Last week for my MOT class, I got to take the teaching styles inventory by Grasha- Riechmann and found out that although my facilitator/delegator style of teaching can be advantageous, it can also be disadvantageous for the students who need more direction, and supervision. Interestingly, at the same day, when I was about to introduce a new discussion in the class aiming the students to integrate various conceptual information in a contextual manner, some of the students asked me to show/tell them clearly what I want them to do, and how I want them to think. Realizing I’m living in my own infj-centric way of learning/teaching, and yes -not all students are like me-, was definitely a teaching moment for me.
In this regard, the Robert Talbert article was quite a reminder that:
– Learning also happens by the means of listening and observing (remember the long, boring lectures that served as models for your thought processes).
– Structured thinking and a solid conceptual knowledge are necessary in order to be able to think creatively (remember picasso: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”).
– Learning through sharing experience and personal stories help. We love stories, we are stories.
– Tying the contextual dots when introducing the concepts help new neural pathways to be formed, make the knowledge essential, effective and easier to retrieve. Who cares of a knowledge, if it is not retrievable? It does not matter if there is a cake-house in the deep forest, if you can not find it.
I guess particularly the last point is in line with the assumptions of Mark Carnes. The intellectual games help the students to develop new neural pathways and strengthen the already present ones. Yet, at first, you have to learn what the basic concepts are, how the games are played, as James Paul Gee mentions. When there is a stimulation in the brain, the students become no longer interested in other mind-killing/time-wasting tools, as the potatoes happily grow under the fertile soil instead of developing sprouts when they are on a garage.
Sep 19, 2015