Jul 9, 2012

If Students Loved Learning

This is a repost of an article I wrote over a year ago on The Eighth Floor Ning. I think it lends itself to the current discussion on Flipping the Classroom since it discusses a change in traditional classroom teaching. I was recently asked if kids are watching video lectures as homework, what do I do with them during the class period in the day other than the same homework they would have done at night. In terms of the math classroom, this is one answer. . .


If students loved learning, what would it look like? Think back to the days when you were a high school student. Think of the classroom moments you remember the most. Why do you remember them? Was it because they involved some spectacular word problems? Was it because you remember writing some awesome lab procedures? Probably not. The moments you remember the most probably involved a teacher that helped you understand concepts in a way that was meaningful to you, and it most likely didn't involve rote memorization or unrealistic examples to get a point across.

I've been thinking about what those moments really reveal about learning and finding out the answers on our own. Most of these internal conversations were started by an article about Dan Meyer in Ed Week. Dan Meyer is a math teacher at San Lorenzo Valley High School in California. He has developed a wonderful approach to get students interested and involved in math. If you've never heard of him, watch the video below, read the article from Ed Week, or check out his blog. If students loved learning, it would look like this...



Hopefully watching him at work doesn't turn your stomach as you think about changing your teaching style. Instead, I hope you feel empowered to make learning more interesting and fun for your students. As I have analyzed my teaching style over the past few years, I have come to the realization that I don't teach they way I learn. If I were teaching an audience made up of 30 of "me", then I think my approach would be drastically different. Here's a thought...if you as a student would be bored with you, think about what you would change. Think about it.