Why do we so often emphasize the frames or structure over deep understanding? Knowing what something is only takes you so far. Isn’t knowing how something works or how it is connected much more valuable than just knowing it exists? And the very same principle applies to teaching: understanding how to help your students learn makes a real difference for both the effectiveness of learning and for classroom management, too.
Patricia Buoncristiani discusses this in beautiful details, and reminds us about the importance of improving teacher education: http://thinkinginthedeepend.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/its-not-the-kids-fault/
She says how effective teachers employ good strategies:
“Above all this, these teachers know how to engage their kids in activities that grab their intellects, their senses and their emotions.
They also know that if they can effectively teach their students how to think skillfully, they will be able to approach everything that goes on in the classroom from an intelligent, thoughtful point of view. By teaching the behaviors that characterize thoughtful, successful people their students will know how to listen with empathy, to manage their impulsivity, to think and work interdependently.
Where do our teachers learn all this? In my experience teacher education programs today offer very little explicit teaching about the HOW of teaching. They focus on the WHAT.”
And I cannot but wholeheartedly agree. Knowing how to create an optimal learning environment in your classroom makes a huge difference. How could we help more teachers achieve this (while waiting for the teacher education to be improved)?