Become a Great Teacher/Planning/Appreciative interviews
Interview a friend or colleague (or anyone willing), with the following questions as a guide:
- Briefly describe your most positive learning experience. Think back to a time when you can say you really learned something. It might have been at school in a particular class, or at university in a particular tutorial, or while you were at work, or busy at home, or with friends in a completely different situation.
- Why did you need to or want to learn those things? Perhaps you were required to as part of a course and you needed the learning to get a qualification? Perhaps the topic was of great interest to you? Perhaps you needed to learn this in order to do something? Please explain why you needed or wanted this learning?
- What factors do you think made this such a positive learning experience? Perhaps it was the presence of a great teacher? Perhaps the other learners were very helpful? Maybe you could sense your own improvement during that time? Perhaps there was a good balance between fun and focused concentration? Perhaps it was having access to the Internet? Or something else altogether?
- Why do you think these factors were so important at the time? Perhaps your state of knowledge required the great teacher to stimulate interest in the topic? Perhaps the teacher tended to talk over your head but a friend in the class could explain the concepts to you perfectly? Perhaps your self-confidence needed a boost? Perhaps the situation suited your own learning style, etc.? Please indicate why you think these factors were so important at the time.
If time allows and your partner is willing, reverse roles (interviewer/interviewee).
By now you both will have shared a great learning experience and may feel reminded about why you are in this field of education :-).
From your discussions above, what would you say to anyone who aspires to become a great teacher?
If you are inspired by this approach and research implications, consider conducting more such interviews and posting the results here (stories for Lore of Learning).