Keeping it real: Brief reflections on teaching with social justice in my first semester of lecturing.
My recent first semester of lecturing (Land Law) was an overwhelmingly positive experience (despite the surprising workload associated with lesson preparation, marking, and student consultation). While I wasn’t completely unaware of what to expect, nothing can quite prepare you for that first time, standing by yourself looking out at a full room, noisy with anticipatory silence, curious smiles and guarded gazing, waiting for you to begin the show. I knew I wouldn’t be perfect the first time and would make ‘mistakes’. But isn’t that what learning is all about? My semester demonstrated to me that the first challenge for the new lecturer is to accept this (don’t be too hard on yourself) and be willing to engage in self-reflection. Reflecting alone and with colleagues was critical to my successful semester.
Research suggested the best classrooms were ones where students and teachers were engaged together in a spirit of enquiry and learning. In a desirable deep learning environment the teacher has a critical role in facilitating and directing learning – not controlling it. My head filled with grand pictures of the engaged classroom, I was excited to explore this – what does it all mean for my teaching, particularly at UNSW Law with values deeply rooted in ‘justice’? Continue reading