Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Major Omission in my Teaching Career

      In my last post I asked a question about relations. Since I know the people who comment on my blog, I knew I would get all kinds of information and well thought out opinion. You didn't let me down.Thanks!

    With all the great replies I got from answering one little question I began to reflect on my teaching career. I have three previous posts where I reflected on my career. In methods classes we were drilled on questioning technique. The answers I got from you made me think that if the students had asked questions it might have been more effective. Students did not ask many questions and they were not really encouraged to ask questions. As a result kids didn't think that much and just slavishly learned the material, got good marks and then promptly forgot everything.

     Now students should have been encouraged to ask questions and then be guided to do research and find answers. Today teachers set up lessons that have kids do activities and the result of the activities would teach the student a concept. I admire how teachers teach today.

   Now I did have a situation where kids were encouraged to ask questions. I taught health and in the human relationship sections there was the infamous question box where kids could ask an anonymous question. Of course, the question box was some what abused. You can imagine that with gr.8 and 9's they could think of all kinds of questions. They were all answered with a fairly straight face. I think some real learning took place. It made me work harder.

    So the next thing I want to know, I will just ask a question at the end of the post. I've got lots of things I would like to know and find out. Are you ready?

42 comments:

  1. A question box was a great idea!

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    1. The idea came from the health program which was highly structured.

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    1. I'll do my best. I was thinking of some posts ending with a question.

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  3. How many of us remember sitting in rows and listening to the teacher "lecture" to us and being pretty much on our own. Today kids sit in little activity groups and learn from each other and talk and get immediate feedback. I've taught both ways and the second way is my preference.
    You always make us think Red. I'm ready!

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    1. I'm sure that in the "old way" there were many kids who were a million miles away. They were behaving themselves so were left alone.

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  4. Good morning Red,
    I have finally got a little time to catch up on some blog post reading, and my, how thought provoking your last couple in particular are. Regarding what is a relative. I started a family tree a number of years back, but found that between my german and english sides of the family, things got very complicated and disjointed as you can imagine, and so I decided to create a base line for those that come after me for a change, and starting with my English grandparents to the present day, listing births, deaths, marriages and re-marriages and so on. Quite enough by now, as there are a couple of hundred people on it, and with all the cousins kids and grandkids, a lot to keep track of. What is a relative? I suppose to me it's any member of the family, but particularly one that I have been involved with at some point, in relationship with you might say. As for pupils asking questions, that is so, so important, and yet seems so rare. A question comes from an inquisitive mind, someone wanting to know more, and yet in schools today, certainly over here, it appears to be sadly lacking. You know my opinion on questions in adulthood. Perhaps you should take up teaching again? I must say that I am intrigued by the up and coming questions. Have a good day, and take care.

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    1. Since I'm very hap hazard and disorganized, you may not see many questions. The German/ English combination is exactly my situation. My ancestors came here around 1900. Somebody did a tree about 25 years ago and found 975 of us!

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  5. Replies
    1. Hey, you know we were rained not to ask yes and no questions!

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  6. Asking questions is a great way to learn, and certainly something that should be encouraged.

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    1. the question keeps a student actively involved.

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  7. Bring it on Red! ha,ha A question at the end of the post, eh, you say...Egads - sounds like a great way wake up those lazy souls at the back of the classroom. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Well, it's a good Idea but you know me. I'll probably forget about it!

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  8. I definitely think that encouraging kids to ask questions is a more effective way to learning. I learn much better in an interactive classroom setting.

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  9. I can only imagine the questions 8th and 9th graders might come up with in a health class. I found with my kids that when they asked questions, if I asked them what they thought before providing my answer did help them think things out. It takes patience, though - which I often found in short supply.

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    1. Good for you for taking time with your own kids. Many times parents neglect their own kids.

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  10. oh, i don't know. i don't like to divulge too much these days. :)

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    1. I'm terrible in my wife's eyes as I never ask personal questions. I read in between the lines but I don't quiz anybody.

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  11. Ready as I'll ever be. When I think of the ways I've learned things during my life, it was never by lecture, which is the way most teaching is done.

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    1. Lectures were my time to daydream.

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    1. We do have the right to choose to respond or not.

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    1. Well, I won't be too rough on you.

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  14. I will be most curious to see what you ask!

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  15. Sure enough, I always have an opinion! Now I bet some of those questions by those 8th and 9th graders were questions all about sex! As a good teacher I am certain you answered all of them:)

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    1. I sometimes changed the question just a touch so I could get a point across. It was fun.

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  16. You have a lot of questions and thinking Red, I recognize your comparisons with the past and now. I think all eldery people do so. We have seen and expierenced so much, I sometimes forget the younger people don't know so much (yet).

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    1. We have to be patient with young people until they get experience and can make wise decisions.

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  17. I never liked administrators and colleagues who believed in the "one best way" and tried to foist it on others. Good teaching is an art not a science and good teachers find there own best methods remaining flexible for each class and students needs..... I often shamelessly pandered to teen age interests on the theory that once you got their attention and interest the questions would come flying....

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    1. My favorite assignment was to be given 12 -15 students who had difficulty. I was given permission to modify the course. At the end of the year I came back with the kids. They may have learned a bit but they did not have to experience the failure in a regular class and all the hassle from the kids.

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  18. I think, rather than an omission in your career, an omission in your training! I'm sure you did a fabulous job.

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    1. There were not just omission in our methods courses but stuff that was just plain wrong.

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  19. I might be ready to give an answer...I don't know! :)

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    1. Don't worry. I won't put you on the spot.

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  20. Red, I have been teaching a course on reading comprehension skills at a community college, and it has been the subject of intense debate whether we should do more direct instruction or more question and answer methods. After trying both, I am leaning more towards your conclusion, that students learn more with the second approach. Time will tell, I guess!

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    1. I think you also see that here has to be some balance in the tool box.

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