Image by Timothy Greig via Flickr
In a couple of my previous posts, I have inferred that there is a difference between presenting and teaching. I need to explain what I believe is the difference, because it is important to our students and how we teach.
What is the difference between teaching and presenting? Let’s look first look at the definitions:
Teaching: education: the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill; “wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Presenting: The act of presenting, or something presented; A dramatic performance; A lecture or speech given in front of an audience; en.wiktionary.org/wiki/presentation
In my view teaching is much more than presenting, real teaching of something ensures that the student or participant is actually understanding and learning what is being taught. Whereas presenting to me is one of the activities of teaching that put information out there for their audience to do with as they want, without the presenter ensuring that the participants actually learned about what is being presented. It might only be a matter of semantics, but in today’s world it seems that semantics is a big deal.
My concern is that too many teachers are turning into presenters who are attempting to complete their syllabus/curriculum at a certain pace (whether by pressure from admin or self-inflicted) without regard to the actual learning that takes or does not take place in their classroom. But by golly gumdrops they got through the entire thing before the school year was done.
Students and staff get many presentations in school, but how many of those presentations turn into learning opportunities? I don’t believe that enough of them do.
How does this relate to Special Education? While other students may be able to be successful in a predominately presentation method of instruction, Special Education students typically learn differently and usually at a slower pace than their peers for a variety of reasons. Teachers need to check for understanding or attempt different methods of explaining or assessing student knowledge of a subject to ensure whether or not the student “got” what was presented, in other words they need to teach all students in their classroom.
Educational staff need to be aware of how their instructional strategies impact all students in the classroom, not just those that do well on their tests, because it does impact their classroom management.
Presenting can and is a part of teaching, but simply presenting at subject is not teaching.
So which are you – a teacher or a presenter.
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