Teaching Strategies for Constructivist and Developmental Counselor Education

Teaching Strategies for Constructivist and Developmental Counselor Education

Teaching Strategies for Constructivist and Developmental Counselor Education

Teaching Strategies for Constructivist and Developmental Counselor Education

Synopsis

Presents intentional, learner-centered teaching strategies and reviews general teaching principles, outlining what is known about good teaching from over one hundred years of research.

Excerpt

The nature of good teaching can be elusive. Many of us associate it with dramatic performance. The chance to enthrall an involuntary audience with our wisdom and wit tempts some of us as we prepare for class. After all, we don't want our students to be bored! In that spirit, many of us who love teaching start out performing. For example, when I (Eriksen) began teaching, it was from the dual perspectives of having been an opera singer and private practice counselor. Building on those experiences, I envisioned teaching as a performance around the particular content of counseling. I immensely enjoyed teaching during that period. I was determined to be interesting, witty, insightful, and quite entertaining. At that I probably succeeded. Clearly I saw my role as much more about me and much less about my students. I heard their concerns, however: They quite rightly complained that they didn't have enough time to discuss the material together. I believe they were justified in challenging me with, β€œHey, what about us? Consider what we need to learn and how we need to learn it!”

Now, a number of years of teaching have passed. I have asked for and gotten feedback. I have watched teaching role models. I have read and discussed ideas about teaching, and my perspective, thankfully, has shifted. I now realize that counseling and teaching are much more isomorphic than are opera performance and teaching. Now what engages me most is the creative work of figuring out classroom (and out of classroom) experiences that help the students to interact with the material in powerful ways. I am now enthralled by designing activities that allow them to bring the full power of their experiences, passions, and personhood into learning a pro-

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