In At some point it’s about the technology from The Thinking Stick, Jeff says,
“Why we use these tools is just as important to support is how we use these tools. Some teachers need/want to know WHY we use them before HOW to use them. Others want to know HOW to use them before figuring out WHY they use them…At some point it’s about the technology and it should be. We live in a technical world, and the HOW is just as important as the WHY.”
This brings me back to thinking that as teachers, we need to see what direction our students are coming from. I remember years ago I tutored my husband and his friends in Algebra. Apparently the professor kept going over the How (just plug these numbers in the formula and it will work) but these guys couldn’t grasp it until they had the Why. They wanted to know why it worked and once we went over the why, they actually understood the concept. Of course I am a How person so I could understand the professor’s point of view. Jeff makes a good point about how we need to do the How and the Why but how do we do it so that we don’t overwhelm or intimidate one side or the other? If we do too much of the Why, we lose the How people and vice versa. I am the type of person that would rather know how to do something and then I will see how it fits into what I want to do (the Why). I know many others who need to know the Why before they can even think about the How. I think we need to have a happy medium. (Okay, now I have to rework some of my presentations that I’m doing in January so I don’t have too much How or too much Why!) Are you a How person or a Why person? How does this affect your teaching?
Original image: 'IMG_5141' http://www.flickr.com/photos/15513233@N00/450782675by: David Boyle