Skip to main content

How People Learn - Chapter 2

This chapter evaluates the ideas and thought processes that go through in an expert’s mind in order to better understand the idea of education and teaching. It then correlates that with effective teachers (noting that expertise in a field does not make you an expert teacher in that field), a nd how understanding ‘pedagogical content knowledge’ is of upmost importance for effective teaching. In short, we need to understand how the students we are teaching are thinking and what knowledge they bring to the table in order to allow them to understand new content. This ability to understand new content however comes with a condition. In order for a student to truly understand new material, he must understand the breadth and depth of his own knowledge. It is the path to this understanding that takes students from being novices to experts. As the chapter so brilliantly illustrates, experts use to be those who knew all the answers, or could at least fake to do so, but that was flawed in its very nature. Experts are those who continue to acknowledge that they do not know everything in their field, but that they will continue to understand and improve their knowledge, becoming better and better with every passing day.

The proposition is a logical one. If we educate our students on the vast knowledge that is out there, and allow them to understand how much they know, it will become a lot easier for them to assimilate new content with the knowledge they have become aware of in their minds. However, there is a major step in the process which I feel this chapter skims over. That concept is mentioned once by the use of the word ‘proud’. Mentioned towards the end, it illustrates the model of an expert as an accomplished novice who is ‘proud’, and it goes on. Perhaps the topic will be covered later, but to me this is the most important part of this reading. It is the motivation of a student to learn that will lead him to desire to learn more. You can teach students about how much they really know, and you can teach them how much knowledge really is out there, so they get an idea of how many more things they will learn, but if they are not motivated, all else fails. Motivation is one of the key ingredients to learning. It is what separates those who are smart, from those who are truly brilliant. So, to get to the point, what gets us motivated, or proud of what we have accomplished? We are social beings, and in the short few words that I have left, I will argue that it is those around us. A study a few decades ago (and forgive me for a lack of a citation) told 2nd and 3rd grade teachers about a few gifted students that were in their classes. These students were actually picked completely at random and not genuinely gifted. However, after the professors were informed of this, these small numbers of students now received a significant larger part of the professors’ attention, and through the course of their education, went on to be a lot smarter than the average. In my opinion, it is this that matters. Students need to be recognized for their efforts even if they are in vain, because it is this motivation and pride in ones efforts that will get a student to go from memorization, to the true understanding of knowledge, and the ever-lasting thirst to learn more.


Popular posts from this blog

Learning to float

First my apologies.
Perhaps I gave y'all the idea that
it was all spit without the gears
We aint about that shit

Words can leave you salivating
But sweat builds the fucking mountains
So don't ever forget that in a heartbeat
I could carry your dreams and forget I even did

You're swimming in it, but you can't even float
The irony of words is that they hold the strength of plans
Without the gunshot
You'll never be grand.

We can all aim high but precision does the talking
It's all too simple these days
With the chatter and spread of information
We're suddenly heroes and activists

But we haven't even blinked, the AC,
It's still running. It's near silence
but its not. The inaction,
It's deafening.

Heck I've gone mute,
I can't even rhyme shit
that could emphasize the prolonged
dream of a typeface, the letters were blank.

It was always that way,
It was always silent because at some point
We stop pinching ourselves and assume
that it was deserved…



It switched.
Unequivocally different.
Through those hardships
We finally turned around.

Perhaps reflections and glimmers
Gave us sight when we could not claim
But the panoramic put the shimmer
To shame.

Thank you.
In this brilliance we rose
Hoping to understand why the routine
drifts away in prose

For every detail and every insight
The neurons kept firing in question,
Let us speak for it is time
To mark this audacity in rhyme.

Although subtle
The cues went noticed
The portrait tact
And yet somehow,

But lets digress from these colors
Let the light paint our shadow
For the steps keep calling
with a subtle vibration

We know its time.

Let me get hurt.

Let me sit here,
Let me feel the drops,
As my heart shatters,
and your shadow drifts away.

Let us get confounded,
Let us mix emotions,
Pour them all into a melting pot,
Pour them all into a blurry past.

I want to look back,
and know that I have felt,
I want to look back and know,
That I have loved.

Because from the pain,
and from the tears,
and from the painful nights,
that I shivered through,

There were the nights,
that you held my hand,
and gave me warmth,

There were the nights,
where it was only us awake,
in the whole wide world,
It was only us who felt love.
Let me believe that it was all true,

Let my tears be for the moments that I miss,
and not for the moments that I did not live.

Let me get hurt, because only then,
will I have lived.

Let me get hurt, because only then,
will I have loved.