The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
24. Creating a Classroom Community Culture for Learning
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Creating a Classroom Community Culture for Learning
Suzanne Gallagher & Greg S. Goodman
Only in Hollywood visions of school does classroom chaos and blatant teacher disrespect dissolve and turn to loving relations based upon mutual positive regard. Looking back at a movie such as To Sir with Love and continuing up to the more recent film Freedom Writers, we view gross mismatches of teacher-cultures of control versus the post-modern youth culture that stereotypically appears unmanageable, oppositional, and disrespectful. As these scripts go, the 30 minutes of agony teachers such as Freedom Writers’ Erin Gruwell endure are typically followed by 90 minutes of resolution and teaching bliss. Students are transformed, and lessons are learned. Just do as Gruwell does, and you’ll have students metaphorically eating out of your hand. What was so hard to understand about that?
The stereotypical script of the teacher movie and its conflict of students versus teacher make for a good plotline, but the reality of today’s classroom is missing. Our students are not paid actors, and we, unfortunately, are not pulling in seven digits for our performances. As teacher-viewers, we’re always in awe of the quick transformations the movies bring to kids who have been at war with systems more invested in forcing compliance and control than in promoting liberation and individual free expression of thought, life-style or action! The conflict for professional educators is that we are real teachers who...
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