Hand in Hand


Good questions can define the path we take.

Every summer I reflect on the previous school year, as many of you do, and think about how I can do business differently in the coming year.

So, here are some of my thoughts from this summer.  Though the minimalist theory of learning has typically been used in defining the learning of technology, how would it look in a classroom designed to cover content such as U.S. History, adding integers, or solving chemical equations?  Well, the parts of the theory, as defined by Greg Kearsley, that stand out to me are the following:

  1. Activities should be based on learners’ prior knowledge and experience.
  2. Learners should be given realistic projects as soon as possible.
  3. Training is easily connected to the task.
  4. Instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising.
  5. Provide time to recognize errors and learning from them.

So, how does this affect me, you might ask.  Great question!  Could you see this working in your classroom?  If so, how?


One Response to “Hand in Hand”

  1. NancyEH Says:

    An anecdote that demonstrates the challenges faced by teachers in today’s learning environment:

    I was subbing in a 7th-grade classroom. During math, the year 1492 came up as part of a word problem. I casually asked “So what happened in 1492?” expecting looks of exasperation from the kids at such a simple question. Instead what I got were looks of puzzlement. I then hummed the little ditty, “In 14 hundred and ninety-two, da-dum, da-dum….” Nothing. They truly had no idea what was important about 1492.

    I never would have expected students not to have this sort of “prior knowledge”. The students had come from a variety of places before being in this school, so that wasn’t the problem. How do teachers manage to move forward when they have to spend so much time just figuring out what kids know.

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