Sunday, September 10, 2006

What did you learn today?

Parents often ask this of their children, and children are expected to (but rarely can or want to) list some facts or topics that they were "taught". Things like the capitol of Ethiopia, or the year the Civil War started, or the square root of 144.

I spent part of Friday morning reassuring a student that he was, indeed, learning even thought he didn't list any "facts" he had studied that day. In fact, it was a momentous day for him, as he was preparing for a performance with a band and by himself that night, and then he was training in for a new facet of his job at work.

Who in their right mind would say he wasn't learning anything doing those things? Just a short list includes: practicing fingerings/songs on guitar, calling others to make sure everything was prepared, planning what to wear, figuring out how to not be too nervous but to be "pumped up", feeling the experience of playing solo on a stage, keeping one's mind on songs and not on audience distractions, learning how to decompress after a performance, finding ways to go to sleep with adrenaline rushing to be rested for work the next day....and on and on. (As you may have guessed, I've done some performing too:)

And yet, this person was worried about not learning enough! Our system, it seems, has brainwashed us into believing that only sitting in a classroom is educational, only things on tests are important lessons, and all of it has to be incredibly boring.

Hopefully he'll relax and realize how educational his life really is.
Hopefully we all will!


1 comment:

STMA Tech Dept. said...

Karen, thanks for posting a reply on my blog. I was extremely excited to see a comment posted on my blog because my blog is so new and I haven't had time to train people how to use it. I am hoping that my blog will become a resource for teachers to use to share questions/answers on using technology in the classroom. I am very interested in seeing your blog evolve too as the online education world is intrigueing (sp). After reading this post I was reminded of an old educational saying that is one of my favorites. "Teach me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will learn." I don't know who said it, but it certainly reflects how we learn technology.