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This-essay is a7704011.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %GAINING STUDENT PERSPECTIVES 770401 One of the most important processes for the effective educators is the process of apprehending and understanding student's perspectives. Through this process the effective educator learns how his/her particular students perceive/experience their particular educational process. The educator becomes aware of the feeling of strangeness experienced by the student upon encountering new ideas and new ways of relating to objects, living things, ideas, people, groups, etc. The educator becomes aware of the delight of the student upon the occasion of some success which in the educator's eyes is of significance compared to the successes that the student should be having. The fears of the student (because of threats to the student's self-image) become not only intellectually known, but also felt vicariously. The risks to self-esteem become apparent as the student timidly ventures to do a task where success is not assured. The confused perceptions of complex interrelationships and the frustrations associated with those confused perceptions are also personally experienced by the effective educator. It is only the person who can with security appreciate student perspectives that is able to serve as an effective educator. The essence of education is intimate dialogue between student and educator. So long as the educator does not appreciate student perspectives, dialogue is shallow. To appreciate student perspectives, educators must spend significant amounts of their time studying students rather than professional subject matter. To study professional literature about students will not be enough, for that literature gives only an abstraction of average or representative students --- not mutual awareness and mutual understanding with the specific students whom the educator is ostensibly serving. Many professional educators will resent the need to divert their attention from their traditional professional duties. The institutional reward system is not likely to reward professionals for helpfully being in dialogue with real students. Reward systems are predicated upon the ability to measure that which is to be rewarded. It is very difficult to create an institutional reward system to encourage appreciating student's perspectives --- even if administrators desire to do so. Few administrators are likely to desire to do so. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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