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ERIC Number: ED462729
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Authority of the Teacher in the Student-Centered Classes.
Hackelton, Devon
In considering how a teacher can assert authority without giving up the benefits of classroom interaction, two premises should be acknowledged: students of a multi-ethnic classroom or with a wide range of writing skill deficiencies require more authority; and teachers should take responsibility for modeling acceptable patterns of discourse and using community-strengthening subject matter in the classroom. Placement of authority in the classroom has been a polarizing topic for 20 years. Authority does not denote rigidity and hierarchy in interpretation of students' work. Instead, authority means authorship: planning the reading and writing assignments, lecturing on structure and rhetorical strategies in writing and providing assignments that challenge students to contextualize their experiences and ideas into a larger community meaning. It is easy to polarize the terms "student-centered" and "teacher-authorized" to their logical extremes. One type of inescapable authority comes in assessment and grading. An educator and his students can collaborate on a rubric, or a list of attributes of academic writing. If educators choose not to codify, then it is their responsibility to model accepted academic writing. One of the benefits of teaching in a multi-ethnic classroom is that the students have many different stories to tell. Navigating 30 different students toward some central type of writing style in 40 hours of instruction forces an educator to assert some authority. Authorship in the classroom can also be asserted by the readings assigned. Readings that deal with human issues should be coupled with writing assignments that encourage students to discuss how they relate to the reading and how this relationship is part of a larger social construction. (A sample rubric is attached.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A