Here’s a passage from my Next Era Ed book I wrote this morning.
What if we could improve students:
- conceptual understandings
- retention of information
- quality of performance
- interest in pursuing further study
- mental wellness & self concept
- sophistication of thinking
What if the methods were “sure-fired” with decades of research at some of the most respected universities in the world?
What if each were backed up by a model that defined effective strategies to ensure success?
Want to review the list again, because I’m about to pose a trick question?
Ready? Okay, you can improve students learning in all the ways in the list above as long as you don’t do one thing: teach. Especially in a school.
It seems cruel doesn’t it?
But a few hours later as I am going over a list of ICT Skills generated by a school I work with, I ran across this item that a “teacher” added to the list of “baseline skills.”
- Teach students how to use the Internet for research purposes, including advanced search functions, keyword choice. etc.
This kind of thing makes me want to scream (and validates my point above). Can’t we recognize that if we stop thinking “teach” and shift to “learn” that it creates an entirely different (and better!) criterion?:
- Create a task that can only be achieved when students appropriately use advanced search strategies.
I suppose one main difference is that the first one is very easy…
(please pardon my frustration, but some days the mountain seems awfully steep)