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New Online Teaching Model: Sage-on-the-Side? | online learning …

Via Scoop.itThe eLearning Site

Have you heard the online instructor [cheekily] described as a ‘guide-on-the-side’, contrasted with the traditional professor, known as the ‘sage-on-the stage’? I’ve heard this term often – my interpretation is that the ‘sage’ is the learned professor with great expertise and knowledge, the ‘guide’ the mentor or coach. The terms ‘sage’ and ‘guide’ in this context, epitomize a collision between two theories of learning, each with opposing views on the way we learn. The sage-on-the-stage labels a teacher-centered approach, essentially a directive teaching style, grounded in behaviorist theory. One such theory, developed by B.F Skinner, suggests the learner is a vessel, waiting for knowledge to be absorbed like a sponge. Contrast this approach to the constructivist model, of which educators Piaget, Bruner and Gardner support(ed), where the learner directs his or her own learning and ‘constructs’ knowledge by drawing upon his or her experiences and background while interacting with learning content.

3 thoughts on “New Online Teaching Model: Sage-on-the-Side? | online learning …”

  1. I appreciate the “un-distinctioning” of these two roles. Quite true that the sage and the guide need to morph into one sagacious yet coach/mentor figure in order for self-directed learning to occur, particularly online. The instructor need to be an expert in their field, skilled in instructional design, and possess the people skills to motivate and engage learners. This is ultimately a far more demanding position to take than either the traditional sage or guide role.
    Nice thought-provoking insight,

    1.  HI Justin,
      Glad you like the post. You are absolutely right, the role of the online instructor is so complex in light of the medium of online – he or she needs to be an ‘expert’ in so many areas. Debbie

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