So, last Wednesday was our first lecture within the module ‘Becoming an educationalist’. We took our seats, unsure what exactly what the next 3 hours would entail. As it turns out, they were jam-packed with information and discussion from the two most energetic, animated and enthused lecturers (Tom & Sandra) I have met so far.
After a brief introduction Tom dashed out, while Sandra split us into small groups and asked us to come up with ten questions that we would like to ask in relation to what this class would cover. I guess that they handled things this way so we didn’t have to suffer the monotony of the module handbooks (yawn) and instead could get down to the questions that we each had in mind. It also presented us with the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the other students in the class, as well as getting us accustomed to these lectures being a two way street in terms of input.
Tom returned a short while later and we fired off our questions. In return we got our answers and then some. As if that wasn’t already enough to satisfy our hunger, he then dished out some Cadbury Heroes to everyone, along with the first of what I feel will be many words of wisdom.
“When you are teachers, don’t do what I did, cos of allergies. Instead give kids Starbursts, cos there’s nothing natural in them”
Afterwards came some more back and forth, Tom delving into great detail while Sandra reigned him in and kept him on topic. I was surprised a great deal by how much of this course is open discussion, rather than being spoken at for hours on end. I guess when I arrived in London I didn’t know what to expect, and my most prominent ideas about university were concerned with stuffy old men reading at you in a slow, monotonous voice. Instead what we had see so far really confirmed my hope that the idea of Education was a social act, and something that grows in a group through dialogue rather than within an individual who must suffer to be the recipient of never ending monologues.
Tom & Sandra gave me a hell of a lot of names to research, terminology to learn and concepts to ponder, but they gave me something much more beneficial. Personal Experience. Both had stories to tell; ones that seemed to mirror my own experiences with early education, and the years following my ‘escape’ from learning. The most important thing I needed from my first week at University was to feel like I belonged somewhere. I am still not sure where that is (the building is such a labyrinth that I keep expecting to bump into David Bowie) but I DO know it is somewhere in the London Met Holloway campus, and it starts at 9am on a Wednesday.