Permissive teaching or Productive Teaching?
This is a little confusing. Permissive has a denotation of tolerance towards a social behavior. If you define it as “productivity”, you are implying that tolerance breeds productivity, which is not always the case.
I will try to answer your question in both ways then.
By tolerance, we mean understanding. To make the teaching-learning experience a permissive one, it is necessary for the teacher to study the behavior of the learner. It means going deep into the psyche of the learner i.e., his physical, social and psychological personalities as humans tend to combine all these in their interactions with the persons around him.
The teacher’s duty is to dig deep into the family, academic (e.g., teachers) and peer background of the learner.
Erik Ericsson summarizes this in his psychosocial theory of development. Ericsson divided age groups of the individual into specific categories to which every person undergoes. If positively reinforced in each stage, the person gains trust, autonomy, initiative, industry, has a sense of identity, intimate, productive and has a sense of integrity. Each stage is essential to the next as the individual learns lessons from constant social interaction with the family (Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Generativity vs. Stagnation), peers and academic background (Initiative vs. Guilt,, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation). (Cherry, n.d., http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial.htm)
Provided that the teacher examined the aforementioned backgrounds (family, academics and peers), the teacher must then apply Ericsson’s theory to understand the behavior of the learner. The Guidance Office usually has the psychological profile of each student. The teacher must then consult this information, together with some that he should gather from the learner’s teachers and peers. Only then a permissive teaching-learning can be achieved.
But if the teacher will be tolerant to ALL learners, there will be a tendency for the students to have an impression that the teacher is too lenient. The teacher loses authority inside the classroom. The result is an environment where the teacher becomes the puppet to the whims of the students, however petty it may be.
Humans are individually different. They respond to the same stimuli in different ways.
To make the teaching-learning experience productive, he must be:
“1) The information provider in the lecture, and in
the clinical context;
2) The role model on-the-job, and in more formal
3) The facilitator as a mentor and learning facilitator;
4) The student assessor and curriculum evaluator;
5) The curriculum and course planner; and
6) The resource material creator, and study guideproducer.” (Harden and Crosby, 2000)
The teaching-learning experience will only be productive if and only if the teacher transcends his role of being a “second parent”. Tolerance is good, but too much of anything good becomes bad.
When this happens, education becomes a process not only of informing the learners, that is, teaching them. Education becomes a transformative process where the teacher uses his subject matter to change the personality and behavior of the child, that is, guiding the learners.
A permissive classroom environment then can only be achieved if the teacher learns to be tolerant so as to guide students to be productive.
Cherry, Kendra. (n.d.) Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Early Childhood. Retrieved from:
http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial.htm. Accessed on 26 June 2011
Harde, R.M. and Crosby, J. (2000). AMEE Medical Education Guide No 20: The good teacher is more than a lecturer—the twelve roles of a teacher. Medical Teacher 22(4): 334-347.
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