Tuesday, January 19, 2010

teaching styles

Kohn, Alfie. "It's Not What We Teach; It's What They Learn". Education Weekly: September 10, 2008.

This article talks about the ways teachers deliver the content of their lessons. Many times, especially in high school and college, teachers relay all the content knowledge through lectures. This does not necessarily give all students access to the information. This is the same for the reward systems teachers use. Many teachers try to promote actions through rewards such as grades. They believe by having these "fair" grades students will strive to do well. However, this is not necessarily the meaning the student is receiving. In fact, these rewards can have the complete opposite effect. Thus, it is important to be more of a listener than a lecturer as one teaches.

Though Kohn gave some great food for thought in terms of how meaning is conveyed, it was just that. Great question to get one thinking but no solutions or suggestions on how to answer these questions. I would like to know what methods have worked for people or even what people have tried.

I had never really thought about how the message I am sending to my students is taken by them. Are the ways I try to motivate them to take ownership of their education having the opposite effect? I am curious how I can make sure the proper meaning is reaching my students.

- "More generally, they're apt to realize that what we do doesn't matter nearly as much as how kids experience what we do." (1)
- "It's the message that's received, not the one that the adults think they're sending, that counts." (2)
-"Results don't follow from behaviors but from the meaning attached to behaviors." (2)

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