Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How the concept of learning transforms: "failure is instructional"

In this video, a teacher speaks her experience and what she has learned:
"And here's the thing that you need to get comfortable with when you've given the tool to acquire information to students, is that you have to be comfortable with this idea of allowing kids to fail as part of the learning process. We deal right now in the educational landscape with an infatuation with the culture of one right answer that can be properly bubbled on the average multiple choice test, and I am here to share with you: it is not learning."

Here's my favourite point:
" ... I put in front of them an authentic experience that allowed them to learn for themselves. I didn't tell them what to do or how to do it. I posed a problem in front of them /.../"

Her experience and ideas reach to me on a very personal level. Already when a student in middle school, I sensed that the generally approved take: "be a good girl and memorize shit for the test" was wrong on some very fundamental level. Later, working as a teacher, this sense grew into profound conviction. Just as I had struggeled with preparing for and performing in the tests that required reproducing the "empty data" that I didn't functionally understand in my childhood; once a teacher, I was struggling each time I had to "prove my students have aquired a quantity of knowledge". I would like to think I was able to find ways to make a difference and facilitate some actual learning - but in reality, I just don't know.

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