‘Questions are more powerful than answers.’ I heard this many years ago from a Lecturer in Education at USC and it has stayed with me even as many other once seemingly profound dicta have fallen away. In my teaching practice, there is no doubt that it is reflective questions that keep me engaged with teaching as a creative pursuit. All my questions about learning and teaching are perhaps subordinate to one major question: how can I create a better learning experience for the students - and a more satisfying teaching experience for me? However, I notice that as my teaching practice evolves, each year there are shifts and changes in the questions I am asking, inviting me to look a little deeper, challenge my own assumptions, reframe the view. The questions I want to share with you in the presentation relate to my favourite course that I coordinate and teach, LNG110 Languages and Linguistics. I always have a vision of students eaving the course just as excited as I am about the expanded opportunities that the study of languages and linguistics can offer for conscious participation in the diverse communities of the modern world. Maybe that’s why, even though I’ve been teaching the same course for five years now, I’ve never taught it exactly the same way twice. And with each new iteration of the course and fresh set of interactions with students, new questions arise as to how I can move further towards that vision. So, fresh from teaching this year’s version of the course, in this presentation I’d like to share three questions that are currently foremost in my mind, briefly explain my current practice that has given rise to those questions and invite in awareness of what else might be possible. These questions are: • What am I doing/what else can I do that will assist students to engage with the course in ways which are personally meaningful and relevant? • How do I encourage students’ voices and what’s my role in managing the polylogue? • How do I further support students in ways that foster autonomy, not dependency?
2016 Learning & Teaching Week: 2020 Teaching Visions. 2020 - What's Next?, Sunshine Coast, Australia 31 October - 4 November 2016