I’m attempting to catch up on all of my ECMP homework right now so that I can focus on other subjects. While I was browsing through the rather odious amount of unfinsihed tech tasks I stumbled across Tech Task #8. The assignment was to add 4 people to your google reader Dean recommended and find three others. Then you had to right a reflective piece on something you read.I missed the whole reflective post thing the first time I did this. So I started digging through all the old posts that I had told my google reader to keep read so that hopefully someday I would get around to writing something about them.(I tend to read posts while in the middle of something else so I never seem to have time to write about what I read. Now, at 10:30 at night seemed the perfect time. So, as I said I was waiding through all of this stuff when I found Clarence Fisher’s blogpost entitled “Is Teaching marketing To Kids?” (Is that the right way to write a the title of a blog post. I can’t say I was ever taught how to do that. Short stories and novels and such but not ablog post.”
I think the reason this caught my eye is it seems to be about what we have been talking so much about involving students in learning and directing it towards their needs, both in ECMP and in other education classes that I have.
One question in particular that caught my eye was:
Do we know when to get out of their way and let them use the things we’ve taught them?
It reminded me of in our EPS textbook Understanding the Landscape of Teaching (see I know how to write that properly) when the authors talk about a little girl who says somthing like “I think I could learn pretty well if my teahcer would just move over a little. It made me think back to when I was in school, we had endless hours of learning but there was very little actual use of what we learned in ways that would make it relevant to my life. Oh sure there were endless hours of questions but no real examples of when you could use anything, or chances to show what you knew in other ways. I can’t think of any other ways off the top of my head but I’m sure I will in the morning when I change my mind about something I have written.
The idea of asking kids what they want to learn and how they want to learn is also something we have been talking about. This is something I actually did see more of in schools, at least in one school, so I kow it’s impact on learning. For one, the relationship you need to have with students is greater than that you would need to simply present the facts and leave it at that. Since good relationships are what helps students feel safe in their learning environment developing the realtionship necessar to know your students well enough to understand their needs is important. And quite simply kids care more about school when they have a say in what is happening. No one likes to have no control over their life, so why do we assume that kids will be willing to give up this control when they walk in the school doors? I can remember in the one school where students had a voice in the school; we were asked what books we wanted to read in English, how we wanted to learn, what multiple intelligence wer were, I was happier to go to school and I felt like my teachers really cared how I did. The next school I went to was the complete opposite and my opinion of school became the complete opposite, I dreaded going there everyday. Does it really take that much time to talk to students? Even if it does take up time, in my opinion that time is well worth it because your students will be engaged and willing to learn.
I suppose that is enough of a rant for now. I know there’s more I could probably talk about (for instance something about technology that is rolling around in my head but not forming itself into words) but it probabl won’t make sense if I try so I’ll leave it for another day.I kind of like this reflecting thing helps me think my thoughts all the way through by writing them down (typng them?) I had best continue on with the assignments. So much to do, so little time.