whole of life is learning therefore education can have no ending' (Lindeman 1926) as an inspirational 'guide' for my own thinking and work as a teacher and educator. It is relevant to this essay because I think the development of my own pedagogical understandings has been grown throughout my life and is intermingled with the events, people and circumstances of my life. Indeed I can usefully quote another one of my favourite theorists Carl Rogers who when talking about personal creativity in one of his books described it as 'the emergence in action of a novel relational product growing out of the uniqueness of the individual on the one hand, and the materials, events, people, or circumstances of his life' Carl Rogers (1960). I think this definition serves well my concept of my personal pedagogy - the knowledge, beliefs, values, dispositions and experiences I draw upon when I want to encourage others to learn, develop, create and achieve. The practices that emerge in the contexts of my current life with its opportunities to help others learn, reflect my uniqueness as a thinking and acting individual on the one hand, and the materials, events, people and circumstances of my life.
As you can see I am beginning with how I think and behave now as an educator but my essay is about how I came to think in these ways. That's because, misquoting another great thinker (Keigarten), 'we have to live our life forwards but it only really makes sense when we look at it backwards.'
MY PEDAGOGICAL JOURNEY