Monday, March 14, 2016

Dumping information

I've been thinking a lot over the past couple of weeks about something that Scott Klososky mentioned in his extended session at ASB Un-Plugged, about what students do with information that we give them. He said that as we give more and more information to students, he has noticed a pattern of dumping information - storing it temporarily like a post-it in the brain, memorizing it short-term and then dumping the information because they don't think they will need to retain it. This allows students to get a good grade on the test, but they have no memory of the content several weeks later. Students explain that they dump information because it is all available online and so they don’t believe they need to keep it in their brain. This is called the IK Cycle - with information being transferred to knowledge temporarily.  The worrying thing about this is that information never really leads to understanding and so it cannot become wisdom - it will therefore not be factored into a decision later in life.  Dumping information cuts down a student's ability to make meaning and be a creative problem solver.  Information cannot be applied, reflected on and then become embedded with values and beliefs.

Have you noticed your students dumping information?  What do you think we can do as teachers to prevent this?

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