Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My educational thesis

As a former educator, a motivational speaker, and a man unafraid to state his beliefs, categorically I would maintain the very best thing ever to come out of an in-service is the basket we learned to weave one cold February day.  I still use it for coffee filters.  It was an amazing experience.  We started with raw materials--completely without any utile form or substance.  By following directions, we ended up with a cute little basket.  I could easily demonstrate that I learned the concepts.  I could prove that I could follow the directions.  And I could proudly point to the result.  In that one hour session, I learned more about teaching than in the all the technology workshops, behavioral workshops, new strategies workshops, lesson planning workshops, and motivations speakers!  And the concept is so simple.  How do you prove you have learned?  You DEMONSTRATE.  The tech schools have known this for years.  Technical classes in high school have known this for years.  Arts and crafts teachers have known this for years.  Music teachers have known this for years.  In the "educationally based classes", we set standards, and then, we use pencil and paper to regurgitate information. And that's how we measure what a student has learned?  I don't get it!  My transcripts will attest to the fact that I could prove my education traditionally.  But what do I remember?  Not the prologue to Canterbury Tales (although I can still recite parts of it)!  Not how to determine if a train left San Francisco at 2:00 am, would it collide with the space shuttle?!  No.  I remember a basket.  A lesson I hope I can pass on before I die!  Show me you know...and know that you are loved!

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