Will higher education ever answer the call?

Thursday, August 30, 2012 in Knowledge Posts, Leadership

I just completed three great days of learning with the staff at Master’s Academy in Calgary, Canada.  Also present was my colleague JW Wilson, brain researcher, from the Advanced Learning Institute, www.crackingthelearningcode.com.  Together, we drilled deep into the concept of student autonomy.  Master’s Academy is one of the most advanced k-12 schools in North America.  Despite their successes they are continually seeking new avenues to optimize student learning.

Ashley was a university student attending the seminar.  She is working to become an elementary teacher.  Her comment below is poignant and echoed by many new teachers.  When will universities stop training teachers to teach with a 20th Century model of teaching and learning?  The innovative learning institutions I work with around the world are tiring of retraining teachers to work in 21st Century learning environments.  As long as we keep doing what we have been doing we will keep getting what we have been getting.

Dear David and JW,

I am currently a student within the education program at the University of Lethbridge, and I am so grateful to have been apart of this conference over the past couple of days. The workshop has provided me with multiple ideas that I am excited to share and use within my future classrooms.

I found the suggestion of allowing the children to have more control over what they are learning very fascinating. Throughout my years in university and as I’ve been learning in the education program, I’ve noticed that we are being taught the forms of teaching as they’ve been in past years. These forms of teaching are simple and based solely on memorization through repetition. However, after this workshop I now know that the method of repetition will not work unless the children can relate the information to meaningful past experiences. Providing them with ways of learning through meaningful material is so important, and I am excited to incorporate the new learning tools we have been working on into my classroom in order to help the students thrive. This workshop has been very beneficial and has provided me with an alternate view of what teaching and what learning for the students could be.