Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ongoing nurturer training

Its time to say something again about nurturer training. We're planning to develop some sort of nurturer training programme and our own current growing participation is helping us to clarify what such training needs to include.

Now that we are talking during our supercharged participation sessions, new issues arise. Host people who help us, if educated, will adopt a teacher role, and try, for example, to test our knowledge and instruct us and give lengthy explanations of what we are doing wrong. So today, it was time for the three of us (Angela and I and Nurturer) to hunker down and get back to playing seriously! We explained again that this is not a class. The nurturer is to play with us in ways that let us grow. We are foreigners who want to take part in Potwari life. We are babies. The host person (we said, "local person") is a member of the society that we foreigners are trying to participate in. He is an adult member who his helping struggling babies to do what he is already doing as a member of his society. When we try to express ourselves in speech, he sees what we are trying to do and helps us to do it in a more host-like way than we are able to do without his help.

He really seemed to understand! (I still keep thinking he's going to read this blog one of these days.)

My feeling is that if nurturers in this country are to be trained, then the word "teacher" has to go! The easiest way to get rid of it is to borrow the English word "nurturer" into Urdu as a new technical term, and explain the differences between "teachers" and "nurturers" as part of the process of nurturer training. Of course, in the past we have pointed out that a teacher can be a nurturer. For now, however, that is just confusing, and we need to make a distinction between teachers and nurturers, or we'll have to settle for teachers who aren't nurturers. But for what reason? The most obvious reason is that we don't really believe in "growing participation" but rather in "language teaching".