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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Learning is Interaction

Serena Chen

On October 26 and 27, I went to an academic conference at National Chengchi University in Taipei.  The main topic was Interaction Analysis.  There were scholars from many different countries, and English was the common language at this conference.  The scholars at this conference were all interested in the interaction between teachers and students and were learning about the situation in Taiwan by watching videos recorded in Taiwan classes. 

View detailsThis was my first opportunity to try and understand teaching and learning from the teacher’s point of view.  During the conference, I learned a lot about seeing things from the teachers' perspectives because most of the scholars were also teachers.  When they talked about traditional learning interaction in Taiwan classes, they said that many teachers stand in front of their class and use microphones.  The students in the class are expected to learn what the teachers have taught them.  However, the scholars were not satisfied with this traditional interaction, which goes in just one direction – from teacher to students.  They wanted a new learning interaction, where teachers and students could interact with each other and exchange ideas.  If this kind of interaction could take place, the students could learn not only the information their teacher gives them, but also how to communicate, work as a team, and solve problems.  In this way, the students could develop the skills needed by the labor market.

I could tell that the scholars had made an effort to find a new model for learning interaction.  They are trying very hard to improve their teaching, and I was really moved.  As an elementary school English teaching assistant, I learned a lot at this conference that will improve my teaching.  The conference helped me to understand more about learning interaction in my classrooms.

Adult education seriesAs a college student, I have to reflect about whether I should change how I act in my classes here at FCU.  Should I be more active in my classes? Why should I change?  Should I work as hard as the teachers have? Should I do even more on my learning than my teachers have done on their teaching?  I think the answer might be simple.  Only when learners desperately want to learn from their teachers will their teachers fully impart their knowledge to their students.  No matter where we are or what we are doing in the future, we should be aware of our attitude on learning. Learning is not one way – from teachers to students.  Learning is cooperation between teachers and learners; learning is interaction.

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