- ECKHART TOLLE, A New Earth
After reading Will Richardson's essay "Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere”, I agree that education needs reform in a way that is realistic about what exactly we want our students to learn and in what ways they will be prepared when they walk out of school's gates as bright 18-year-olds. I couldn't agree more with Richardson when he talks about the uselessness of memorizing facts that could easily be retrieved from the device that sits in the majority of our students' pockets. The focus of education is shifting and that is okay. It is necessary in order to prepare students for the dynamic workplace of today. Kids are teaching themselves how to learn anything they want to via the Web, so my job as a future mathematics educator is to cultivate excitement for mathematics and to instigate students to explore mathematical principals for themselves. Teachers are no longer the "keeper of knowledge" nor the smartest person in the room, we are now the facilitators that push students to persevere and take learning into their own hands.
In his essay, Richardson outlined six unlearning/relearning ideas that believes all educators must support. Of the six, there were two ideas that resonated with me and that I will definitely implement as a teacher. One was number two, "Discover, don't deliver, the curriculum" (Richardson, 2012). I am excited to run a classroom where the responsibly of learning falls on the students! Less pressure on me....just kidding. If I could master creating lessons with meaningful activities that made the students think hard and want to get the right answer, I think much more learning would take place opposed to me trying to shove the math procedures and facts down their throats. "Do real work for real audiences" (Richardson, 2012) was number five of the ideas that Richardson believed educators must support. I want to give my students assignments that mean something outside of the classroom walls. If they could buy into a project that involves using mathematics and analyzing data, then valuable learning is sure to take place.
One idea that I find difficult to get behind, personally, was number one, "Share everything (or at least something)" Although I am learning, I find it stressful and very time consuming to share everything, or even part of what I am doing online. I admit, I use what others post online, but have yet to gain pleasure from posting my ideas and thoughts on the web for everyone to see... let's see how this blog goes... baby steps.