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Trust is a two way thing.. November 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauraduff @ 11:03 pm

I’ve been pondering about E-Technology and video sharing and to me it all seems to end up
with trust. Would you trust your students to not look up inappropriate content on the internet? Would you trust your students to use their mobile phone just as a camera in a respectful way during a project? Would you trust your students to gain consent before uploading videos? Most would say no.

Yet, were forgetting one thing: The students need to trust the teacher. In a primary school, you are generally their teacher for the year – so everything they learn in their lesson is down to what materials and teaching you provide. So surely the child should be just as worried about trusting their teacher as we should be in trusting them with what they know. Today’s child is more technology literate than ever and technology is what they know…the curriculum is what the teacher knows..yet the child is expected to just put this trust in theirteacher yet teacher’s are not expected to just put their trust in the child.

So although you may not have full trust in a child to not look up inappropriate content nor use their phone to send a quick text whilst supposedly using it as a video camera.. it’s highly unlikely that one teacher has the knowledge of the whole curriculum yet the child just has to put up with this. (Yes the teacher has had 3 or 4 years training…The average 15 year old child has probably had longer than this on technology!!)

If we put responsibility and trust into our students maybe we would see a more technologically advanced classroom?

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8 Responses to “Trust is a two way thing..”

  1. I’m not sure I agree with your point, I think the reason we can’t trust students is because they’re students! I can’t trust my students to do up their tie without being asked, or to not ball up paper and throw at other people or to bring a pen, etc. Therefore the temptation for them to use unmonitored technology correctly is pretty low in my eyes, no matter how much trust in them.

    To take another example, I can monitor all my students internet usage yet they still try to access inappropriate (to the lesson) sites so I am forced to block them – I always give them full trust in the first instance and all classes so far have needed sites blocking.

    • lauraduff Says:

      Hi Kieran, Thanks for your comment. Im not 100% sure either..Im not sure I would trust a class of 30 children to not look at anything inappropriate yet in my first blog on the comments David Gilmour talks about a study where they trialled YouTube and no one abused it so this makes me think maybe I don’t have trust in the children! It’s an interesting one.. I just think there are so many resources on website like YouTube that students could be missing out on if they cannot go on it..

      • A really interesting post Laura, thanks for sharing these thoughts.

        Your point on mutual trust is an interesting one, particularly the point about teachers subject knowledge. This implies that teachers feel the need to ‘cover up’ their lack of knowledge in some areas, and thus compromise the trust with their pupils in order to be seen as ‘the expert’. I am sure some do, but some teachers are open with their pupils about their lack of knowledge in certain areas. A good teacher at Primary level (and I would actually argue at any level) does not need to be an expert in an area of the curriculum. What they do need to be is a good model of learning, and a skilful coach who can bring on pupils in their learning whether they are experts themselves or not. Some of the literature on coaching (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coaching-Performance-Growing-People-Purpose/dp/1857883039) argues that those who are not experts actually make more effective coaches.

        Secondly, I think there is another side to your point about YouTube. Many young people are going to look at inappropriate content online. It is inevitable that at some point they are going to have some unsupervised internet access and many of them will experiment and push the boundaries to see what is out there. Rather than trying to clamp down on this by blocking and restricting, perhaps we should be more open and accepting of this. If the potential is locked out of our schools then we abdicate the responsibility to work with young people on this inevitable, difficult issue. If they are going to access some inappropriate material, at least if it happens in school it can be treated as a learning point rather then being driven ‘underground’. However, for that learning to happen then honest, open and frank conversations need to be had when young people do push the boundaries, rather than draconian punishments.

      • lauraduff Says:

        Thankyou for your comments 🙂

        I agree that “non experts” can teach it better as I found in school the teacher’s who just knew the answer couldn’t explain it as well as the ones who had just sat there and worked it out themselves. But I still feel a child puts a lot of trust in the Teacher and deserve some back.

        I agree with the YouTube comment. I read something a while ago to do with internet safety and it was saying about how we don’t teach children to cross the road on a fake road so why not let them on the internet. Im just not sure many school’s policies would agree with this! At my secondary school we weren’t even allowed on YouTube until we were over 16 and even then it was with teachers supervision in class!

  2. Pedro Says:

    Just some thoughts:
    Pupils trusting the teacher is essential for learning and has a big influence on learning effects. Cunningham and Gresso (2003) described trust as the ‘foundation of school effectiveness”. Being able to trust someone is one of the variables that make learning possible (Rotter, 1967).
    But… a teacher is right in not trusting fully the pupils, because brain research showed that even adolescents still don’t have all the control to inhibit wrong behavior. Not that they can’t see what they do is wrong, but they don’t have the thinking powers to control everything.
    Oh, btw, being an expert or just knowing what you need to know as a teacher has little influence on learning results (Hattie, 2009)

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