Signature Pedagogies

8/22/2005 03:40:00 pm

I just finished reading Lee Schulman's talk "The Signature Pedagogies of the Professions of Law, Medicine, Engineering, and the Clergy: Potential Lessons for the Education of Teachers." This lead me to this video of Yvonne Divans Hutchinson teaching her class.

It seems a standard feature of her class is to assign a different student to be the "class scribe" each day. The "scribe" takes notes on what happened in class for their assigned day and they orally share their report in the next day's class. Students who missed the class are thus able to stay informed and stay on top of any assignments that were given. The scribe for any given day chooses who will be the scribe for the following day. One of the most striking things about this pedagogy is how empowering it is for students. It requires students to take ownership and responsibility for their education.

As I think about the 6 different classroom blogs I'm planning to run over this school year I've been struggling with how to make blogging an authentic part of student assessment and get them to buy into the process more than last years class did. One way to do this might be to have a "class scribe" for each day's class. Instead of sharing their reports in class they'll do it on the blog.

This whole train of thought started with Lee Schulman's talk about the search for Signature Pedagogies in the field of education. A fascinating exploration. If you watch Yvonne's video you'll immediately agree that she's a Master Teacher. I wonder, how exactly do we identify the concrete actions that a Master Teacher exhibits in their classes? What are the Signature Pedagogies of a Master Teacher? And finally, what are the Signature Pedagogies related to using blogs in the classroom? Any thoughts?

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