I was hoping for an important ‘teachable moment’ in class yesterday. After considering it over break, I decided to show the video below in hopes of eliciting a good conversation. I encourage you to watch it before I continue.
The reason I decided to show the video was to relate some of the concepts we have been exposed to in Contemporary Pedagogy. My goal as an educator is not to teach my students facts and figures which they recite back to me; it is to turn my students make them learners. In my semester long class, I lecture maybe 4 or 5 days. The other days are activities and class discussions on business concepts designed to make my students think critically about a business situation. The only purpose rote memorization serves in my class is for 5 minor quizzes to make sure the students keep up with the required readings, and they are a very small part of their grade.
Therefore, I showed the video to may students to give them a realization that information changes too quickly. There is little way for me to teach them everything they will ever need to know. However, I really want the students to realize that by critically analyzing a situation using general tools and frameworks I have taught them, they can be prepared for the future.
I was slightly disappointed when my students did not have a lot of comments after seeing the video. One student noted that they had seen the video before, and they were amazed at how much new information was being produced. Another thought that America was going to be leapfrogged by India and China. To both of these comments I stated that these things might be true, but asked how can they as students prepare for this?
One student stated that the video showed how valuable my class is, but the student did not give a reason why. I was unsure if they were just saying something to please me. So after the comments I tried to relate my sentiments about being focused on being a lifelong learner and not memorizing facts, much of which I discussed above. I am not sure if the purpose of showing the video sunk in to my students, they seemed like deer in headlights, but maybe it has an effect on one or two of them.