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Authority—the Elements of Teaching 4.1

DISCUSSIONS OF TEACHING seldom include any mention of authority. Yet we cannot teach without it. It is at the center of all our efforts in the classroom, the workshop, and the office. A teacher's instruction may lack many of the other useful elements of instruction and still have some beneficial effect, but teaching without authority ceases to be teaching at all. If teachers have no command of their classrooms, their students ignore their knowledge, and their compassion for their students' efforts is pointless. Yet what is authority, and why is it so important to teaching?

读后感:
如果老师不能控制教室,他们的学生就会忽视老师传授的知识,那么老师对学生努力产生的同理心就毫无意义。

Authority in teaching, as in anything else, is legitimate influence over others. It is not mere power. It differs from power in its moral component and because, while power may be used for good or ill, authority does not connote coercion. Authority has the unusual quality of being dual, or reciprocal, and thus dependent upon others for its fulfillment;1. in the classroom, it is composed both of a teacher's knowledge, character, and conduct and of students' respect given back to the teacher in free acknowledgement of the teacher's greater understanding of the subject at hand and greater ability to convey it. Power, on the other hand, is coercive force-the exertion of will to command action-whose basis is dependency and often fear. As such,2.power has no place in teaching; its use is contrary to students' interests.

读后感:
1.在课堂上,老师的知识,性格特征,课堂执行及学生对老师的尊敬(为回报老师对学科的熟练掌握并将其传递给学生),都组成了权威。
2.权力是不属于课堂的,它的使用与学生的兴趣相悖。

The distinction between power and authority in a teacher is crucial to understanding the true nature of teaching. In the classroom as elsewhere, one may have power without the authority to exercise it; such power without authority is little more than force. But authority can exist without power because of its moral nature, because of its relationship to equity, empathy, and truth. Authority is thus an attribute that a teacher gains, if only indirectly, by deserving it; it is an aspect of personal character. When students have long forgotten much of the subject a teacher has taught, they will remember and perhaps reflect the teacher's bearing toward knowledge and life.

读后感:
在教室中,老师可能有权力但是没有权威;这种没有权威的权力与强迫相差无几。但是权威却可以脱离权力而存在,因为权威的道德本质,及其与平等,同理心和真相的关系。
(这里探讨了power和authority的关系。我的理解是,你可以回忆下初中或高中时,那个教学很厉害因此深得学生喜爱的老师,他的课堂上做作业的人都会多一些,大家会去听他的话;然而,另一个老师是教导主任,教学能力仅限于念课本,那么,他在班级里下的命令大部分学生都会比较抵触。)

Much confusion exists about the origins and nature of teachers' authority. Many teachers- being employees of some public agency, such as a school board or a public university -are technically civil officers. Consequently, their authority may legally originate in the official source of their employment, and their responsibility may seem to consist in their strict fidelity to community norms, rather than in other equally or more insistent claims, such as to their students' welfare. Teachers' authority over their students is also limited by the involvement of families and the state in students' lives; whether they like it or not, teachers share responsibility with others who may intervene in students' behalf for their well-being.

In addition, teachers' authority cannot arise, as does that of other professionals, from the independence of expert and client, each of whom may leave the other. Like physicians toward their patients and attorneys toward their clients, teachers are bound to prescribe, on the basis of their knowledge and experience, what is in their students' best interests; they must teach students what they believe students must know, not what students may wish to know. But unlike medical patients and legal clients, students cannot readily refuse a teacher's advice or, at least in primary and secondary schools in most places, legally leave school; students are their instructors' captives, at least for a time. It is this dependence of students that places special obligations upon their teachers.

读后感:
老师要教给学生他们觉得学生必须学习的东西,而不是学生想要学习的东西。
(对的,大部分学生不知道自己应该学习什么知识,他们感兴趣的可能是新鲜好玩但是对他们目前无用的知识,例如他们会基于你偶然提到的明星整容而想知道整容要花多少钱,去哪里整容更逼真等等,但老师心里要始终清楚,学生这节课应该学的是什么。因为,下周要考试了啊,因为他下个月要去美国了呀,这些都不会呢。这些八卦信息学生课外了解就可以了。)

Moreover, teachers are custodians of culture. They are responsible for passing on and helping students to absorb and learn to evaluate the beliefs and traditions of the society of which they are members. Though teachers share this task with others, they are charged by the community with special responsibility for instilling the skills (such as literacy), knowledge, intellectual powers, and norms that the community itself holds most important. It is therefore their particular obligation both to help convey tradition and history to their students and to assess the validity of customs and community norms with dispassion, sympathy, and understanding. In return for expecting the community to give them some leeway in accomplishing this delicate task, teachers must be mindful that their authority to do so hinges in part upon the seriousness, the balance, and, above all, the knowledge they bring to it.

Because of this, while teachers have a profound responsibility for students' intellectual and moral nurture, as well as responsibility toward the society and culture of which the students are a part, they have this responsibility without the full liberties and independence of other professionals. Often, they are not free to teach anything they want in the manner they think is in their students' best interests. This lack of complete freedom makes the preservation of their authority so important; their authority rests primarily on their own qualities as a person- on their thoughtfulness, dignity, and knowledge - not on their professional independence.

What, then, can teachers do to gain, foster, deserve, and sustain their authority?

Authority requires a climate for serious learning. It does not depend on controlling a classroom or making students behave, although both may result from authority born of teachers' learning, stature, and behavior. Rather, authority grows from a moral bearing toward knowledge, from grayitas-actions and words that convey teachers' inner convictions about the worth and use of knowledge, as well as the determination to impart what they know and a willingness to admit to their own ignorance or doubt. A teacher cannot flaunt authority or insist upon it. If it is forced, students sense immediately its origins in insecurity, its inauthenticity-that is, the absence of the sense of self that underlies all genuine authority.

Instead, teachers' authority must arise from the seriousness of purpose they convey to their students-a seriousness that can be conveyed as much through laughter as through gravity. But it must in all cases be linked to students' own well-being in such a way that 1.they are drawn to knowledge, not forced to swallow it. For instance, 2.it is probably better to try to attract students to chemistry by expressing the hope that they will find it fascinating and useful rather than by insisting on the importance of chemistry and the necessity of learning it.

读后感:
1.学生应该是被吸引着去学习知识,而不是被强迫着学习。(这一点做到目前我觉得有些困难,我分析下我目前做不到的原因:1).可能因为我目前在应试类的培训机构,有着特定的出分需求。趣味性和干货两手抓我目前还不太行。目前我能做到在干货中穿插趣味。2).课程多了之后,课程质量肯定会下降,意味着老师可能做不到每节课都能吸引学生。3).教学经验也是一个因素,有很多年经验的老师可能在吸引学生感兴趣方面更加得心应手。4).学生群体也是一个原因,若学生素质较好,都比较好学,这方面几乎无压力。)
要吸引学生学习化学,通过传递给学生化学很好玩这种观念比一直强调学化学很重要会更加有用。(仅仅告诉学生什么学科很好玩是不够的,要能够证实它很有趣耶。能够证实就会涉及到很多层面的知识了。)

Authority means mastery of a subject. A natural gift of physical stature or a distinctive voice may confer some measure of authority on some people. But for most teachers, substantial knowledge of the subjects they teach is the foundation of their stature. Those who have full command of their subjects are able to present them in a variety of aspects and forms and can distinguish what their students know and what they do not. These teachers can modify their approaches to their subjects according to the differences in each group of students. They are able to use their students' questions and uncertainties as launching pads for further inquiry and discussion. This means that they can present a variety of viewpoints where interpretation is called for, without indicating to students which one is their own-a matter of great ethical importance.

读后感:
权威意味着对学科知识有一定的掌握。(似乎目前为止,老师权威感的建立都是通过对专业知识的掌握来完成的,后面还有什么其他因素吗?我还是很好奇的,期待下一章会讲到。)

Authority—the Elements of Teaching 4.1
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