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pedagogical assumptions

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Below you will see a list of my operating principles in the classroom. Although none of these principles is original or radical, each is idiosyncratic to my personality; socio-economic background; socio-political orientation; value system; and academic training.

     <operating principles and assumptions>

 

 **Good teaching entails a democratic and egalitarian classroom, where everyone in the class has a voice. The instructor may be the leader or facilitator in this classroom, but his or her voice does not dominate. In the words of Martin Buber, I does not supersede the thou.

**An ethical, egalitarian, democratic classroom facilitates an expression of all student voices, as the teacher seeks to nurture their learning. **A democratic classroom empowers the instructor and students to engage in more egalitarian actions and power relations, mainly by way of the communicative activities that take place. Accordingly, How can I help you to improve your learning? and What do you need to have a meaningful learning experience? are questions the teacher should ask students several times throughout a term.

**Good teaching should have no proprietary ends, nor posture as possessing secret knowledge that only an anointed few may access. In this, all notes, handouts, resources, and references are made available to colleagues and students in both hard copy and electronic formats. Copyright material is also made available, with the understanding that citation etiquette is the rule.

**Good teaching is a highly demanding skill, requiring the teacher to possess talents in numerous areas outside his or her academic discipline. A good teacher is part actor, psychologist, salesperson, and intellectual midwife.

**Good teaching can be an acquired skill, and it most certainly is a skill that can be developed; therefore, it needs to be evaluated and updated on a regular basis by the students, peer review, and the teacher her/ himself.

**Good teaching requires the teacher to be a life-long learner and serve as a learning model for students.

**Technology and multimedia should be integral components in the teaching environment. At the same time, a technophilic stance is not required . Rather, the emphasis should be on a progressive pedagogy that sometimes makes use of technological tools.

**Technology and multimedia should be applied in unique and creative ways rather than used as high-tech applications of conventional materials. Some duplication of traditional course material using technology and multimedia is needed, however, to facilitate the transition from "Old" to "New Age" information and progressive educational delivery systems. The E-Folio Minnesota is one such transitioning system.