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Have you ever thought: How do I learn best? One teacher answered this question after taking part in the workshop mentioned in Teachers as Makers. This workshop provided about 50 teachers with hands-on learning. They just had to literally sit down and work. Of course, they collaborated with each other by talking and working together on their given task but they had no one to tell them to do that like that and that other thing by using those and such. They were the makers themselves.
Makers. This is how we want our students to be. To feel challenged and learn to tackle a problem by searching, discovering, analysing, producing and testing. The era of spoon-feeding the pupils, in my opinion, has to come to an end. People are able to learn more by doing and not by listening to someone talk. Well I admit that we are able to learn by discussing and sharing ideas with other people but in reality, this method is not as effective as when learning through experience. Even the same teachers at the end of the workshop realised how much hands-on work is important for teaching and started to discuss how they could use hands-on projects to teach their subject.
The mentioned workshop provided some positive effects such as:
Another important element I want to talk more about is the first point. Imagine yourself in a one hour lecture where the lecturer just talks and talks and talks endlessly. Now, imagine that you are attending another lecture but this time as a first task the lecturer asks you to brainstorm about something in particular then in class everyone has to discuss what they discovered. From this the lecturer is able to bring out facts and knowledge that he originally wanted to teach. I attend many lectures and experienced these myself. In reality, the first type of lecture I mentioned is really not ideal. It bores the students and it does not create a challenging environment where students could get that bit of interest that pushes them to think about a something and try to counter it or generate opinions of why it is so.
I believe that teachers should create adequate challenges and problem-solving tasks for the student. After all, everyone likes challenges but only when they are safe such as Crossword and Sudoku puzzles. These are known worldwide and not long ago, if not still on-going, there was a huge international craze for such puzzles. As such a challenging hands-on learning environment is best for the student’s development.
Finally, I put a link to a video that one of my lecturers showed us which I think it’s really interesting and relates to what I just said.
Futurist, educator, speaker, writer
Christopher Felix Bezzina
Higher Education in the Digital Age
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