Give me the cheat codes

I didn’t grow up playing a lot of video games, and still now I don’t play many.  But on school mornings if we got up and ready in time, my brother, my neighbor, and I used to play Mario Kart on the old SEGA.  I can remember learning how to play the game, learning how to maneuver the courses, collect coins, and ruin my brothers chances of winning with a well placed banana peel.  However, then I remember when we all learned there was cheat codes for the game.  I was thrilled to have an extra advantage and didn’t have to put in the work and time learning how to get weapons to use, I could just smash in the cheat code and get everything I wanted.

It seems to me that our education system is just shoving the “cheat codes” to the students without allowing them to learn how to maneuver the course.  As talked about in Micheal Wesch’s Anti-Teaching article, we are teaching but students aren’t learning.  They merely want to know what they need to do to win the grade game, not what they need to do to grow in the subject they being taught.

I really like the idea of using Buckminster Fuller’s Spaceship Earth idea as a motivation tool to demonstrate how important it is for the students to learn, not just regurgitate information on a test.  Hopefully showing students how important their role is in our future will inspire them to go collect information and not just wait for it to be spoon fed to them.

The only potential problem I see with this method of teaching is in STEM field introduction classes where the material does not lend itself to anti-teaching methods.  The motivational tool of Spaceship Earth may, but not altering the teaching role to a “manager” as described in this article.  Maybe the manager role can be used on occasion, but the majority of classroom time would still need to be spent as a stand and deliver model in order to get through the material needed to help them succeed and solve the problems on our Spaceship Earth.

So cheat codes should no longer be given out and students should have to learn how to learn on their own, but for STEM fields we need to give them the basic tools they need to solve more complex problems on their own.  What do you all think?

Category(s): GEDI

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