Learning by making it more humane
Two weeks ago when George Couros visited our school he started his workshop by explaining; “it’s all about learning and relationships.” It set the tone for the workshop and put the pressure off the use of technology and on what we should do to help our students in their learning. This week I had two teachers’ college students visiting my class and they were both excited about the calm atmosphere and the performance by the students presenting a topic of choice to the other students. We are all working together, learning and having fun. By creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere you will have a chance to know you students and when you know your students it is easier to help them in their learning. Now I know they scuba dive, play guitar, violin, bandy, are interested in politics, travel, language, humor, pop music and a lot more!
I use Scoop it to find new material online and get a feeling of what people are talking about on the topic education. This week via Will Richardson’s page I found this article “Learning by making it more humane” by Phil Shapiro. I think this pretty much sums up where we want schools to be! He talks about the United States, but this applies to Norwegian schools as well! We also struggle with drop outs and disengaged students. Quote:
Today, huge numbers of students drop out of high school in the United States, and every one of them determined that the costs of education outweighed its benefits. We could try to solve the dropout problem by urging students to stay in school. That might work in a small number of cases. What might work better is if we made school the place where students really wanted to be. If we changed our teaching methods from sit down to stand up, from passive learning to active learning, we might see a rapid reduction in dropout rates.
Treating human beings more humanely can never be a mistake. Learning by making is one of the most humane ways for students to learn. If we were wise, we’d move all our schools—private schools and public schools—rapidly in this direction. In years hence, youth will laugh at old movies showing students sitting obediently in rows of desks in a classroom. “What were they thinking back then?” our youth will mutter. “Were they really so clueless about learning?”
Yes, we really were so clueless about learning.