Allison Zacarias Post 2
February 20, 2013
The relationship between teaching and learning
There needs to be a relationship between students and teachers in order for there to exist a correct form of teaching and learning. A person can be labeled as a teacher simply because they have received the training for it but it does not mean that they know or are able to teach and have their students learn. Teaching is a learning experience where different skills are gained through the formation of relationships with students and the ability to learn from them. Freire says the following, “Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning” (31). The way that relationships between students and teachers should form is through the acknowledgement that each person is an individual and should not be seen as a whole or as a generalized group. When teachers learn about and from their students they are able to realize that in order for the students to learn they need to teach their teachers about the way in which they learn.
Learning is not simply the act of memorizing. Freire says, “… to teach is not to transfer knowledge but to create the possibilities for the production or construction of knowledge” (30). This makes me think of two types of knowledge: factual versus critical/interpretational knowledge. Each person has knowledge and the more someone lives the more knowledge they gain. A teacher teaches when she/he is able to use and share their knowledge in a way that allows students to not only hear what they are being told but to interpret it and be able to produce their own formulations regarding what they are being told. In some fields this seems more suitable than others but in retrospect it is adequate for successfully learning in regards to many fields.
In thinking if and how what I have just attempted to explain pertains to my education experience I had what I call a “light bulb” moment. I thought how was I taught and how did I learn about the sciences. As far as I can remember, I don’t think I was taught about the sciences by most of my teachers. To me biology, chemistry, and many other science subjects have been subjects where when I try to learn about them I automatically think that I have to memorize a million facts. My teachers transferred, or at least attempted to transfer all of their knowledge to me, which has proven to be unsuccessful. Science courses are the ones where I perform the poorest because I am unable to learn. Through out the majority of my educational experience my teachers and I have not formed relationships where my teachers have not taught through learning and I have learned through teaching. The reciprocation has not existed. How can a student excel through learning if they are not being taught?
I stress what Freire is saying, that there needs to be a relationship between teacher and learning and teachers and students. Yes, there are differences between both when it comes to power, order, command, etc. but there is a balance of knowledge that can be shared. Teaching requires a teacher to learn as they teach and a student to teach as they learn. Teaching is not simply the passing on of facts but something much more than that. It is the ability to interpret and formulate ones own knowledge of what they are hearing in a way where it is stored in their memory.