10 Ways to Explore Learning.
“Question. What are the 10 ways to explore learning?
Answer. As a teacher and as a student.”
This is a Tweet I posted a little while ago. I had seen that blogs that start with offering ten ways of doing something were popular, and since we all want to be popular I thought I would give it a go.
My twist was to take a sideways step in thinking, just what we sometimes need to do when teaching, and use “10” in binary notation instead of decimal. “10” in binary has a value of two and hence we get our answer – we can explore learning as 1) a teacher or 2) as a learner.
Well it was not re-tweeted, the sure sign that somebody else is not on the same wavelength. It must have fallen on deaf ears, gone over their heads or people just did not get it. I based my idea on the T shirt slogan which sells in the thousands so there must be a few people out there who get it you would think. (Picture acknowledgement: http://www.thinkgeek.com)
I was sure it would attract the attention I was looking for and get the message across that teaching and learning often involves thinking outside of the box, looking at what is around you in a different way and seeing new meaning (in learning) or opportunities (for teaching). In other words: being creative
What is does show perhaps is the problem of disconnect, of not knowing your audience or where they are in their thinking. This for a teacher is a fundamental problem, getting to know who you are teaching is critical in forming the learning partnership. If you get it wrong then the outcome is often one which involves coerced learning rather than engaged learning. The classroom takes on the character of being teacher centred, (pushing the learning and the teacher taking responsibility for learning), rather than student centred (discovery and ownership of the learning).
So where does this leave me? It means I need to work harder and smarter at sharing my learning journey and understanding why what makes sense to me in my context may not work for others within their context. It means finding the right words and examples etc. to share my ideas in a way that others will see what it is I am driving at. This is very important to me in my attempt to bring to people the ideas behind the concept of LQ (Learning Intelligence). In teaching we use examples and metaphors to help explain, describe, or involve others in the learning all the time.
Something to think on.
What does it mean to us as teachers if we do not share the same contextual map that makes our explanations, descriptions, and metaphors relevant to those we are trying to teach?