Friday, March 17, 2017

The lift of real learning.

One of my fellow teachers at the Clear Spring School confided to me, "I'm not really good at lecture." My thought in response was that the student's aren't either and not being good at lecture means that he's found more effective ways to teach. In fact, lecture is a way to present scads of information that will inevitably be poorly received and poorly processed. And the evidence is already in that students learn better by doing things themselves than by being lectured to.

Let's have a show of hands. Raise one or both if you are one of us... Can you remember a time in which you were extremely excited by something you had learned? Think back to the circumstances and please let me know immediately if it was given to you in a lecture format. I suspect that in nine cases out of ten the lift of learning would have come to you by doing something real.

And yet, schooling persists with millions of lectures being presented each day. Oh, the absolute weight of it all! Teaching and learning can be a heavy burden shared by teachers and students alike when lecture is the primary means of schooling. Compare and contrast it to the lift of spirits that comes when children and adults are given the power to learn through doing real things.

A parent of one of my first grade students told me that sometimes her son (being very young) is hesitant about coming to school. She needs only mention that "today is a wood shop day" to get him dressed, out the door and in the car for the trip to school.

Make, fix, create and compare that others may be encouraged to learn likewise.

1 comment:

  1. I get asked by lower grade students in the halls, "are we doing clay today?" I take one of three classes of art with them in rotation. Middle school I teach wood working.
    Ed Huml
    Brooklyn, NY