26 July, 2013
I read this article and it got me thinking about school, learning, young people today etc.
The article discusses how skills are learned, how creating neural pathways link and create stronger pathways and how a good way to develop these skills is by not using help guides, asking other people etc but puzzling it out for yourself.
My experience is that children are the masters at that. They use tech, never read an instruction manual, dive in and work it out. Only if they are really stuck do they ever seek help from a youtube video, social media friends or maybe sometimes…their parents.
How does that learning model compare to schools?
How many lessons does the same children sit through where there is an input (or teach) first and then a series of activities ‘designed’ to develop this skills/learning?
How does the waiting for help (if required) compare to the immediacy of youtube or other web based help technologies?
How does the ‘blocking’ of lessons sometimes days apart hold back the development of skills in those areas, when the best way to develop the skills is everyday practice?
Do we connect enough of our learning together? I think primaries do, but there is always talk of splitting back into more subject based learning and less topic/project learning? Why? Where is the evidence for success in this approach?
The role of failure is key to learning in this way, yet if our children do not have enough ‘self-esteem chips’ as Richard Gerver brilliantly calls them our children will not be able to enjoy the freedom to fail. Do schools do enough to balance out the differential between the haves and have-nots of self-esteem? If not, why?
Which countries ARE getting it right and how are they doing it? Our young people are going to develop more and more skills in these ways, are our schools going to support them in that or hold them back?
Skills Drop Off – by Squacco