14 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2018
    1. But frustratingly, most schools then somehow manage to untrain that confidence.”

      This is the key to the whole argument. The door is unlocked. Kids get "unmotivated" in "sit still and listen" environments despite the natural human motivation to learn. Let's flip this. Here's the one-liner that supports the thesis of the paper.

    2. For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Some go kayaking; others work on a farm. Anton went trekking along England’s south coast.

      Given a limited amount of funds, part of these student's curriculum is to literally go on an adventure. This is an extreme contrast to the encouragement of "sit still and listen" we see in the traditional classroom. And yet, these kids seem to be more motivated to do work. Go figure.

    3. Without grades, it seems students are still extremely motivated and intelligent, and the points system as well as the timetable system seem to do nothing for intelligence or motivation, at least in this specific case.

    1. The teacher at Cavendish Road High was using a technique known as cooperative learning - encouraging student discussion in small groups.Preliminary scientific results suggest it is working, and the students agree."I like to be doing stuff physically and doing it with other people as well in a group," said student Jack Morris.Ms Morgan said group discussion does not work for all subjects, but thinks it is a good idea for science."I think you get a lot more input from other people and you can generate more ideas," she said.Words of praise aside, the school's principal Corinne McMillan said teachers are prepared to also accept negative feedback as part of the process."I guess our teachers are very used to a feedback culture," Ms McMillan said.

      Feedback and student participation - methods that are commonly associated with new-age learning - seem to be effective in this study. That being said, I can't seem to find evidence of this kind of quantitative data being used for traditional learning methods.

    2. "It feels really odd when you're in there," explained Year 8 student Jess Morgan."But after a while you just sort of forget about it and you just start working normally."

      If the equipment is messing with the way that the kids respond to the lessons, there could be skewed results.

    3. A nationwide research project is underway to gather hard scientific data on which teaching techniques are most effective in Australian classrooms.

      In Queensland, Australia, researchers are finding the best way to learn by using scientific instruments. This is a vastly different method than, say, using standardized testing, and will be a hugely valuable study for this paper.

    1. "All over the school, children are saying 'I infer this' and 'I used this schema,' " says the teacher, who says it's worth her job to speak up publicly. Like many other teachers, she has spent thousands of dollars of her own money over the years to buy much-needed teaching materials for her kids - even as the province throws millions on the latest pedagogical fads.

      This is where we must ask whether teaching metacognition really is a "pedagogical fad." It is abundantly clear that this topic is fraught with controversy, particularly among people whose traditional educations made them traditionally intelligent. The author later cites "one skeptical observer, who's an expert on trends in reading instruction," who contends that "[he/she has] seen no empirically valid evidence that says [higher level thinking leads to all kinds of wonderful breakthroughs]." And yet, oddly enough, the Canadian government is pushing this hard. It begs the question of whether there is outside lobbying influence in education fields, or whether this "expert" simply has yet to find the evidence that the Canadian government has.

    1. Students are given opportunities to plan and organize, monitor their own work, direct their own learning, and to self-reflect along the way. When we provide students with time and space to be aware of their own knowledge and their own thinking, student ownership increases. And research shows that metacognition can be taught.

      Here we have a major controversy in the question of teaching. "Metacognition can be taught" is a statement with factual structure and opinionated reality. From all over the world, traditional-style teachers are rolling in their graves at this sentence, because "research shows" can mean anything, and there is plenty of "research" to the contrary, as well. Nonetheless, it ought to be considered, since in certain environments, self-direction may be the best medium.

    2. Teachers need to frequently step offstage and facilitate entire class discussion. This allows students to learn from each other. It's also a great opportunity for teachers to formatively assess (through observation) how well students are grasping new content and concepts.

      It seems nearly universal that "apartness" is harmful to the classroom environment. Instead, to open the class to discussion seems the best way to facilitate understanding of a topic. With this understanding, we can narrow our methodology down to include discussion on a classroom scale. Less popular, though still relevant, is the idea that one-on-one discussion promotes healthy learning, but this does not seem the article to tackle this issue.

    1. Using technology is another path to educate well that I had not previously considered. "Fun" learning seems to be an important part of contemporary pedagogy, and it will be interesting to see whether this pays off. It does not seem that there is currently a way to quantify the difference between fun learning and traditional learning aside from standardized test score, which will be established later as an inadequate means for measurement.

    2. Education is a long-term process. While technology has quickened the process and has been reaching out to more learners through machines, it cannot redefine the basic approach required to meet the needs of children who fail to understand the academic concepts. It is only by adopting a seamless blend of the efficiency of the digital medium with the penetrative and focused tutor-assisted learning methods that one can create an impact on the way education is consumed. The current crop of ed-tech firms is all set to garner the interest of masses wherein the focus will be on both the online and offline assisted learning.

      Technology is currently being used as a medium for quickening the pace of traditional pedagogy, rather than pioneering new pedagogy in a contemporary landscape. It is worth noting that "tutor-assisted learning methods" are gaining popularity, since these are typically expensive and reserved for those with expendable income. Tutoring becoming cheaper and more accessible could be a big factor in finding the best way to teach, since tutoring is typically supplemental, rather than intrinsic.

    1. While progressivists and traditionalists may seem to be at odds, there are many educators who believe that schools need to incorporate both kinds of instructional methods. Traditionalist instruction in basic skills in the early grades, they argue, should lay the groundwork for the more complex and less rigidly structured learning that older students need. Moreover, disciplined learning of facts can be combined with activities that foster knowledge integration and insightful thinking. "These two traditions represent the best we know about teaching and learning," states David B. Ackerman, CEO of The Learning Navigator, which provides multifaceted support for learners. In the most outstanding schools, he argues, "both the progressive and the traditional strands intertwine, reinforcing and amplifying one another."

      One way to broaden the best way to teach, rather than inversely narrow the demographic for whom you are teaching, is to incorporate multiple methods into a singular style. Some, like David Ackerman, see the traditional and the modern methods working with each other, but none of this seems to have concrete factual basis.

    2. Since states must prove that they are making measurable progress toward the NCLB goal, many schools are monitoring student performance by giving standardized tests more frequently. These tests, which usually measure math and verbal skills, have created a renewed emphasis on traditional teaching methods in many school districts. Traditional forms of instruction, also referred to as "back to basics" teaching, emphasize memorization, recitation, drills, and structured, fact-based learning.

      Since NCLB is making critical the "success" of students, they are pressuring schools to use atypical teaching methods, leading to potentially disastrous consequences. Some believe that it helps to have children return to this "traditional" method, but as will be established later, it is difficult to say that "children" will benefit, when no one child is the same in terms of how they learn. That being said, this research is based on scores of standardized tests, so if test taking is our sole medium for how intelligent children are, then by all means, our "traditional" methods are the best possible way to teach.

    3. Critics of traditional methods, however, maintain that back-to-basics teaching imposes an impersonal, one-size-fits-all learning style on students. Many teachers argue that while rote memorization and multiple-choice testing may teach students what to think, they do not teach them how to think. Progressive teaching methods, on the other hand, incorporate personalized instruction group activities, hands-on learning, and experience-based knowledge to develop students' capacity for astute, probing thought. According to school administrator Deborah Meier, progressive techniques result in critical thinkers who ask: How do we know what we think we know? What's our evidence? How credible is it?Whose viewpoint are we hearing, reading, seeing? What other viewpoints might there be if we changed our position?How is one thing connected to another? Is there a pattern here?How else might it have been? What if? Supposing that?What difference does it make? Who cares?

      Seems to establish that singular viewpoints in how to teach are irrelevant. Each student has a different "best way" to learn, and therefore the absolute best way to teach cannot be pinpointed. In order to find the answer to this question, then, the demographic must be narrowed.