In the last two days I have read some fairly earnest posts sort of dissing “dogme” in a kind of earnest way, earnestly. Initially, I got all bristly and slitty-eyed. But now….? Well let’s put it this way….
Here are some of things that were written – and I quote:
– dogme is “vacuous, anti-educational and bourgeois”(http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
– dogme is “elitist”(http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
– it’s “conservative”, emerging from the “well-heeled environs” of tapas and beer in Barcelona.(http://t.co/j69qR7mf)
Ho -hum. If that’s what people want to think, that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to some sort of opinion – informed or not – and expressing it isn’t going to change much.
Then there was something about teachers falling flat on their faces because “thinking on your feet is too difficult”, (http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
and somewhere further along there was something about teaching unplugged being “impossible” and the lesson “descending into a lame string of stilted, repetitive teacher-led” (http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
something or other.
You know, at the end of the day, I honestly can’t be arsed. If that is REALLY what people think, then just carry on. If falling on your face because doing it differently is too difficult, please, do it whichever way makes you feel comfortable, or whatever is easiest. I’m not going to proselytise. As old as I am, I have realised that changing people’s minds – particularly people who have dug their heels in – is a thankless task and I wouldn’t presume anyway.
But I would like to say a couple of things – read them if you will, or not, as you like:
– why does teaching have to be in inner-city slums to be worthy? and as an aside, I have taught bleeding, infected, desperate, weeping, homeless refugees how to speak English, using nothing but their experiences and the emergent language and let me tell you there was nothing pleasant or conservative or vacuous or bloody bourgeois about that.
– bored students (http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
= boring teaching and there, for any of you who have got this far, is the rub. I have taught for more years than many of you have been alive and I have NEVER had a bored student. And neither have my classes “descended into a lame string of stilted, repetitive teacher-led”(http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
whatever it was. That kind of statement tells me a hell of a lot more about the teacher than about any method he or she may be using or about the way I teach – dogmetically and unplugged, whichever word you care to use. I have taught business English for 12 years and I have been using this so-called “hollow non-method” (http://tinyurl.com/ct524cw)
of teaching all that time. It works for my clients – elitist and spoiled and conservative as they may be. That doesn’t make them less entitled to bloody good teaching – and that’s the bottom line.
So, if it is too difficult – do it your way; if you dare not venture down the road of falling flat on your face, but actually learning something about how to do it better next time, please, be really conservative and get someone else to do the “thinking on your feet” for you. And in the name of all of us, if you are boring your students, get the hell out.
Gosh – I guess I CAN be arsed after all!!
P.S – quoted texts referenced to avoid confusion.