Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Transcending the Academic Lifestyle and into the Student’s Social Lifestyle—A response to a scene in "Etre et Avoir"

Like many of my fellow peers, I really admire the way Mr. Lopez helped the students arrive at the answers themselves. I was extremely captivated by the initial interaction between Mr. Lopez and Jojo, who was one of his students, and wanted to know if it was the morning or the afternoon. Given the student’s age, I did not expect Mr. Lopez to confront Jojo the way he did. He throws the question back, makes Jojo consider the typical activities performed in past mornings and afternoons, and ultimately has Jojo arrive at the final answer himself. Echoing the sentiments of Aristotle, Allison, and Lauren, this scene definitely deconstructs, to a certain extent, the notion of the teacher as the “authority figure,” by having the student figure out the answer himself. However, this scene also points out that this strategy must be utilized even with the simplest questions and with questions that are seemingly detached of academic value. Mr. Lopez could have easily given Jojo the answer, but this only disables Jojo from realizing that he can figure the answer out on his own—an answer to a question beyond academics. By watching this scene, I discovered that a teacher must not only destroy the students’ perceived hierarchy in the classroom within the academic realm, but the social realm as well. While teaching students that they can arrive at answers to problems like one plus one by themselves, we should concomitantly teach students that they can figure out problems in their lives on their own as well.

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