Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Teaching, that is, promoting learning

Good teaching ...

- causes students to PAY ATTENTION by being compelling and focusing on the right content: People learn what they attend to, and they will concentrate if 1) they know that concentrating will reduce their uncertainty, 2) they know that it will enable them "to do something they think is important," or 3) they "know from their own experience that concentration itself is rewarding."

- promotes the CONSTRUCTION OF MEANING BY STUDENTS: Perception, meaning-making, "occurs when learners make their own meanings on new stimuli  . . . and prior knowledge."

- causes students to effectively STORE and ACCESS MEMORY: Since meaning-making requires prior knowledge, i.e., learning stored in memory, students must be able to access it efficiently.  It is easier (more likely to be automatic) to access memory that has been stored because you created the meaning for yourself than to access the meaning of others that you stored through memorization.

- promotes practices that will lead to AUTOMATIC application of what has been learned: Behavior becomes automatic through repetition and practice.  We must promote the repetition and practice of the behaviors we want to become automatic, i.e., the relation of words to one another, not the recitation of a dictionary definition.

Fearn, Leif and Nancy Farnan. Interactions: Teaching Writing and the Language Arts. 2001, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 23-28.

1 comment:

  1. Dear dear Vanessa
    I love reading about your thinking about things.