What is the teaching method that is demonstrated in "To Sir, With Love"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A large reason why Braithwaite is successful in his teaching is because he combines aspects of teacher- centered and student- centered methodologies.

One example of this hybrid method can be seen in the "new" approach that Braithwaite takes in the wake of the sanitary napkin episode.  His insistence on treating the students like adults is the convergence of a teacher- centered and student- centered ideas.  On one hand, it is clear that Braithwaite is the authority figure.  He establishes the new philosophy of the class and sets the rules for its governance.  However, he also recognizes that the students have a voice in the process.  Students are able to speak their minds in a respectful and mature manner.  It is clear that Braithwaite empowers students to be active agents of their own learning, which is now seen as a collaborative process.

Another example of Braithwaite's methodology is evident in the museum field trip.  Braithwaite is the formal authority figure.  He establishes the rules and parameters that guide the learning experience.  However, he also serves as a facilitator because he wants the students to establish their own meaning. He finds himself overcome with how they have absorbed the experiences of the field trip into their own world.  This helps to underscore how Braithwaite's teaching method is a combination of both direct and cooperative approaches.

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