segunda-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2010

Ensinar as crianças a pensar

The students that you have may not want to learn what it is that you want to teach. What to do?

First, we must establish if they can learn what you want to teach. I always wanted to teach my daughter to throw a ball properly. She threw a football astonishingly well at the age of six. But, she never got it about how to throw a softball. I don’t know why. She just couldn’t learn to do it right. She can’t do math either. Believe me, I tried.

Second we must determine whether what you want to teach can be taught. Not everything can be taught. It is hard to learn to be a nice guy if you are inclined to be nasty. You can learn to be nicer, or at least to fake it, perhaps, but certain things are hard to learn after a certain age. You can teach a two year old to be nice; a twenty two year old is another story.

Third, we must figure out what method of learning would actually teach what we want to teach. This is an important question that is made more important, in part, by the fact that the learning methods available in the schools tend to be of a certain type. The things that the schools desire to teach are of a type that conforms with the available methodologies for teaching. Content that lies outside the range of the currently available methodologies is typically not considered as something worth teaching.

Fourth, we must decide if a selected learning methodology will actually work, given the time constraints and abilities of the students, and other constraints that actually exist. This is, of course, the real problem in education. It is easy to say, that students would learn better if they had real experiences to draw upon. This isn’t that hard to figure out. What is hard is implementing this idea within the time constraints of the school day and the other demands of the school year.

Fifth, we must determine a way that will make what you want to teach fit more closely with goals that your students may actually have. Why is it that teachers, or more accurately school systems and governments, want to teach things that are not in accord with a student’s real interest? What is the real cause of this problem? Are the people who run schools simply out of touch with students or is something else more complex going on?
I will summarize these five issues as follows:


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