Skip to main content

Personality and Context Follow-up

Last week, I quickly finished Rita Carter's book that inspired the previous post.  Although I found the first half of the book informative and inspiring, I was disappointed in the second half, which functioned more like a self-help book of getting in touch with your other personalities.  As an advocate of the skeptical movement, this half of the book rubbed me the wrong way.  It reminded me of plotting my astrological star chart, which I used to do in my undergraduate years.  Granted, there is much more science behind Carter's guidance than astrology.  However, she urged her readers about the fuzziness in implementing and interpreting personality tests like the Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN) Test in the first half of the book.

I suspended my disbelief and took the test here for each of the roles I play in my life from father to PhD candidate to friend.  Most of this exercise confirmed what I already believed, but I learned that I could not pin down one specific personality for the role of teacher.  As I stated in my previous post, my teaching personality depends so much on the context of the schooling and the culture in and immediately outside the classroom.  I believe what drove me to read this text was to discover either my core teaching personality, which I'm not sure I or anyone has, or my various teaching personalities, which I learned are not as fully developed as many of my other personalities.  What makes it harder is that I am not currently teaching, so I have several teaching contexts to reflect upon.  So although I enjoyed taking a different perspective on teacher dispositions, I was disappointed with the book as a whole.  It really is only half a book.

So what?
It seems to me that a teaching philosophy is more of a constant than a teaching personality.  Perhaps for some teachers they are nearly the same as in being a kind and friendly teacher.  However, I argue that how we exhibit kindness and affability depends on the context.  Perhaps my experiences have made me more aware of this as I have found that eye contact, smiles, and laughter can carry different meanings across different cultures.  This is something I'd like to investigate more closely.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Research in the ELT Profession & Industry

My career has taken me to the uncomfortable and sometimes exciting spot in English language teaching or education in general: middle management, a term I dislike. As an advocate of teachers, I find my direction and passion by supporting teachers, helping them make their jobs more meaningful. Unfortunately, I have had to work with supervisors that didn't understand or share this vision. I'm not sure if they saw me as someone to "manage" teachers, but it often felt like it. If you don't know what middle management jobs are, and there are a lot of them, they go by many different names. Match any of the words in the left column with the words in the right column to create a job title that can describe the same job.


It seems that most of these job descriptions do not include research, which I believe is essential in developing curriculum and professional learning. It also seems obvious to me that a background in pedagogical research (and for ELT, research in applied …

Are you an Open Educator?

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/18162314289 What is an Open Educator? According to a recently published article from the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL):

An Open Educator chooses to use open approaches, when possible and appropriate, with the aim to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning. He/she works through an open online identity and relies on online social networking to enrich and implement his/her work, understanding that collaboration bears a responsibility towards the work of others.

Does this sound attractive for English language teachers? It seems to some who offer courses through or with YouTube. But what does it mean "to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning?" Working for free? Not necessarily. If you read the article, it seems you'd be working on a sliding scale depending on the socioeconomic status of the learners, but this sliding scale is a sliding slope. How can poor le…

Revisiting Multiliteracies & Moving On

I have been interested in a multiliteracies approach to English language learning and teaching for almost a decade now. I've been blogging about it since 2010 and I gave a presentation on this for two conferences in Iowa. I decided to put this interest aside so I could complete my dissertation on another topic and search for jobs. Now that a few years have passed, I'd like to share how my interest has changed.

The foundation of my interest is best represented by the Prezi I made (below) for my 2010 MIDTESOL Conference presentation:



My primary reference was Stuart Selber's 2004 book Multiliteracies for a Digital Age, published by Southern Illinois University Press. While working for the Kirkwood Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (KCELT), I found some similarities between my highlighted concepts from Selber's book and the Framework for 21st Century Learning, which you can view at http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework. The third category (Information, Med…