It makes no difference if you are teaching in the classroom or coaching a baseball team, resistance from the learning body can be frustrating and at times debilitating. In chapter 17 of Brookfield’s book ‘The Skillful Teacher’ he outlines some ways to respond to students that push back or do not respond to your teaching efforts. Some of Brookfield’s ideas are as follow’s:
1) Check that your intentions are Clearly Understood.
2) Assess Learning Incrementally.
3) Use a Variety of Teaching Methods and Approaches.
4) Try to Sort Out the Causes of the Resistance.
I think number 4 is very important. Establish Rapport with the class, ask them openly if they like how things are going. Use formative feedback forms to see if any identifiable root causes appear. Brookfield likes his Critical Incident Questionnaire to gain feedback. (Like many other chapters he loses the reader by revolving the entire chapter around his beloved CIQ’s 😦 😦
The one key factor that I directly link to resistance is motivation. History tells me that the most resistance I have encountered in the class is from unmotivated students. Focusing on different activities and teaching styles to try to keep the students involved is the best option to combat resistance.
Are you Experiencing Resistance in your classroom???