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[Xmca-l] Re: FW: Sharing a Video
I'm guessing that the answers to such questions are all situated. For instance, I don't teach large lecture hall courses, and so can teach differently from those who do. I can make more assumptions about students' readiness in graduate courses than in the 9th grade English classes I taught in the 1970s-1980s. And I could teach more progressively in Illinois high schools than can my Georgia teacher candidates.
I'm not sure if I'm answering your concerns well; I've got 3 sessions to prepare for at AERA next week so am moving swiftly through most things.
As an aside, here's a nice story about teaching math to people who hate math: http://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/beauty-numbers
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Ed Wall
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 2:34 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: FW: Sharing a Video
I seem to have said other than I wished and perhaps 'disjoint' was the wrong word. I see, as I do so often in the educational circles I frequent, a strong emphasis by the 'film makers' on the 'how' as opposed to the 'what.' 'Best' teaching practices, so to speak, have primarily to do with technique disjointly from content. One learns history in a setting that is presumably dynamic, collaborative and high tech; however, because of the emphasis on 'how,' what one learns is static, boring, and irrelevant. So I was actually asking should they be disjoint and, if not, what does this mean from both sides of, so to speak, the gap.
Perhaps a case in point will clarify my wondering somewhat. I was (I've somewhat retired now) a K-12 classroom teacher, a mathematics teacher educator, and college mathematics teacher. You might say that as a K-12 classroom teacher and teacher educator my emphasis was a bit more on 'technique' - e.g. those problematic items the students in the video addressed - however, I have struggled to somewhat balance when I teach graduate mathematics. Oh, I address many of the student concerns from the film and I attempt to make the content more dynamic and relevant (yes you can do this in mathematics - smile), but I still feel a noticeable difference. Perhaps this is reasonable; graduate students are perhaps expected to be more content oriented. However, I am not entirely convinced as I look out at faces which are only slightly older than those that I saw as a K-12 teacher or teacher educator.
I had, by the way, both experiences in history (although separated by several years which I suspect is a factor). However, it was a matter of content (although historically the content covered the same period of time).
I hope this makes sense this time. It is not that I disagree as to what the video portrays. It is that I struggle conceptually with some of the well meant proposed solutions which seem to, to an extent, ignore content. Perhaps to paraphrase, I wonder if the message in the medium is all one should consider.
On Mar 27, 2014, at 12:12 PM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
> Ed, I wouldn't necessarily separate the what from the how (as McLuhan said, the medium is the message). When students sit in lecture halls with 400 students, as is the case in large American universities for 1-2 years, the content is reduced to what is testable, rather than what they make sense of. They are learning that learning is tedious and generally irrelevant. That's how I learned history in school, and thought that history was static, boring, and irrelevant. As an adult, all of my leisure reading is historical because I now read good historical writers, integrate the knowledge into my understanding of current events and thus reformulate my worldview, etc. I forget many of the facts (the object of lecture-hall assessment) but remember the synthesis of understanding. So yes, like the students in the brief film, I see them as disjointed.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Ed Wall
> Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:32 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: FW: Sharing a Video
> The video seemed to be, for the most part (and perhaps I misread it), how students should be learning not what students should be learning. I've often wondered - given some of the conversion I hear in educational circles - how disjoint these really are?
> Ed Wall
> On Mar 27, 2014, at 8:52 AM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
>> This video is already a few years old (2007) but shows the great disconnect between most university teaching and learning and how/what students should be learning. It fits well with many sentiments expressed on this list.