Learning How to Learn 
Author Message
 Learning How to Learn

Quote:

> I think that as teachers we need to set up a learning environment
> that encourages students to think and learn because too often
> students are stuck in classes at school that discourage them
> from thinking and learning.

I think more than 90 percent of my effort goes into encouraging thinking and
learning -- or maybe I could say honoring it. In John's statement I hear
something that some may consider to be a small semantic issue, but I think
it's important, and I believe it helps to drive education in the direction
we often complain about here.

That is, we tend to say that students don't think and learn, or we
discourage them from doing so, if they don't think and learn what we want
them to -- in accord with our expectations.

One thing I try to do is ask, what did the student learn? But I don't ask it
only in terms of how well the student met a set of expectations. It's also a
process of identification and then seeking common ground where the student's
interests and my interests meet. WHAT did s/he learn instead of what did
s/he LEARN?

When I can do this effectively, students who start out as oppositional or
like zombies become incredibly motivated. I also find a lot more common
ground than one at first might think there is. The problem, of course, is
convincing the powers-that-be of the validity of this approach. It requires
giving up a large degree of control, giving it to the student, and trusting
that it will all work out for the best -- not exactly the safest thing for a
teacher to do in a system driven by "what did s/he LEARN."

Tom

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Tue, 04 May 2004 13:38:20 GMT  
 Learning How to Learn
I believe that freedom of choose is inseparable from responsibility
and accountability.  Gaining the rewards or suffering the
consequences of ones deeds is a natural law.

IMO, what matters is the standards or norms that the majority adheres
to and sustains.  If the society can't hack it, then obviously,
rationalizing the standard is the only way to assuwage the pain.
Surely it feels good to succeed, but not at the expense of lowering
the standards.  If others can afford to spend the time and energy to
help those that struggle, then so be it.  Otherwise, to each his own,
right?

Of course, standards should be relevant to stages of growth.

If the responsibilities of maturity are awarded at an earlier stage,
then it should be by a society that has mastered the standard.  I
don't thing there's any getting around it.  The standards cannot be
rationalized.

Isn't the pleasure of life is to rise above ever growing standards?

----  Oops, my class is about to arrive ... I'll conclude this later.

:-)  edwin


It requires giving up a large degree of control, giving it to the
student, and trusting that it will all work out for the best -- not
exactly the safest thing for a teacher to do in a system driven
by "what did s/he LEARN."

Tom

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Wed, 05 May 2004 11:57:50 GMT  
 Learning How to Learn

Quote:

>I believe that freedom of choose is inseparable from responsibility
>and accountability.  Gaining the rewards or suffering the
>consequences of ones deeds is a natural law.

Pfui.  *Natural* laws don't need the intervention of a teacher (through
giving grades or whatever) to operate.

John Holt gives the example of a kid coming home late to dinner and the
parents sending him to bed without dinner as a "natural consequence" of
his lateness.  Holt says that a *natural* consequence of coming home late
would be that the dinner was cold, or having to eat alone instead of with
the family.  *No* dinner is an *imposed* consequence.

Similarly, the *natural* consequence of a child not learning something
is that s/he doesn't know whatever it is.  If that lack of knowledge is
actually important to that particular kid, then s/he won't need the
teacher to point it out.  If not, there aren't any natural consequences
of not knowing it!  Talk of "accountability" is precisely the opposite
of natural law; it's manmade law.



Thu, 06 May 2004 01:13:21 GMT  
 
 [ 3 post ] 

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