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Question about forum guidelines

Posted: 23 May 2012, 04:46
by Rusmeister
I'm a career TEFL teacher, Russia, 17 years. I'm particularly interested in methods and philosophy of teaching, and its relation to one's larger philosophy; for example, how language affects/expresses what we see to be true. And do we say "gender", as is now popular, or "sex", which is more accurate? And why one or the other?

My question is whether such topics may be discussed here. I once had the bad experience of getting kicked off a board by a single moderator who moderated everything and felt that the philosophy of teaching is unrelated to teaching. (A highly logical view... not.)

There are plenty of little things to share and learn - how you teach the perfect tenses or articles (or whether you teach them, and why or why not), but I just want to know whether we can talk about what we believe and how that impacts our teaching. If it's not a problem, I'll stick around.

Re: A General Question

Posted: 24 May 2012, 11:43
by Susan
I think this is a great idea!

Re: Question about forum guidelines

Posted: 14 Jun 2012, 07:14
by josef
Hi Rusmeister: it's a good question and as Susan suggests it's absolutely ok to discuss the "philosophy of teaching". That's what these forums are for :)

Re: Question about forum guidelines

Posted: 16 Jun 2012, 04:29
by Rusmeister
Thanks very much!
Just so it's clear, the kinds of issues that I have in mind are NOT "how you teach the present perfect verb tense", but whether a teacher believes that abortion is murder or not, whether a person "has" a "sexual orientation", whether smoking or drinking are wicked or just expressions of freedom, whether belief in a God or gods impacts one's language and from there what and how they teach it. Or a person who sees themselves as native to America might have a problem with the term "Native American" as a term that excludes him or her from being native, and so, with teaching it to students.
That means it hits general philosophy and often touches on religion (or the lack thereof) and worldview.

And all of that as being distinct from teaching students what language people actually use. It's a given that a good teacher will explain all modern language use. But if the teacher philosophically disagrees with the worldview behind the words, then the students are going to get that dissonance, and then how one deals with that. The students may have many views, especially in a multicultural classroom, or they might all share more or less the same views in a monocultural classroom. (I'm in Russia so, for example, homosexual behavior is considered unnatural.)

In other words, can words or expressions represent active falsehoods, and if so, how do we, as teachers, deal with that in teaching, if we come to such a conviction?

If you see my drift, you can see how such topics can be controversial, and they often tend to draw a line between traditional faiths (the kind that have been around for centuries and millennia) and the modern rejection of them. But what interests me is NOT the preaching of any religious faith or atheism, but the secular treatment of the issues, bearing in mind differences in worldviews.

In short, when we use language, we are teaching it even when we think we aren't, and this is where what we see to be true intersects teaching, and how we deal with that in the classroom.

Some people think we can keep our worldview out of the classroom. I no longer think we can, and so, think this affects everything.