--"This is not to imply that no 'authentic' interactions can occur within the space of the classroom or, conversely, that all interactions in that space are necessarily duplicitous, cynical, self-serving, or self-protective" (Miller, 130-31). Writing at the End of the World
--"Stressing memorization, my teachers implied that education is largely a matter of acquiring knowledge already discovered. And they were right. For contrary to more progressive notions of learning, much that is learned in a classroom must be the already known; and much that is already known must be learned before a student can achieve truly independent thought" (Rodriguez, 94). Hunger of Memory
As I began to reflect on my own institutional autobiography, I found two quotes that focus on my role as teacher, specifically the beliefs and values I have developed as an educator. These two quotes contrast each other greatly with regard to certain stances that are taken on education. Miller's quote supports my way of thinking as a newer educator with different philosophies of teaching than described in the Rodriguez quote. Like Miller, I believe that real interactions between teachers and students, as well as between students themselves can and do occur. They are sometimes limited by the standards teachers must meet in the classroom. The pressures teachers face are certainly a major obstacle, particularly regarding standardized testing. However, it is the role and responsibility of the educator to find or create those moments in the school day where a real exchange can occur. Everyday I see the new insights that students can offer or the angle they see something from when reading a particular lierary work. It is all about the teacher's allowance of such thought in the classroom.
Rodriquez's quote stresses the old school of thought in which students are fed information as though they are empty vessels, devoid of any ability to think on their own. Where does self-discovery and basic inquisitveness fit into this pedagogy?? Active learning must be present in the classroom in which knowledge is shared, not deposited into the minds of passive beings. I believe independent thought occurs well before teachers offer their knowledge to students. I know before I started going to school my parents were the first teachers who helped foster my independent thinking. The "banking method" is the perfect way to turn many students away from the educational institution. In all honesty, if this was the only pedagogical strategy for teacher's to use in the classroom, I would turn away from education as a profession.