A Free Radical
In chemistry, I learn that a free radical is very reactive which could empower other elements to form a new compound. The free radical can be useful, but it is also dangerous. For example, a free radical can initiate methane compound as fuel, but it also can initiate cancer compound. As a teacher, I really stimulate to be a free radical in the good ways for my students. Shaping my teaching as a meaningful learning process and motivating them to be critical and creative thinkers. Even though, I realize that I have to struggle under the restriction of curriculum, examination, and supervision. Journey at SMEC, in bottomless of my heart, I am questioning my self as an educator, could I shape my learners as a holistic human under the borderline of standardization? Could I construct the learners to be initiator agency in their society? Could I silhouette my character as a free radical?
In Curricula unit, I gain knowledge of curriculum metaphor by Schubert (1986) and Pinar (1975) and try to reflect my teaching practice viathose metaphors. Schubert describes curriculum through eight metaphors which are as content or subject matter, program of planned activities, learning outcomes, cultural reproduction, experience, discrete tasks and concepts, agenda for social reconstruction, and currere. Some of those curriculum images contradict each other, such as cultural reproduction and social reconstruction. On the other hand, experiences and currere are related each other. For example, learners reconceptualise their experiences into the learning process. These experiences are supposed to be their guide to develop their own future as individual, professional, and social agency. Furthermore, Pinar concerns on curriculum as currere which as a relation between knowledge, self-understanding, and social reconstruction (Pinar, 1975). On the other word, it focuses on reconceptualise one’s life experience related to social reconstruction. However, I see that both Shubert and Pinar’s work have relationship each other in several metaphors which are curriculum as curriculum learning outcomes, cultural reproduction, experience, agenda for social reconstruction, and currere. In my opinion, we could put our dialectical thinking to interact with those metaphors. For example, teachers could modify curriculum as content or subject matter into the meaningful learning experiences of the students. Another example in my condition, I could not only focus on agenda social reconstruction thatignores the image of subject matter. It isbecause I should realize that my education system still imply some standardize assessment which focus on the content. However, I can apply the meaningful learning process for my students through varied teaching strategies.
Furthermore, according Ornstein and Hunkins (2004), there are four theories camps which are traditionalist, empiricists, reconceptualists, and postmodernists. In my opinion, teacher could empower their students to be creative thinkers under the reconceptualists and postmodernists. Curriculum metaphors under these two camps are curriculum as experience, curriculum as understanding, curriculum as reconceptualising, curriculum as hybridizing, curriculum as evolving, and curriculum as (de/re)constructing. Through those two camps, I could use the approaches and develop the materials to engage the learners through their own experiences. Using students’ own experiences will be interesting for them. The approaches such as problem solving, posing questions, open-ended tasks, and constructivism-inspired activities can stimulate students to be creative thinkers (Manzo, 1998; Hudson, 1999; Jefferey & Craft, 2004). However, it is not possible fully to apply these approaches under the restricted image of curriculum as list of contents to help the students using their creativity to identify and explore the knowledge.
There is no doubt that creativity is important for students to cultivate their individual and societal agencies . As an individual agency, creativity can help them to solve problems in the real life, as societal agency, creativity can stimulate them to be a pioneers in development of society such as science, technology, and arts ( Sak, 2004; Cropley, 2006). “Creative thinkers seek the unique ideas and solutions, and they create the origin products” (Meador, 1999, p.324). Furthermore, “creativity is the interaction among aptitude, process, and environment by which an individual or groups produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context” (Beghetto, 2005, p. 255). Moreover, “teaching for creativity is defined as forms of teaching that are intended to develop young peoples own creative thinking or behaviour” (Jeffrey & Craft, 2004,p.74). Therefore, promoting students’ creativity is important in all education efforts. Nevertheless, those efforts are marginalized by the power on teacher and instructional time (Beghetto, 2005).
As a beginning teacher, I never gave the room for creativity of my students. Under the reasons of limited time, list of subject matter, and national examination, I treat my students as empty glasses which should fill by water. No matter, the glass is full or not, the water is useful or not. According to Beghetto (2005) and Sak, (2004), teacher should reward the students’ creativity in the classroom. As a result, the students could feel their creativity is accepted in the classroom. Even within restrict standardize of curriculum, teachers still have the room for creativity by helping students to express their novel ideas and develop those ideas in the different context (Beghetto, 2005). Furthermore, I realize that learning and behaviour change can be achieved by promoting the creative, holistic, institutive through discovery learning and students’ experiences (Weare, 2004). According to Arp & Woodard (2004), one of suggestion to transform the curriculum is create the learning as an individual learning trough discovery which is a process to stimulate students to think creatively.
Finally, through this second journal, I really encourage myself and other teachers to be aware of our role to empower students as creative thinkers. It is not only to shape our learners as individual, but also as agency for social reconstruction. Furthermore, trough this unit, I also realize that I could not only use the metaphors under one camp, such as postmodernists. I should put my dialectical thinking to cooperate with my condition under the traditionalist and the empiricists camp which focus on subject matter and measurement. The measurement which can be observed by the teachers such as academic achievement on their cognitive abilities on the knowledge of subject matter. Therefore, it could be a challenge for me as an educator when I am back to my country