Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘Carl Rogers’

We ARE how we TEACH…

In Adult Learners, Classroom Teaching, Our Universities, Teacher Learning on 12/12/2012 at 1:11 pm

A few days back I did a very short post…and some of you thought I could never do it!

I drew on a few of the ideas of Carl Rogers to highlight what “MATTERS” when we thunk about allthingslearning. Actually, I’m still entertaining the fantasy that “Uncle Carl” may be my “birth father” and spreading rumours that he was actually in the UK around 9 months before I was born!


Although, I loved what he said about “real LEARNing”…my favourite quote from Carl Amca is:

Rogers QUOTE (Facilitation of LEARNing)

See that? He said “his LEARNing“…

…”proof”definitive proof…that he had an illegitimate “son”…during his stay in the UK!


The problem is, of course, that we all “define” ourselves as TEACHers (saying “I’m a facilitator of LEARNing” is still a bit of a mouthful for most of us)…and, sadly, most of us are still evaluated by how well we “sages” on our “stages”…

Tony Wagner QUOTATION (isolation)

…or, far worse, by the “grades” our LEARNers get by listening to (and memorizing) the diatribes of their EDUthespians – especially in our schools of so-called “higher LEARNing”!

BUT, I digress!


There is nothing wrong with being a TEACHer (despite what many parents “say”Thanks Pat) – what matters more, however, is the kind of TEACHer we is…

Another of my favourite quotes comes from Parker Palmerindeed, I “stole” today’s title from this very non-EDUthespian TEACHer:

Palmer QUOTATION (TEACH who we are)

Take another lookwhat do you thunk Parker is saying to YOU?


It makes total sense…when we work it out (it took me a few stabs)!

The first step in becoming a better TEACHer is all about LEARNing more about “who we are” as TEACHers (pre-, while- and post-classroom “performances”).


This, in turn, requires that we recognise…

Whitby QUOTATION (Better EDU cators)

…Yes, I am on a roll with all my “stealing” today!


In recent years, we TEACHers have started to talk a lot more about LEARNacy – the LEARNacy of our students.

This is wonderful…but not enough.

We really have to explore our own levels of LEARNacya wee bit more, first!


So, here’s another whacky idea – I’m coming up with a lot of these of late – why don’t you speak with your Head of Department…your Supervisor…your Dean…today…

…and ask her to cancel this week’s (boring) “meeting” (you know it’s going to be a waste of time, anyways)…and replace it with a “brown bag TEACHer LEARNing Forum”.


You know…so you can share some thunks on the following questions:



these ones even:



…and, here’s a few that will “retire” a few cells of that old grey matter:



Aristotle QUOTATION (we are what we do)

I WANT to talk about LEARNing…

In Adult Learners, Assessment, Classroom Teaching, Our Schools, Our Universities on 10/12/2012 at 8:37 am

This will be one of my shortest postsever!

So, I’ll let “Uncle Carl” speak…

Rogers Quote Pt 01

Rogers Quote Pt 02

Rogers Quote Pt 03


Time…me thunks…to ask some questions:


Q3 (typo corrected)



REAL Learning…

In The Paradigm Debate on 17/02/2011 at 9:36 am

A confession – I have been a bit of a “groupie” for the past few years!

When I read that it was “time” to leave behind the “old 4Rs” of education (Remembering, Reasoning, Reciting and Regurgitating) and get busy with the “new 4Rs” (Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Reciprocy) – I realized that Guy Claxton had said in only 8 words what I had spent thousands of pages trying to get across to people!

Claxton is highly critical of the way we “do business” in our schools today – and his mission is essentially all about narrowing the gap between the way learning is “done” in schools, and the way it is done in the “real world”.

He breathes life into the type of learning Carl Rogers always talked about:

I want to talk about learning. But not the lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff that is crammed in to the mind of the poor helpless individual tied into his seat by ironclad bonds of conformity! 

I am talking about LEARNING – the insatiable curiosity that drives the adolescent boy to absorb everything he can see or hear or read about gasoline engines in order to improve the efficiency and speed of his ‘cruiser’. I am talking about the student who says, “I am discovering, drawing in from the outside, and making that which is drawn in a real part of me.”

I am talking about any learning in which the experience of the learner progresses along this line: “No, no, that’s not what I want”; “Wait! This is closer to what I am interested in, what I need”; “Ah, here it is! Now I’m grasping and comprehending what I need and what I want to know!”

Carl Rogers 1983: 18-19

Claxton reminds us that life is “messy” and notes that in real life people:

  • Watch each other and copy or adapt what they see.
  • They go off by themselves to practice “hard bits”.
  • They ask their own questions and select their own “teachers”.
  • They make scruffy notes and diagrams to help them think and plan.
  • They create half baked ideas and possibilities and try them out.
  • They run through things in their head imagining how things might play out.
  • They imagine themselves doing something better and use this to guide their practice.

NOW, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw this reflected in how we “do business” in our schools – and universities!

SO, three books you gotta read: