Saturday, December 11, 2004

What do you believe about teaching and learning?

Last night, amongst the frivolity of an end of year shout for teachers, there was brief discussion about the point education. It didn’t last long but it got me thinking.

All too often the deep purpose of education is neglected in the hectic real time of teaching but it should really underpin all we do. To do so we have to really know what we believe.

I believe we now know enough about learning and teaching that no students need fail; and that all students can learn given the appropriate task, time and help.

Translating that into practice is the challenge. What is it that we all know about learning? What are appropriate tasks for students, and what is the role of the teachers in helping each individual learn? Answering these questions develops a sense of shared purpose or vision for a school.

I read, while surfing the internet, what educator Chip Wood believes about teaching and learning in his book, ‘Time to Teach and Time to Learn’:

‘I believe deeply that our schools can be better, our classrooms more purposeful, more disciplined and more generative. We can make the schoolhouse a joyful community of learners, a workplace of deep intellectual exploration and broad creative energy, a trustworthy place for social and emotional support.’

I have had the privilege of visiting many classrooms that put these ideals into practice but not as many as I would like. And we all know that too many students leave our school system less than joyful learners!

What are your beliefs about teaching and learning? Be great to hear from you but at least give it a thought over the summer holidays

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We all must believe that humans were born to learn - that it is an evolutionary or survival imperitive.

What must concern all teachers is why this drive for competence and creativity is subverted.