Post method pedagogy

Post method pedagogy is relatively a new concept in the field of ELT. It requires teachers to be context sensitive, innovative, and autonomous. Practitioners are suggested to be context sensitive rather than the strict follower of prescribed methods as granted. Teacher autonomy is so central that it can be seen as defining the heart of post method pedagogy.

First and foremost, it signifies a search for an alternative to method rather than an alternative method. Kumaravadivelu (2003, p.34) visualizes post method pedagogy as three dimensional systems consisting of three pedagogic parameters namely: particularity, practicality, and possibility.

Inevitably, the boundaries of the particular, the practical, and the possible are blurred. It means to say that each parameters overlap. Each one shapes and is shaped by the other. They interweave and interact with each other in a synergic relationship where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The result of such a relationship will vary from context to context depending on what the participants bring to bear on it.

The Parameter of Particularity

“Language pedagogy to be relevant must be sensitive to a particular group of teachers teaching a particular group of learners pursuing a particular set of goals within a particular institutional context embedded in a particular socio-cultural milieu” (Kumaravadivelu, 2001 p. 538).

All pedagogy, like all politics is local. To ignore local exigencies is to ignore lived experiences. It is a progressive advancement of means and ends. It is the critical awareness of local exigencies that trigger the exploration and achievement of pedagogy of particularity.

The parameter of particularity rejects the advocacy of predetermined set of generic principles and procedures instead seeks to facilitate the advancement of context sensitive, location specific pedagogy that is based on a true understanding of local linguistic, sociocultural and political particularities.

The Parameter of Practicality

The parameter of practicality relates to a much larger issue that directly impacts on the practice of classroom teaching, namely, the relationship between theory and practice.

The parameter of practicality entails a teacher-generated theory of practice. It recognizes that no theory of practice can be fully useful and usable unless it is generated through practice. It demands the active participation of teachers in the generation of the methods that fit their context.

For the generation of the methods that suit the sociocultural context of teaching the teachers should engage themselves in action research. Kumaravadivelu (1948, p.34) states, “A logical corollary is that it is the practicing teacher who, given adequate tools for exploration, is best suited to produce such a practical theory”.

If teachers’ reflection and action are seen as constituting one side of the practicality coin, their insights and intuition can be seen as constituting the other. It rejects the artificial dichotomy between theorists who have been assigned the role of producers of knowledge and the teachers who have been assigned the role of consumers of knowledge.

Instead, it encourages teachers to theorize what they practice and practice what they theorize. Thus, the parameter of particularity seeks that the second language teachers need to be autonomous, dynamic, reflective and intuitive so that they can develop practical (i.e. context sensitive) knowledge of second language teaching.

The Parameter of Possibility

The parameter of possibility is derived mainly from the work i.e. Pedagogy of Oppressed of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Critical pedagogists take the position that any pedagogy is implicated in relations of power and dominance, and is implemented to create and sustain social inequalities. They call for recognition of learners’ and teachers’ subject-positions, that is, their class, race, gender, and ethnicity, and for sensitivity toward their impact on education.

The experiences participants bring to the pedagogical setting are shaped not just by the teaching learning episodes they encountered in the past but also by the broader social, economic, and political environment in which they have grown up.

This parameter brings language teaching, culture, politics and individual identity (i.e. subjectivity) in contact and shows relationship between them. Learners’ social identities are given due emphasis while making decisions on pedagogical issues such as choosing methodology, designing tasks, designing courses, testing and so on.

Why post method pedagogy in language teaching?

The post method pedagogy in language teaching is necessary because there are various reasons which are pointed as below:

  • Use of post method pedagogy makes both the teachers and the students active and energetic.
  • Since the teachers have to generate their own methods which fit their context they become active.
  • It encourages the teachers to make teaching materials as per the interest of the students and their culture.
  •  Since the teacher generated methods are used, they are easy to implement and cost efficient too.
  • It motivates and brightens the students.
  • Post method pedagogy is culture sensitive due to which it addresses the cultural diversity found in the classroom.
  •  Post method pedagogy respects individual diversity and identities.

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