Ask Us to *Need* to Learn

26 02 2013
19142809

What if school was set up to help us practice learning how to learn instead of spending time asking us to prove that we’ve retained something that’s been fed to us?

As adults, the reason we learn new things is because our lack of knowledge gets in the way of something we want to do. So we go out and find a way to learn what we need to learn. Right? Our recognition of our lack of knowledge and our need to know leads to learning. Authentic learning.

But school isn’t set up that way at all. School is set up for us to be “fed” all the information that we’ll ever need to know before we’re asked to use it. Before we even know that we might need it. Before educators even know that it’ll be useful for us. It’s all based on the assumption that “they” know what “we” will need to know.

What if school was set up to help us practice learning how to learn instead of spending time asking us to prove that we’ve retained something that’s been fed to us? Because in the real world, rarely is the information we need to know for our jobs, for our lives, fed to us. We have to go out and find that information.

Well, that is, unless we’re working on an assembly line that requires very little original thought or initiative.  —— long pause ——  And just how many of us in the US have those factory based, assembly line types of jobs now?

Right.

So if we’re preparing our kids for the real world, why isn’t school set up with a series of challenges that made us need to learn information-gathering, idea processing, and content creation? And the kids learn what information (and skills) they need to know through those challenges? And best of all, why couldn’t the challenges be set up in ways students would want to complete them?

And why is this concept so difficult for us to try?

If you’re intrigued, let me know. I think I might have answers but I can’t complete this challenge alone. I need your help too.

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10 responses

27 02 2013
Ask Us to *Need* to Learn | Metacognition | Scoop.it

[…] As adults, the reason we learn new things is because our lack of knowledge gets in the way of something we want to do. So we go out and find a way to learn what we need to learn. Right? Our recogni…  […]

27 02 2013
Ask Us to *Need* to Learn | Las ganas de aprender | Scoop.it

[…] As adults, the reason we learn new things is because our lack of knowledge gets in the way of something we want to do. So we go out and find a way to learn what we need to learn. Right? Our recogni…  […]

27 02 2013
Ask Us to *Need* to Learn | ESSDACK - Education Trends & News | Scoop.it

[…] As adults, the reason we learn new things is because our lack of knowledge gets in the way of something we want to do. So we go out and find a way to learn what we need to learn. Right? Our recogni…  […]

27 02 2013
Ben Wilkoff

This was my video response that was inspired by this post. Thank you so much, Ginger, for helping me to think this through: http://youtu.be/kQU_MCx_KUI

27 02 2013
GingerLewman

Oh you know I have some things to say about this. Quickly scribbling thoughts as I listen to your video the 2nd time around. BUT I’ll try to go the vlog-style on this.

Because I agree with you 100% in an artificial context, but in the real world, it just ain’t so. 😉

How’s that for a teaser?

27 02 2013
GingerLewman

Ok, here’s my awkward video response.
“Real world? Nah. School just isn’t real world…yet”
youtu.be/h5bwpCSPgSA?a

3 03 2013
Gallit Zvi

Ginger,

I watched your vlog response to Ben’s and then that led me here…I completely agree that we need to spend time less time giving information and way more time helping our students learn how to learn.

Have you heard of Genius Hour? It is something I do with my students every week. One of my blog posts on it http://www.gallitzvi.com/2/post/2012/06/what-is-genius-hour.html

I am going to keep looking through your blog now…am interested in seeing what else you have to say 🙂

Thanks for making your conversation with Ben public, I enjoyed listening in!

~Gallit

4 03 2013
GingerLewman

Thank you so much for the comment and for letting me know about genius hour. I’d not heard of it before, but I like the concept very much.
What if we could do genius hour every hour of every day, where students could learn about what they want to, in the ways they want to, all the time?

19 03 2013
Ask Us to *Need* to Learn | Project Based Learning: a recipe for LifePractice | Scoop.it

[…] As adults, the reason we learn new things is because our lack of knowledge gets in the way of something we want to do. So we go out and find a way to learn what we need to learn. Right? Our recogni…  […]

12 04 2014
Ask Us to *Need* to Learn | Transforming Learni...

[…] “ As adults, the reason we learn new things is because our lack of knowledge gets in the way of something we want to do. So we go out and find a way to learn what we need to learn. Right? Our recogni…”  […]

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