Students > Curriculum
I published a LinkedIn article titled "Flipping the Classroom Once More: From Curriculum-Centered to Student-Centered." In it I describe an epiphany that I had about nine months ago. The epiphany was this: student personality is more important than the curriculum. By this I mean that the people who are meeting together are more important than any books or any information or any learning objectives that I might have prepared for them as their instructor.
The epiphany has been working its way into my awareness for about as long as I have been teaching, but until recently I was unable to let go of my perceived duty to teach a certain predetermined curriculum. But, once I let this perceived duty go, student creativity and interest and growth have exploded. I have also learned a lot more than I thought possible as an instructor.
Last semester, and for the first time in my career, I teared up while sharing with my classroom of graduating seniors how proud I was of them and what they had done during the semester. No, they hadn't won awards for their writing. And, no, they weren't being recognizing by any national associations. I was proud of how they treated themselves and each other. They treated one another like human beings. They could listen to one another, and they could share what they had learned in a way that was non-defensive and non-judgmental. From personal experience and as a psychologist, I know how difficult these things are to do. But my students were doing them, and I told them so.
The article is just a taste of the book that is in the works. In the book I go into much further detail about all of the instructional changes that take place when, as an instructor, I gave up teaching.