I think my big take-away from the idea of VTS is the notion that students have the power to engage with the content itself without the need for a teacher to mediate. Yes, a teacher’s perspective is valuable in pushing students to think deeper and ask more questions- but the authenticity of a students engagement with the content itself is very attractive. So often, I think students feel as though they must rely on the teacher to authenticate and verify their thoughts on a subject. With VTS they have all the information they need right in front of them. Again, the teacher has the ability to push them to observe more, both in terms of what they can see and what they are experiencing. I would like to use these strategies in my classroom as a means to facilitate group discussions and include built-in reflection time. These processes seem to promote an extremely important form of language building that I think will help to grow the classroom community in fundamental ways.
This article addresses the teacher role in the classroom that utilized VTS. As I mentioned above, it discusses the teacher’s role shifting from leader to facilitator. I think democracy is a crucial skill to teach in classrooms and VTS allows for a level of discussion that includes the teacher while giving plenty of room for authentic divergent thinking.
VTS is all about the student being the major focus. It is all about the students being the teachers more then the teacher being the teacher. I do like you website as well. It provides many different lessons and site into VTS.