Teaching Dangerously


The prelude in this talk is a bit tongue in cheek but with ever increasing absurd safety warnings  the picture of the bubble wrapped toddler is not that shocking.

As a father of two young children developing their own independence I can relate well to this video.   Are today’s boundaries ,or safety zones,  limiting  valuable opportunities for learning?  There are far more dangers today in the world (or are there? ) than when I was young but we survived.FB_IMG_1500180195834 (1)

Case in point here is a picture of me in my “car seat”.  Please excuse the ice cream goatee.

If learning requires change, and change is fraught with risk what am I doing as an instructor to “walk the walk” in my practice. and take risks in my teaching.

While “dangerous” is contextual and personal it got me thinking about what my top 5 would be for “teaching dangerously”.

I’ve come up with my own list of 5 dangerous things I would  consider for my practice:

  1. Be wrong   – be vulnerable, see my previous post on welcoming feedback
  2. Be reflective – see my post on reflective practice
  3. Change the scene- see my previous post titled “A change of scene”
  4. Change the subject  – teach something  you know nothing about -if you find yourself in a rut and relying too much on your content rather than your ability this is a good thing to try
  5. Change domains  – I recently took Delivery of Instruction and forced myself to teach one of my lessons in the affective domain rather than the cognitive that I am familiar with.

In addition to taking risks in your teaching it also brings to mind how you can encourage risk taking in the classroom:

  1. Take risks yourself, model the behaviour
  2. Use Peer based learning that encourages risk taking
  3. Create low thresholds and soft openings for learners tasks
  4. Reward risk taking





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