11 Comments

  1. Great post and inspiration for our new teacher technology training coming up next week. As people wrestle with the challenge, real learning occurs. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I know I’ve been guilty of this. Too much step by step instruction and not enough allowing learners to struggle and discover on their own. We do need to start practicing what we preach and allow some struggle (with support) for our students and adult learners. Looking forward to a great day of learning tomorrow!

    Jon

  3. Excellent point and reminder! When we try to go step by step (in PD or in a classroom) we end up teaching to the middle folks while the people who already knew that are bored and the people who didn’t gain a learned helplessness and sit back without even trying. What you do need, however is time. If you had just let your group go, the people who already knew how to do it would not have been able to help the others. That’s what’s missing today imho. We always feel like we need to do more and that’s better, but it really isn’t. People can and definitely will learn it, but they need time to process and try something themselves or they won’t actually do it on their own. And they need a facilitator who can gauge how much time is enough, how much support to give & when to move on. You did that for your group and we need to remember to do that whether we are working with teachers or kids. Thanks, GC as always for your thoughtful posts.

  4. John

    Appreciate the words of wisdom, I am guilty as charged. Students are the best teachers when it comes to using technology. We sometimes forget to let them lead the learning process.!!!!!

  5. Spiri Howard

    Hi George,

    Great post, it got me thinking :) Learners that are spoon fed pretty much sit and wait for the next spoonful. During that waiting time, their brain is in neutral; ready to accept whatever knowledge or wisdom from their teacher. The problem with this is that the brain is doing very little while waiting. It’s not doing much of anything really, just waiting for the next piece of knowledge to be spoon fed. When we spoon feed our knowledge to learners they start to expect the next spoonful. There is no interaction, they’re just waiting to be fed. They become bored if the next spoonful takes too long or if the knowledge being fed isn’t to their liking. Our brain however, needs to work. Learners should be working their brain; thinking, problem solving, questioning and analyzing. This is what motivates and excites them to learn and continue on learning!

    Glad those learners had a chance to work their brain and figure things out! I bet they feel great about it! Thanks for keeping it real George 😊

  6. Tracey Kracht

    Love this, George… Why do we continually rob our adults of the satisfaction of productive learning struggle when we need to commit to developing learner agency! Something to keep in mind!

  7. “The scandal of education is that every time you teach something, you deprive a [student] of the pleasure and benefit of discovery.” Paper.

    I think a lot about the balance of frustration and struggle. We certainly need more of this but as always it’s about context. I was recently trying to fix a broken appliance at home and given my lack of skill, get frustrated very easily. In the end, no YouTube video or time would help. I would have dearly loved some human help. As teachers we ought to lean more heavily on the be less helpful side but timely support makes us trusted guides to learning.

    • Dean, that idea of timely support is key here. All learners have a different context, and one of the most important things we can do as educators is be sensitive to that.

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