Friday, December 03, 2021

principles and planning

I created this simple graphic as a reminder of the principles of Educational Sloyd. The sequence of learning described in it can be compared to Bruner's idea of scaffolding, but was first laid out by Diesterweg, a colleague of Friedrich Froebel. So while these principles are associated with the manual arts and Educational Sloyd, they actually fit education at large and describe the way we (even adults) learn.

These principles, reflecting how we learn present a challenge for educators. In order to start with the interests of the child, the teacher must be listening, observing and adapting continuously. And as a good teacher will know, plans can go out the window when student interests cease to be met. 

One of the reasons that rich schools are able to provide better educational outcomes is that smaller class sizes allow for personalized attention to learning needs. A good teacher recognizes the value of disruption when it can be safely directed toward learning goals and the needs of the students, which are often unrelated to the curriculum planned.

That's why teaching is much more an art than the closely scripted manufacturing exercise educational policy makers would like it to be.

While most educators face the challenge of either following or devising curriculum, we're far better off planning our own strategy for classroom engagement. Plan to listen. Plan to observe. Prepare to adapt lessons to meet needs. Hold self accountable to the principles of learning and growth.

Make, fix and create...

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