Tuesday, July 21, 2015

if this simple thing is true...

You can test this by measuring against your own experience. If it is true for you, then I'll ask your assistance in altering public education to better serve our children's intellectual interests and the development of character, both for students and for the nation.

We learn best when discovery is involved. Jerome Bruner called this effective surprise. Surprise brings the mind and body to a state of alert, and the things that students have discovered will be remembered for a longer period of time and be put to use. Surprise is made effective student's pre-existing sphere of interest. What we discover often differs from our preceding expectations and may involve a turning point for both students and teachers.

We learn best through what we have done, not through what has been demonstrated for us or taught to us. This fundamental principle is directly connected to the preceding one for without action there is no discovery. Typical lesson plans are intended to eliminate surprise, banish the unintended, and instruct effectively, but in doing so, children are often left bored, dispirited,  and complaisant. From an administrative standpoint, there must be no surprises. From a learning standpoint, surprise is what makes real student learning thrive.

So what should schools be like instead? Replace all classrooms with laboratories, studios, and workshops. Replace teachers with those who put tools and materials in students hands and allow them to create...

Our family reunion is near Petoskey, Michigan, home of the petoskey stone. If you can find one, they are lovely, and were formed from ancient coral predating the time of the dinosaurs. While here, I've been on the watch for one, and expect to discover one before the week is out. That will require me to walk a few beach and keep my eyes open. I am also thinking forward toward my classes beginning this coming Saturday at Marc Adams School of Woodworking.

Make, fix, create...

No comments:

Post a Comment