In Chapter Seven of New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning, Lankshear argues that traditional brick and mortar universities are transmitting knowledge in a static vacuum that does not prepare students to think in the creative ways necessary to solve in-context (i.e. on the job) problems. Since this is the case, teachers need to transition from the “push” method of teaching to a “pull” method.
Simply put, the push method of teaching occurs when a teacher or institution anticipates needs and then allocates resources to address those needs. Conversely, the pull method of teaching involves providing agents with the tools necessary to solve unanticipated needs. It is much less dictatorial than the push method and allows for a more creative approach towards problems solving.
The pull method is comprised of three different components: Access, Attract, and Achieve. In a pull model, participants can access, at any time, the people and resources necessary to solve problems. Furthermore, by attracting the resources and methods necessary, the pull method helps agents “reach within themselves” to achieve their goals. The ultimate goal of a pull model is to enable participants to not only learn, but to innovate in their chosen fields.
As a teacher, I find the pull model attractive. I am very committed to helping my students find their passions and then trying to design my lessons around those passions. For instance, in my writing class, I have decided to create a classroom publishing firm. We will have writers, editors, researchers, and illustrators. The entire class is going to write one story with all students contributing in some fashion. The students chose the genre, horror. I am hoping that, by choosing a genre they are passionate about, my students will be able to produce equally passionate writing.
Obviously, creative writing requires the ability to respond to unanticipated needs, which the pull model directly addresses. While I am not going to explicitly teach the Access, Attract, Achieve components of the pull method, I am going to attempt to design this project so that these components will be present. It should be an interesting journey!
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
I am a Special Education teacher currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Information & Learning Technologies (Option: K-12) at CU Denver. I work at Boulder High School in Boulder, CO. Here you will find my thoughts on education.