Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What’s the Purpose?

The power of purposeIn Why are you working on that?  From Dangerously Irrelevant , Scott McLeod shares, 

“I’m astounded at how often my children do things for class without understanding the bigger reasons behind WHY they’re doing those things.”

Too many times I see students doing things and have no idea why they are doing it. Is it no wonder that they can’t learn certain concepts or if they do learn it, they don’t retain anything they learn.

Many times I believe that some teachers don’t understand why they teach the way they do. They may be doing it because they are told to or that is the way they were trained to do. Maybe they never asked why when they were being trained or maybe they don’t remember.

I have started taking a closer look at the things I teach and why I teach them. I also look at how I teach certain things.

I look at what I am teaching and make sure that I can explain to my class why they are needing to know these things. Some of the things may be needed when they take the test to be licensed to teach. Some of the information may be strategies and resources they will need when they teach. Some of the things may be for general knowledge that they may need some day. One reason may be that I’m required to teach certain information by the administration and this needs to be shared with the students also. I feel that if I can’t come up with a good reason for why I’m teaching this, then I need to think about whether I’m wasting everyone’s time by teaching it.

I am also taking a closer look at how I teach certain concepts. What is the purpose for the way that I’m teaching this? Is there a better way? I have started modeling some strategies to use in the classroom with my university class. They can see firsthand how this strategy is used rather than just hearing me explain it.

Do you reflect on your teaching practices and their purposes? How do you evaluate them? Please share.

Image: 'The power of purpose'
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