[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] versus, not
alan.nemo at yahoo.com
Wed May 6 09:26:31 EDT 2009
My take on this over the years has excluded labels and categories for a variety of reasons.
But I do think thresholds are important for most areas of learning. For example, at what level would an actually literate person consider a high school graduate to be fluent in literate actions and thinking? At what level would a mathematician consider a high school graduate fluent in mathematical actions and thinking? This is very different from asking questions about the level that a professional would need to attain. At levels below these two, we are talking about areas of study that are neither about literacy nor about mathematics, but something else. The something else could be useful (for example, reading street signs and goods in stores, or adding up simple sums).
My main complaint about most schooling processes whether official or grassroots is that for a wide variety of reasons they settle for the "something else" rather than try to find ways to help the students learn the real deals.
If the real deals are chosen, then the interesting question is what kinds of processes will work for what kinds of learners? If it is some non-trivial percentage of direct instruction, then this is what should be done (and depending on the learner, this percentage could range from 0% to a surprisingly high number). However, part of the real deal is being able to *do* the pursuits, not just know something about them, so all pedagogical approaches will have to find ways to get learners to learn how to do what practitioners do who above the two thresholds of "fluency" and "pro".
Tim Gallwey is one of the best teachers I've ever observed, and he had a number of extremely effective techniques to help his students learn the real deal very quickly (and almost none of these were direct instruction -- partly because, as he liked to say, "The parts of the brain that you need to do the learning very often don't understand English!"). But if he could see that the student had gotten on a track that couldn't be influenced by "guided discovery", then he would instantly tell them to "do it this way". In other words, he was not religious about his own very successful method, but instead did what his students individually needed and that worked the best for them (which happened to be "learning by doing").
From: Bill Kerr <billkerr at gmail.com>
To: Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>
Cc: iaep <iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org>; Sugar-dev Devel <sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org>; community-news at lists.sugarlabs.org
Sent: Monday, May 4, 2009 5:20:50 PM
Subject: [IAEP] versus, not
On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 7:43 AM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
I encourage you to join two threads on the Education List this week:
has boiled down to an instruction vs construction debate; and
has boiled down to a debate of catering to local culture vs the
Enlightenment. I encourage you to join these discussions.
Agree that these are important discussions
Need to be careful about the use of the versus depiction of these discussions IMO, this tempting shorthand can create the wrong impression
eg. I would see direct instruction as a must for autistic children but don't see that it follows as a general model for all education (special needs are special) or that we should even think it is possible to have a correct general model. I don't think there is one and good teachers swap between multiple models all the time.
no one on this list has argued overtly against "the enlightenment" or that local culture ought not to be taken into account, eg. Ties said "think practical", the response was of the nature that our context demands we do <a certain course of action>
however, I do think the roll back of enlightenment principles is not well understood (http://learningevolves.wikispaces.com/nonUniversals) and that a better understanding might persuade more people of the need to keep searching and struggling for different ways to go against some of the tide of local culture - there is a recent interesting comment thread on mark guzdial's blog which is worth reading from this point of view http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/post/PLNK3F4TMBURELZZK
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Sugar-devel