Expectations and Experiences of Teacher-Student Encounters
In a ‘work-in-progress’ manuscript, Kifle is reflecting on expectations and experiences of teacher-student encounters. Let’s assist him in developing the manuscript further.
The full manuscript will be distributed via email.
In our ordinary understanding in the educational institutions, a teacher lectures, supervises, develops courses, leads learning teams (such as seminar groups), and examines or controls performance – student and/or course, which are multiple roles reflecting the teacher’s multiple identities in performing them. These multiple, and often, shifting identities are the formal requirements for a competent teacher, and to play these roles, a teacher communicates with students in way that s/he believes that students also have multiple roles to play under a given session or duration of an educational undertaking (lecturing, leading a seminar, supervising, etc.) so that the transfer of existing knowledge, or may be the co-creation of new knowledge, can be possible. These identities may sometimes lead to good performance and sometimes to conflict if not managed properly. However, do teachers and students communicate to each other always under those terms or withies expected limits? How many teachers, and sometimes students, act within the boundary of formality and informality? Where is the boundary between the formal requirements and the capacity and willingness of these two actors to strictly act within them? This is not strictly speaking a ‘scientific’ paper if by that word we mean assessing the existing literature on teacher-student relationships, link this to certain models of learning, and establish lessons or models that might help in the future trajectories of the process, or may be coming up with certain empirical ‘findings’. No, the aim rather is to take a reflective moment in what we as teachers might ‘say’ or ‘do’, and to ‘listen’ to a student voice in narrating from some of the experiences in the process of teaching and learning. There is also a related aim in the sense that the paper is based on my personal experiences as a student in the beginning of the 1990s when I came to Sweden as a ‘guest student’ and enrolled at an international school in which the teachers came from different departments. As such, the paper is based on personal reflections encountered by the author after moving to Sweden as a guest student. The host school, IGS, is has become defunct since the Erasmus exchange programs and diverse international networks have become the norm rather an exception. If you like the paper is a personal reflection over the process of learning. While assessing the possibilities to managing the teachers’ provisional, shifting and multiple identities, effectively doing so sometimes can be hampered by the way the teacher communicates with students.