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: 159

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

Michèle Drechsler joined Lisa Michelle Dabbs's group
Thumbnail

The New Teacher Mentoring Project

To collaborate and find best practices and to mentor and support new and pre-service teachers in K-12 and higher education institutes of learning worldwide for online and offline learning.The New Teacher Mentoring project can help you navigate through your first few years of teaching with a virtual mentor.You can also find support by following Lisa Dabbs @teachingwthsoul and joining …See More
22 hours ago
Michèle Drechsler shared Eileen Lennon's blog post on Twitter
yesterday
Michèle Drechsler posted a status
"The personal learning network for educators"
yesterday
Michèle Drechsler shared a profile on Twitter
yesterday
Thomas Whitby posted a blog post

Methods: Tradition vs. Relevance

This morning I read a post from a higher education educator about the negative effects of Tech in lectures. The author was perplexed when he realized a great many students in his lecture hall were paying attention to Facebook, or attending to email during the course of a two-hour lecture. His school chose to ban tech devices from the lecture hall. Additionally, students were required to use nametags, so that the lecturer could address individual students with questions during the lecture. This…See More
yesterday
Thomas Whitby's video was featured

Don't Give Homework!

Episode 76: The Bedley Bros interview Alfie Kohn about his philosophy that homework is a bad idea. http://www.alfiekohn.org Mr. Kohn is a leading voice in ed...
yesterday
Thomas Whitby posted a video

Don't Give Homework!

Episode 76: The Bedley Bros interview Alfie Kohn about his philosophy that homework is a bad idea. http://www.alfiekohn.org Mr. Kohn is a leading voice in ed...
yesterday
Profile IconAnnie gilson, Donna Sullivan, Evelyn Kennedy and 2 more joined The Educator's PLN
yesterday

Awards And Nominations

© 2014   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service