Learning Headache

Have you ever found a couple blog posting one right after another that hit you so hard and send your head into a tailspin that you get a serious headache from it? I hope its not just me!

I just got done reading the Connectivism blog. I’ve been meaning too for a couple weeks now, and finally today took my lunch time to read. (My PD for the day) I don’t even know what to say other than if you haven’t read the latest three posting from George Siemens you are missing out on some amazing material. It’s not that anything he says is new, it’s just the way he says it and I guess the fact that my beliefs about education, learning, etc is reinforced by someone like George Siemens. I feel it allows me to say “See I know what I’m talking about…quit looking at me like that.” It’s not just George it’s everyone in my bloglines account and others I’m adding.

All this after I read Vicki Davis’s latest blog entry entitled Giddy-up or Give it up? Lessons from my day with President Carter! My only question after reading Vicki’s post is: How do I get teachers to have some giddy-up rather then give up?

Instead of saying: “Here we go again.” they say “What can I learn.” Instead of “I don’t understand this stuff.” they say “How do I learn this?”

Teachers (not all, but I would say the majority at this point…or at least the majority I know.) want to pretend that technology doesn’t exist that it’s this scary thing that we want to lock up and only let out on certain occasions, like once a week during lab time.

So after all my reading today I’m struggling with these two questions:

How do we get teachers to have some giddy-up, or should they have it already?

How do we change our focus from content to process? To understand that the connections and the process of finding information is more important than the information itself.

Time for Advil

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2 Comments

  1. You wrote “To understand that the connections and the process of finding information is more important than the information itself.”

    I wonder if teachers would feel more comfortable embracing new things if we stopped telling them what was “most” important (which usually goes against what they believe, otherwise it wouldn’t need to be said) and instead told them that what we were trying to get across to them is EQUALLY as important to what they are already doing.

    As a history teacher, I’ll be the first to admit that names and dates aren’t the most important thing students should be taking away from my class, but I still place value on knowing and being aware of at least some names and dates. The point is, while some old school history teachers for example, may think that it’s all about names and dates and we walk into their classroom and tell them that their philsophical approach is all wrong, can we really expect them to smile and say “great, now how do I learn this?”

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree with what you’ve said but you’re preaching to the choir. If we really want to get more teachers on board with what we believe, we probably need to stop placing a greater value on our own perspectives (even if we happen to be right) and ease them over to our way of thinking gently so that they can figure it out for themselves.

    What do you think?

  2. I spent some time talking to a 63 year old English teacher who has lots of “giddyup” and she said something very interesting.

    “I found that everything I learned in school was irrelevant to the actual classroom. They taught me to know English so that I could write the curriculum. However, every classroom I’ve ever been in I’ve been given the book and the material to cover. I then have to teach that to the students. They didn’t prepare me to teach they just taught me my subject.”

    She went on to say that a good teacher could teach most any subject. Most of teaching isn’t content knowledge although the content has to be correct, it is the enthusiasm, the excitement, the ways the teacher reached the students.

    She said, “After almost forty years of teaching I realize that teachers aren’t being taught HOW TO TEACH but WHAT TO TEACH. Then, when they are told WHAT TO TEACH and are expected to know HOW TO TEACH that they get disheartened.”

    She knows a lot! I think this speaks to your issue.

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