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.