The Core Issues of Teaching Is Active Learning and Learning to Learn
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The Core Issues of Teaching Is Active Learning and Learning to Learn

Published by: Toryyang (355)
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This story took place in a poor street in New Delhi, India. Children in the poor street had no money, so they could not enter school, only hanging around the streets all day. To test whether the poor children have the desire to learn and the ability to learn, the experimenter opened a hole in the wall. The hole just had the size that a computer can be embedded in and the height being almost the same as a child. Only by touching can the children surf the Internet, but they must use English.

This device aroused a great novelty among the children: they began to discuss crowding round and some even got to work. A week later, a few children had touched the doorway. Two weeks later, many children initially learned to search the Internet in English. Three weeks later, the poor street children helped each other and almost all of them could search the Internet in English.

There are three questions behind the story: Are they at school? Of course, the answer is no. Are they receiving education? The answer is “unknown”. Are they learning? The answer is: “Yes, they are learning.”

The story is simple, plain, general, but profound. The story vividly tells us: Children have the learning nature and they are eager to learn. The key is to stimulate and maintain their desire and enthusiasm to learn; learning is a kind of construction of oneself and construction is based on existing experience. Construction needs supporting environment and conditions. Construction is characterized by a change; if there is a teacher nearby, it may be a kind of learning or not. But is there is no teacher nearby, it may be a kind of learning.

“The hole in the wall” is to help children find the entrance of the freeway. For classroom teaching, Harvard University has a wonderful metaphor: “to study in the Harvard is like to quickly help me find the entrance to the highway.” In fact, this story is a metaphor. It and “the entrance to the highway” together reveal a few basic points of teaching. First, students’ learning is to walk on the road, but only on the highway can they go smoothly and reach the destination soon; second, to hit the highway, you must first find the entrance. And finding the entrance is the result of teachers’ help; third, to find the entrance to a highway is a process of exploring, discovering, identifying the direction and selecting, which needs capacity and appropriate manner; fourth, learning, after all, is the task of students themselves. The teacher’s task is to find the entrance with students, and help students lay a solid foundation and get something that can “take away”. To sum up, this metaphor reveals the core issues of teaching, that is, active learning and learning to learn.

Toryyang - About the Author:

Interest is the source of success. Many people get succeeded because they are doing what they are fond of. Do you like wondering in the game world and make as much rift Platinum as you like?


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