Thursday, November 18, 2010
Making order out of chaos
This is what our students do too as they try to construct meaning - they investigate and connect new ideas to what they already know to deepen their understanding. These connections only occur when what they are learning has some relevance to them and yet challenges what they already know. When students are allowed to make these connections themselves they learn about the importance of problem solving and how to transfer knowledge between different sorts of problems.
The sort of education we engage in here does not often involve teachers asking for factual recall. It involves teachers making judgements about what to teach based on assessing the students' understanding. These judgements are made by listening carefully to what the students are thinking and adjusting the teaching accordingly. It requires the sort of intellectual freedom that is often not found in national curricula that involve students being at a certain place in the curriculum at certain times, in order to do well on standardised tests.
Photo Credit: Vector Consciousness by Ryan Gallagher