Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The teacher as a curator

Today I attended an Elluminate session led by George Siemens who presented the idea of the teacher being a curator. George sees the teacher/curator as the expert who guides the learner; provides the artifacts or information that informs the students' learning. Even when there is little material available, he sorts through material to ensure that the student has access to quality information. I see a curator as a dry, dusty individual who disapproves of any individual who interferes with the exhibits but George presents the teacher/curator as an individual who has variety of roles; who is active in presenting artifacts/information in a way that encourages deep thinking.

I am not sure I am sold on the idea of a curator. Whilst I totally agree that the teacher should not take a position of power, dictating to students and I agree with George's statement on his blog about teachers providing "spaces in which knowledge can be created, explored, and connected", I cannot get past the vision of a curator wearing his dickey bow, yelling at children for putting their sticky fingers on the glass. Or, being chased through the corridors by a raving monster like Ben Stiller in "Night at the museum". I'm not sure what the raving monster is; the student?!?

1 comment:

Mark Greenfield said...

It's not the sicky hands that bother so much as the snotty noses pressed hard against the glass :)

But seriously - without someone in a position of power how does anything ever get done? Perhaps curating/facilitating is now about knowing when to step in and then back out... and is this really any different to current F2F teaching?