Analyze the following quotation: "I think that teachers should be exposed to all methods, and they themselves would "build" their own methods or decide what principles they would use in their teaching. We cannot ignore methods and all the facts that were considered by those who "created" or use them in their teaching. We need a basis for building our own teaching."

This quote points to how teachers use learned teaching methods as the base foundation for their individual styles of pedagogy.

Expert Answers

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I could not find who said this quote, but I was able to find the quote attributed to a nameless teacher in an article titled "Do teachers think that methods are dead?" written by David Bell. The majority of the article is based on Bell's interviews with teachers and research into the teaching and learning of language. The premise of the article is to engage readers into a debate about whether or not teachers need to be trained in various teaching methodologies. As you can imagine, Bell's interviews led to a variety of responses. Some teachers supported educators being trained in specific methods while other teachers supported a "do what works best for you" type of pedagogy.

The quote provided in this post is the quote that Bell closes his article with. The quote supports the notion that teaching isn't a methodology practice or an experiential practice. Effective teaching uses methodology and experience. Individual teachers should absolutely figure out who they are in the classroom and how best they interact with the students and the content; however, those individual bits of "flair" are things that should be added on to pedagogical foundations and method. Teachers shouldn't ignore methods crafted by the great educators that came before them, nor should teachers seek to perfectly mirror those original authors.

Perhaps an analogy might be useful. Some of the greatest superstars in sports are great because they have figured out how to do certain things better than anybody else on the field of play. They are creative and awe inspiring. They further the development of the game itself, but those shining stars were taught how to trap, shoot, and pass a ball just like everybody else. Certain foundational methods are taught and should be taught because they just work. Players then find creative ways to work within those methods and bend them in new directions of creative usage. Teaching is similar. Teachers need to understand how and when to use certain methods, but teachers can also work to find creative new uses of tried and true methods.

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