This is a place for anyone with opinions on the process of true learning and retaining information at any age level, children through adults.
1. Does true learning takes place when the desire to learn is activated by the will of the student?
2. Or instead, is it the teachers job to motivate the student's will to learn?
3. Or perhaps it is the job of the teacher to discipline students by keeping them quiet, so that they will learn through passive absorption?
4. Is teaching "to the test" helpful to true learning?
5. Do students retain what they have learned after the test is taken? (Does retention of information matter in today's public schools?)
6. If True learning is defined by the retention of information, what mental process makes that happen?
...or other any thoughts pertinent to Learning.
I believe that learning only takes place when the student is motivated to learn.
Q. But what causes the motivation????
A. When the W i l l (Desire) to learn is very active.
But, what I see in public schools is the forcing of students to learn.
They are forced to sit in uncomfortable desks and learn through the process of forced absorption. I am actually starting to think that the current practices are so archaic and perhaps even harmful! Students are taught to actually shut down their wills. Learning is therefore temporary if even that.
Instead, the desire to learn comes from interest. Interest must be awakened and inspired by teachers. The teacher should also offer what is interesting to the students. This is what the good ones do. Thank goodness for them. Is this type of teaching happening more or less in our schools?
I think the desire to learn comes first from observation. The most effective parenting and teaching come from those who understand the power of role modeling and connecting with your child/students. When a teacher connects with her student/s, a whole world of discovery opens for both the student and teacher.
A teacher needs to listen closely to her students and respond in a way that invites willing participation in the learning process.
Yes, teachers need to inspire the willingness to learn. You said it so perfectly. However, it takes a lot of skill, self command and...what else? in order to to "invite willing participation?"
I see teachers using anger to keep a class controlled or in focus / on task. Do you think we can somehow get away from using anger? I do not remember teachers having to resort to this when I was in school. Students tell me all the time that I am too nice. (I'm a sub) Do you see other teachers resort to this?
Obviously not the ones which connect and role model. I agree that a good relationship helps! Then students do not want to disappoint their teacher.
Do you find that students are more restless and more unwilling to cooperate today?
Thank You so much for your insights.
Is working for grades conducive to true learning?
Rewarding students for learning through the rewarding of grades is the same as giving a dog a treat for every repetition of a trick. Can reward-driven behavior help increase the intelligence of the dog?
In the child?
Shutting down the will is harmful to any individual no matter what age. Only when the will is connected to the psyche can true education occur and when on some level, it is self-directed.
With the appropriate boundaries all individuals can be given more freedom.
In fact, the purpose of boundaries is to provide more freedom.
Do schools believe this?
What is the cause of high IQ? From my observation and experience, people with high IQ are those who have strong wants and desires. They are very connected to their wills to obtain or achieve what they desire. Sometimes will can be blind and selfish. This is why boundaries are so helpful. They can be used proactively in keeping willful individuals from hurting others or ending up in jail.
In fact, tyranny of will is a problem in all situations regarding human life other than school: family life, relationships and government, to name a few. If freedom of will (in allowing others to guide their own wills) is so important in general, why not in school? Of course the younger the child the more he must be taught how to guide his own will constructively. This reality is why teachers must be very keen on boundaries and how to set them. Yet at the same time protect the freedom of the child.
Discipline (following boundaries) and freedom can be (are) two sides of the same coin.
I think anger has no place in the classroom. A teacher must have self-control and be able to manage a classroom without showing anger. It certainly can be frustrating at times, but a display of anger in attempt to 'control' the classroom is futile. You've already lost.
If I get to a point where I know my kids aren't listening, I stop what I'm doing and wait. Sometimes I will switch gears and do something different than what is planned. Sometimes they realize they weren't listening and they get quiet and wait for me to continue.
Teaching is not easy. I see more kids with obvious learning disabilities. Often parents don't want to address their child's behavior and learning issues. If I can get on a soapbox, I would simply ask parents to feed their children healthy foods and get rid of the junk in their diets.
If you're a nice sub, your students probably listen to you. There is an element of respect that must be present in the teacher/student relationship.
I work in early childhood education, so my kids are younger. I can't speak for the older children, but overwhelmingly, yes, the younger students are much more difficult to manage than even a few years ago. It's very disturbing and I have been trying to find data/research about possible causes of this trend.
I see more children with obvious autistic behaviors entering the early classrooms.
It is, unfortunately, hard to track the human population to discover the cause of autism and other learning disabilities. So, I have heard.
I also am very concerned. (You really can't believe what I am witnessing today! )
(Then you have totally normal children being affected negatively by mothers who try to make beauty pageant stars out of their little ones. I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" the other day on You Tube. (I was alarmed to see what I recognized as very unnatural behaviors.) I hope that trend dies down soon. I do not think that kind of stress is good for little ones and it takes them away from their natural endeavors, which they need to follow... at home with mom or in conducive school settings.)
I can't say that I have parents following the Toddlers/Tierra's trend. I don't see that with my kids. I work with middle class/upper middle class families. Most families are working full time, both parents. That in itself is a stress factor for children. Families are rushed, with little time for relaxed breakfasts and dinners, let alone, a peaceful evening time. The effect this has on the children immeasurably affects their health and well being. A teacher then has to also be somewhat of a caregiver for the child because most of their day is spent outside of the home. Older children are left on their own doing whatever they want to do.
Parents need to evaluate what is most important, especially if there are behavior and learning issues with their children. Parents are so quick to blame the educational institutions, but it's not the first place to look. We are working with some very diverse groups of children mixed together in the same classrooms.
I hope others will join in with your thread. I need to sign off for now, but it's good to see a topic worth discussing.
Students will learn if they want to learn. If the teacher knows how to motivate them then the learning experience is that much better. As far as teaching for a test,it s is not a good strategy for future use since it appears to be retained so far as the test is concerned and quickly discarded afterwards.
I wonder how long this teaching to the test will last? Bush started the trend by implementing "No child left behind. " School Districts took the idea and ran too fast and too far with it. - perfect example of good intentions paving the way to hell, In my view.
I do not believe in teaching to the test. I think it is an awful thing to do. Bush did start this trend, but yet some politicians are asking for further restrictions. It does not allow for open-thinking and definitely does not fit to what each student wants to learn for their future interests and inspirations. They are trying to do well, but it is hurting the students. At the same time, I think there is something that the teachers can do to help motivate the students interests towards what is being taught. There have been lots of studies on brain-based learning (I did a hub on this) because of this reason. The brain-based learning strategies are new strategies that help to get students motivated, draw on their previous knowledge, and to trigger the different sorts of memories. I thnk more teachers should do research on this.
Although, this is all true, I also think that learning starts at home and parents/caregivers should do a better job with getting their students interested in learning things at school.
Thanks Your for your insights! I think the professors of teacher-training should just hop to this research and new information, ASAP! Thanks so much for enlightening us. I printed up the info you made available. Thank you!
I agree we need to understand more about brain-based learning, then perhaps the archaic outdated modes of teaching will be replaced with better teaching/learning.
For instance, PE classes should be held strictly according to interest. Let the students choose from middle school on what sport they would like to commit to for a whole semester. Let them choose and let them compete. The PE teacher's role would become that of a coach offering specific lead-up skills toward self mastery, team cooperation and sportsmanship. Meets, Games and Competitions should be focused on more as well, for the sake of the sense of the end result. The hope of winning by doing one's best would surely motivate participation, as well.
Forcing kids to line up in squads for gym clothes inspection has got to stop! Whoever doesn't dress, doesn't play. We need more Motivating and Inspiring and less Expecting and Forcing. This can be a very subtle adjustment in attitude! And It will make teacher's / coaches' days / lives much better, as well!
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