This morning before leaving for work I was enjoying a cup of coffee with The Thinking Chick (the new nickname for my wife by my colleagues). We were discussion a video created by one of Chad Bates‘ students in class.
Me: “It’s a great video! And think how much more she’s going to remember about Excel. Way more then she would if someone just told her how to do it.”
Thinking Chick: “Yeah, but it’s not really about Excel right? I mean you’re always preaching about the skill is more important than the content. That the process she went through to teach herself Excel and how to create a graph is where the real learning took place.”
Me: “Yeah, but she now has the skill of creating a graph in Excel.”
Thinking Chick: “But that is actually just content right? Excel is going to change, creating graphs are going to change. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad she knows how to create a graph, but the larger picture here is that she learned how to learn. When Excel changes, when created a graph changes she will be able to learn to do it again. She knows, or is learning, how to learn. Isn’t that what you are always saying?”
Yes, that is what I’m always saying that the content is great, and we need the content for the here and now, but the bigger picture is this girl was working on a life long skill of researching, learning, and then sharing her knew found knowledge with the world by created a video. That is what I’m always saying!
Even I find change difficult. I was so excited about the content that I took my eye off the real learning. That’s what I love about the Thinking Chick. She keeps me focused, keeps me real, and when I do get excited about the technology piece she brings me back to the learning. To what we are here to do….teach students how to learn.
I too constantly battle with this change thing. I was taught the same way everyone else was. I was talk to learn….and, well that’s it…just learn.
I do seek change. In my job (6 different positions in 7 years) in my life (3 different countries in 7 years) and in my thinking (constantly reorganizing my rss reader). But it’s a mental shift that even I from time to time fail to reach.
I hope everyone has a Thinking Chick either at work or at home that constantly pushes your thinking both in education and in life.