So what is important for students to learn?

(My dis­claimer is that I do not have an answer to this question!)

This ques­tion is some­thing that I have dis­cussed repeat­edly in my edu­ca­tional career, and it may be one of the most impor­tant ques­tions that schools need to ana­lyze if they truly want to change.  One to one learn­ing is one way to enhance what stu­dents learn and the ways that they learn.  It can turn teacher cen­tered class­rooms into stu­dent cen­tered class­rooms.  More impor­tantly, it can move stu­dents from the bot­tom of Bloom’s Tax­on­omy to the top level where stu­dents create.

Bloom_taxonomy
 Unfor­tu­nately, one to one could also serve as a tool to pro­mote the ways things have always been done.  Com­put­ers can serve as an amaz­ing set of ency­clo­pe­dias, and they are obvi­ously a great orga­ni­za­tion tool for most indi­vid­u­als.  I cringe when I hear about stu­dents that are using tech­nol­ogy in this way, but it is happening. 

So how can schools use tech­nol­ogy to trans­form education?

One rec­om­men­da­tion is to truly iden­tify what stu­dents should learn and make those things the focus of every­thing the school does.  On my post from last week, I wrote about the core val­ues from the Sci­ence Lead­er­ship Acad­emy.  Those val­ues pic­tured below were present through­out the school, and I don’t mean that they were present solely as posters on the wall. You could see those val­ues demon­strated in every­thing that staff and stu­dents did.

Picture 2

Schools need to gen­uinely eval­u­ate the things stu­dents are learn­ing in school.  How much time should you spend on some­thing that stu­dents can find on the Inter­net in a few sec­onds?  How impor­tant is a con­cept if most adults don’t know the information?

An idea to get this con­ver­sa­tion started at your schools would be for teach­ers to bring one of their tests to a staff meet­ing and pass those tests out to oth­ers to see how your staff does with tests from other sub­jects.  More than likely, teach­ers will do very poorly on the assess­ments from out­side of their con­tent area.  This idea can gen­er­ate some good ques­tions that may get staff think­ing about what stu­dents are learn­ing in their classes.  If a group of suc­cess­ful adults can’t answer the ques­tions, is it really that impor­tant that stu­dents can?

6 comments

  1. Marshall says:

    Much like your dis­claimer of no answers, my per­spec­tive offers no solu­tions or answers. Ideas and ques­tions, how­ever, I offer freely. This is sim­i­lar to a post of mine on Beat­ing the Dead Horse as well. The post here is essen­tially talk­ing about how tech­nol­ogy can make trans­for­ma­tional changes in the way we do edu­ca­tional busi­ness, and I agree. It is more applic­a­ble, how­ever, to the paper, pen­cil, inter­per­sonal, and print world than is given credit here. Yes, tech­nol­ogy has had a lot to do with that by mak­ing things read­ily avail­able and mak­ing it much eas­ier to find nec­es­sary data. That strand con­tin­ues at BTDH.
    Basi­cally, my con­cern is that we assess (and there­fore teach and empha­size) a lot of mate­r­ial that is really resources for think­ing. With the avail­abil­ity of infor­ma­tion through tech­nol­ogy and a myr­iad of other out­lets, know­ing facts and fig­ures holds less power. Although it has its place and can be ben­e­fi­cial in a lot of ways, bas­ing our learn­ing on this level pri­mar­ily only reduces the time we have for other, deeper topics.

  2. Thanks for this. This really struck a chord because I’ve been think­ing about this for some time. How many teach­ers out­side the math depart­ment could do even the sim­plest things that our pupils are asked to do in math class? How many adults out­side the his­tory depart­ment could cough up the infor­ma­tion that stu­dents are required to?
    I have a sneak­ing feel­ing that we are wast­ing a lot of everyone’s time. Why don’t more peo­ple ask your ques­tion “How impor­tant is a con­cept if most adults don’t know the infor­ma­tion”? There is, of course the point that adult igno­rance could be a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for teach­ing a par­tic­u­lar topic: school as an agent for social change. Oth­er­wise, your ques­tion seri­ously calls into ques­tion much of what we do in schools.
    There is another ques­tion you ask here, though, that I’m going to have to take issue with. “How much time should you spend on some­thing that stu­dents can find on the Inter­net in a few sec­onds?“
    I’m a teacher, mostly of lan­guage, and I spend all my work­ing time doing just that. Most of what I teach can be looked up in sec­onds, but that’s irrel­e­vant. Find­ing out how to kick a soc­cer penalty is a fairly minor step on the road to being able do well at penalty kicks. You get the pic­ture?
    I’m in the busi­ness of help­ing peo­ple learn, and that means help­ing them to be able to do things that they couldn’t do yes­ter­day. School was never sup­posed to be about infor­ma­tion — that’s what we had libraries for. School was sup­posed to be about learn­ing.
    Those “deeper top­ics” are impor­tant goals for edu­ca­tion, but you can’t get there before pupils have a lot of bal­last on board. Lots of basic infor­ma­tion needs to be autom­a­tized before you can mean­ing­ful debate or crit­i­cal think­ing, or any of the things we’re really after.

  3. Nick Sauers says:

    Simon-Thanks for your com­ment.  You make some very good points.  I would actu­ally not dis­agree with your com­ment about stu­dents need­ing to learn some basic things so that they can mas­ter much deeper top­ics and higher level skills.  With that being said, I think we spend way too much time teach­ing those basic facts and stu­dents rarely get to deep under­stand­ing.  Most stu­dents spend nearly 80% of their day doing things at the very low­est level of Bloom’s Tax­on­omy.  That doesn’t seem like a very effec­tive way to pre­pare stu­dents for today’s world.  The ques­tion, “How much time should you spend on some­thing that stu­dents can find on the Inter­net in a few sec­onds?” can hope­fully be used as a con­ver­sa­tion starter.  Edu­ca­tors need to become much more con­scious about what is taught in schools.  When I reflect back on my time as a Social Stud­ies teacher, I real­ize I spent too much time on those basic facts.  The drive to “get through” the cur­ricu­lum can eas­ily result in a total lack of depth in any con­tent area.  I’m not call­ing for the elim­i­na­tion of all fac­tual knowl­edge, but we need to closely exam­ine all of the things that are taught in schools.  The most impor­tant part of this entire con­ver­sa­tion may sim­ply be that edu­ca­tors need to have this conversation!

  4. Thanks for this. This really struck a chord because I’ve been think­ing about this for some time. How many teach­ers out­side the math depart­ment could do even the sim­plest things that our pupils are asked to do in math class? How many adults out­side the his­tory depart­ment could cough up the infor­ma­tion that stu­dents are required to? I have a sneak­ing feel­ing that we are wast­ing a lot of everyone’s time. Why don’t more peo­ple ask your ques­tion “How impor­tant is a con­cept if most adults don’t know the infor­ma­tion”? There is, of course the point that adult igno­rance could be a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for teach­ing a par­tic­u­lar topic: school as an agent for social change. Oth­er­wise, your ques­tion seri­ously calls into ques­tion much of what we do in schools.

  5. Maria says:

    A very good arti­cle. Have you ever down­loaded any­thing with the help of http://www.torrentbasket.com/dabbung Tor­rents Search Engine ? I rec­om­mend you try it out.

  6. Not only will those wwho pur­chase this rug be happy about hav­ing some­thing beau­ti­ful in their home but the envi­ron­ment will also
    be less of a con­cern when pur­chas­ing them. For exam­ple, cur­tains in turquoise or vio­let well com­ple­ment sofas in stark white uphol­stery.
    In favor­able cli­matic con­di­tions, the growth period
    is as short as 3 weeks. Heav­ily traf­ficked areas should be vac­u­umed fre­quently.
    One of the other types of car­pet is a hooked rug that is hand­made and is made by pulling strips of clkth such as wool or cot­ton through the meshes off a steady fab­ric like burlap.

    Then, when yyou have a plumb­ing acci­dent or rent
    a steam cleaner, your car­pet becomes soggy. You can also goo
    for dry com­pound clean­ing, which can be done at home.
    The Taunton home clean­jing ser­vices can get your home well cleaned more than to your expec­ta­tions at afford­able costs.

    It does no harm to call them and they can even mea­sure the area for you.

    For sum­mer, win­dows need t be casual, to let in sun and air and
    take iin the sur­round­ing views. Once all stains are
    gone, Rug Doc does a final post groom­ing, so thatt car­pet pile and fur­ni­ture are at their best,
    andd then a post inspec­tion, whereby an expert will walk through your home with you so that you can inspect results and make sure you’re sat­is­fied while
    the tech­ni­cian is still on the premises. Vac­uum slowly to remove max­i­mum amount of
    embed­ded soil. We don’t want to usee them and we can’t jus­tify throw­ing them out.
    The upgraded steam clean­ers are best euip­ment to be used for car­pets because it heats water while
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    A per­fect clean­ing solu­tion for this type of car­pets should have a pH value close to
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    Car­pets for Pet Own­ers Choose a Stain-resistant Mate­r­ial One of the
    major prob­lems with pets and car­pets are stains.

    Taffeta, damask, che­nille, silk and vel­vet are some tra­di­tional
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    Both these car­pets are warm brown in colour and can help to add a snug feel to
    any room in a home. The prod­uct works on con­tact,
    so you can use a pump sprayer to coat the prob­lem item.
    Jusst thinnk­ing about all those things that you or your fam­ily
    bring into ylur home on your shoes and san­dals pre­vents you from
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    Car­pets are dirt mag­nets and so it is impor­tant to keep them in good con­di­tion to mak sure the home is clean and a healthy place to live
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    And the worst to happeen is that it will serve aas breed­ing ground for molds if wet­ness pro­longs Con­se­quently,
    clean­ing com­pa­nies have done their best to improve and
    upgrade the processes of their prod­ucts so as to give cus­tomers utmost convenience.

    The exxess liq­uid can be absorbed by the blot­ting papers.

    But if your car­pet­ing is weet or humid, it is the safest place forr flea
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    Many times you aree bet­ter ooff just get­ting rid of the item that is cau­js­ing
    the prob­lem, becaause it has become so sat­u­rated with mold
    it will bee very dif­fi­cult to clean thoroughly.

    Thhis will hide the stains and lessen the need for fre­quent car­poet clean­ing.
    Atlanta water Dam­age Com­pany offers ser­vices lke car­pet
    clean­ing, uphol­stery clean­ing, etc. This is a com­mon mis­a­take bec­ca­use the strong suc­tion of the
    vac­uum cleaner can pull the knots of the rrug out.

    Never place a large piece of fur­ni­ture at the entrance of a room.
    There are two tyes of car­pet; broad­loom and tiles. The
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    fin­ished. To avoid the fur­ther dete­ri­o­ra­tion of the car­pet,
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    Almost a decade back, peo­ple uxed to give time to their house and would spend a day clean­ing and scrub­bing.
    There are a ton of this sort of supe­rior hom cleans­ing solu­tions out
    there that can be made use of to make the shine.

    Elec­tron­ics: it is a known fact that the duty is almost nil in Dubai
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    Get­ting a used piece of fur­ni­ture cann make a won­der­ful
    addi­tion to your home. These stains mst be cleaned as soon as pos­si­ble, because delay­ing the process will only mqke it
    more cum­ber­some. When paint­ing the walls, ggo slightly strongerr
    than you’re com­fort­able with. The amaz­ing thing
    with the newer pat­ternned car­pet styles is that both for­mal, tra­di­tional as well as con­tem­po­rary designs are being man­u­fac­tured.
    Not only the houses bbut every other places includ­ingg the wor places, shops, indus­tries, parks, roads and much more needs dec­o­ra­tion to main­tain a good show and
    sophis­ti­cated lifestyle among peo­ple. In this method,
    a solu­tion of warm water annd deter­gent is injected into the car­pet under
    high pres­sure, which enables the soil and other dirt tto get sus­pended
    in the water. These two equip­ments work by suck­ing
    out thee mois­ture and allow­ing it to evap­o­rate. Opt for smooth fab­rics to keep rooms feel­ing fresh.
    They also habe visions oof the old hard sell, a tech­nique in which sales­men used to use in the
    days when thhere were sales­men, to really close a deal.

    Here aare a few point­ers that can help you choose a pro­fes­sional com­pany.
    The sec­ond method that is used iis sham­poo­ing.
    Whereas, you should not regret your deci­sion later, if you
    opt for a low end type. So, if leave your car­pet tto dry for over
    than 24 hours then you are most likely to invite molds.

    Odours get trapped by the fibress and they can be very hard to
    remove. Nowa­days, it will look more chic to have a vari­ety
    of throw pil­lows made from dif­fer­ent fabrics.

    Neu­tral­iz­ing the odeor is prefer­able to sim­ply spray­ing an air
    fresh­ener as once the air fresh­ener dis­si­pates, the odor returns.
    Plush cazr­pet can be tex­tured, vel­vet (sax­ony), or trackless.

    Mar­moleum floors are widely pre­ferred by the peo­ple of Los
    Ange­les when it comes to giv­ing that per­fect look to their homes.
    Pour some remover into a paper towel, a cot­ton ball, or a clean piece of cloth and then apply it on the
    affected area. Remov­ing can­dle wax from car­pets is a cum­ber­some task.

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