This is a post for the Ontario Extend ‘take it to the bank’ activity ‘So Misunderstood‘ in the Teacher for Learning module. It’s a dip into understanding prior knowledge and how it can impede or enhance student understanding. One of the most challenging concepts new teachers need to grasp is how to know when students know ~ or in other words, what is learning?
Teachers need to be able to ‘see’ learning in the actions, reactions, and reflections of their students since learning is not visible to the naked eye in any other way. Teachers need to discern where learning has occurred through the products students create, tests they take, assignments they complete, and conversations they have. Learning is not an easy concept to understand.
I’ve used the analogy ‘As Easy as Riding a Bike‘ in one previous blog post where I explored my own learning at the end of a course. I used the Backwards Brain Bicycle video as a prompt for reflection and wrote about five things I know for sure about digital teaching and learning. The video helps students think deeply about their work in the course, the progress they’ve made over time, and identifying where their learning has happened. In this way, I too get a glimpse into their learning.
As a way to consolidate the ideas around ‘what is learning?’ I’ve used this video as a provocation for student thinking, both at the beginning of a course and again at the end of a course. The intended purpose is to revisit to review, reframe and revise prior knowledge about what learning is and ensure clarity of this concept as students venture into the field of education.
What is Learning? from CLRI on Vimeo.
Great resources here — your work is amazing; your students fortunate to learn with you. Love the teacher [1:31] who says, “Learning is living– that thing that you do that’s personal to you and it’s something that you do for the rest of your life.” We can’t help it– no matter what someone is “teaching” at us, we pick out what in that moment is personally connected, needed, important to our own life. Remember the educational term… field of vision or field of reference… teachers need to notice that around the concept we are teaching, are other related concepts that may be more relevant to the student at the time. I also remember the term “kid-watching.” Observe and converse with the student to learn what’s in their mind– what ideas are they picking up and sharing through their work? There’s so much to learning, but it is always personal. Thanks for all the resources. ~ Sheri
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