Chapter 2… Assumptions X 4

Brookfield outlines four assumptions he holds about Skillful teaching on page 15 of his book (3rd edition). Overall I agree with them and can relate as I have had similar experiences and similar opinions. After relocating to Qatar, my learning group of adult fire fighters and oilfield workers was exchanged with college aged Qataris. Assumption 1 and 3 became a huge reality very quickly. The content of what I teach became tertiary to how I could teach so they could grasp the concepts and the importance of forever assessing how the students were perceiving me. My learners here are all English as a second language and they naturally do not like asking questions. They will also not ask for help of they need it and require a lot of self-assurance that they are doing things right before completing assignments. I find his last assumption interesting as it is a topic of debate here in Qatar. “College Students of Any Age Should Be Treated as Adults” I have all my students in a Whatsapp group. Several times a day I remind them to come to class, bring their books, tell them when tests are etc… Myself and a few others have added this element of ‘parenting’ into our teaching routine. Other instructors scoff at it as they think we are treating them as kids. Perhaps but before I started ‘tucking them in at night’ I had very poor attendance and experienced many frustrations of them forgetting materials and not completing assignments and missing exam days. I don’t feel I am babying them, its part of their culture as their whole life is spent taking direction from their father. This takes us back to assumption 1 as I’m adapting to meet their learning style. If they are not in class they will not learn so I have to start with getting them their. I currently have the best attendance records so I will not be omitting their 6am wakeup call anytime soon.

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