Truth in advertising?

October 21, 2007

Dr. Lowell said,
The core problem is that what is supposed to happen in Education is that the people doing the teaching are supposed to be organizing the theories and evidence, sorting and winnowing the content, and arranging what’s left so that the student can see the evidence and can learn from the method.
How often does it work like that?

So what is my personal theory of education?Well that is a trick question. Any theory of education always seems to run into one large problem and that is that the real world often requires us to change the manner in which we implement that theory.

As a teacher I feel that constructivism is the best approach for teaching in the sciences. But in a real life situation (read as 32 students in a class) often does not allow for a completely discovery approach to all lessons. So how does this shake out? Often to get the material “covered” I must revert to  just exposing  students to some of the things with  “old school” teaching techniques such as lecturing or showing videos. I found this school on npr.org that has backed up theory with practice with interesting results. You can listen to their report on the web site.

So what does this mean that I too have “drank the kool aid” of the cult of constructivism? Not completely since I think that all theories are just that, theories of how a large groups of people typically work, there are always exceptions to the rules of what works in certain situations. Can individuals sometimes learn just by watching something? Sure, the military has been doing it for years with “educational videos.” Different tools for different jobs always seems to be a sound approach, if you feel that the students just need information to base other ideas on a movie may work.

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One Response to “Truth in advertising?”

  1. dancingnancy533 Says:

    I think we all have dream plans for our teaching that we want to accomplish in the year. We all want to be the best teachers possible and use the methods that will provoke the most learning possibly. However, the reality is that we have a lot of content we must cover in only a year and sometimes we choose methods that are not quite as great as we had hoped they would be just to cover it.

    Despite this unfortunate situation, it is important to remember to try and implement many different strategies to reach every student.


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