Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Boredom hurts!

Clearing out space for new ideas! Posted by Hello

I get regular ascd e-newsletters from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Leadership, ascd for short. They are always worth a 'lurk' through to see what is happening educationally worldwide and in particular in the USA. Mostly it makes me think we are lucky to be in New Zealand where teacher creativity has not yet been side-lined! As well I am ascd member and get their great magazines and free books. Great professional reading for those who have the time.

Anyway in a recent ascd conference report there was a small article about 'thwarting student boredom' by Richard Strong. I have long admired his writings.

My image above doesn't quite fit his article as it is all about clearing out old ideas to make way for the new. His article was reflecting that 'boredom hurts'. He was referring to the origins of the word boredom. Evidently it comes from an 18th Century medical practice of boring holes in peoples heads of those deemed mentally ill; 'Boredom hurts'!

Reducing boredom, Strong writes, is about increasing student engagement. When you are bored you are not having fun and you are not doing anything about it. Reducing boredom, Strong goes on to say, is about getting reluctant learners to become interested in their own ideas. It is about relating learning to student's lives; it's about tapping into students interests and dreams; about holding students attention because if there is no attention then there is no learning.

Read the article on the ascd website or the September 2003 Magazine. You can find Strong and his associate Silver on their website.

Just thought it was worth sharing. Learning in the olden days was always pictured by an image of a teacher pouring knowledge with a funnel into a learners brain. Now that was boredom!

From what I hear from many older students boredom is still a major problem for many learners! Today it is more about letting students ideas out of their heads than teachers pouring them in. I wonder where the word 'drill' comes from? It is funny that two year olds are never bored! Why is this?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Engaging learners in authentic learning tasks is the real issue for students in the year 9 10 age group. Boredom still hurts.