The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

I just had a conversation with a teacher in which the fundamental question that has to be asked and answered is: How do students engage in relevant learning experiences? We already know the answer.

Compulsory learning does nothing for the student. In fact, it demeans the entire goal of learning and the intrinsic motivation to do so. Going through my preservice teaching classes, much discussion revolved around intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation to learn. Extrinsic, from my point of view, learning is achieved when I give a student a reward - candy, bookmark, computer time. Intrinsic motivation is learning because the student is compelled to do so. To compel a student to learn means the learning experience is not contrived.

Contrived learning is the lesson plan that structures every step of what to learn and how to learn it. The teacher, knowing the easy path is giving the student everything they need to learn, writes down the steps to be followed. Students know they are not really learning. As I frequently reiterate to myself, learning is messy. At times there is a straight forward process to learning though, more often than not, there is no process, no steps to follow, and certainly no plan.

Real world learning is the only way we will get students to remain engaged but this means a shift in teaching. The shift is from teacher centered to student centered. Many claim to be student centered in planning, teaching, and assessing, but the reality is that we, as teachers, do what is easiest. It is easy to lecture, use the teacher manual, use online textbook resources, and download content. However, we already know that the degree to which the content is learned is much deeper than traditional teaching models. The same mantra is repeated in spite of this and that is there is too much content to cover and little time to teach all of it. We cannot call downloading of content teaching. We can call it a speech with information but no student is really engaged as a teacher speaks to class for an entire period. Teaching would involve inquiry by asking important questions to solve real life problems today, and not just creating the presentation that show regurgitated content.

We already know the answer to high quality teaching, it is transforming ourselves to do it.

Views: 493

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

David Chiles posted a status
"Google Launches Project Bloks Open Hardware Platform To Help Kids Learn To Code http://bit.ly/2930Fgo"
1 hour ago
Alexander Fleming updated their profile
8 hours ago
Shaunna Gaved updated their profile
11 hours ago
Profile Iconjessica meir, Patrick Snyder, Angela Szakasits and 6 more joined The Educator's PLN
Thursday
Thomas Whitby's video was featured

Games and the Future of Education | ABUNDANCE

Learning needs to be less like school and more like Angry Birds. We need get kids addicted to learning while they are having fun. http://xprize.org ---------...
Thursday
Thomas Whitby posted a video

Games and the Future of Education | ABUNDANCE

Learning needs to be less like school and more like Angry Birds. We need get kids addicted to learning while they are having fun. http://xprize.org ---------...
Thursday
Alyssa Johnson updated their profile
Thursday
Leona Hinton commented on Dante Munnis's blog post The Importance of Developing and Maintaining Writing Skills During College Time
"Writing is not for everybody - I totally agree with this statement! But it doesn't mean you can't learn some writing basics and be a successful student. Constant practice and hard work is the key. Read, think, write, repeat. Use handy…"
Thursday

Awards And Nominations

© 2016   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service