Making it Meaningful

This weeks readings were ok. The first reading was another chapter from How People Learn and the second was from Put Understanding First. Both were good reads about teaching and ways in which you can make the teaching/learning experience more effective. Both articles really stressed the importance of emphasizing the meaning of content. I can remember several time throughout high school, that I assumed the information I was being taught would never be relevant to me. I remember feeling like once the basic reading skills were down and I could count money, nothing else matter. There was never a good answer to “why do I have to learn this” or “when am I going to use this in real life”. Other than getting a good grade so I could graduate and move on for high school, I never saw a point to advance math and science. Now I wish I had paid more attention and I wish that my teacher stressed the meaning of the content and examples of how it could be transferred into other fields.

The Put Understanding First  article did a really great job breaking down how a instructor can go about making the content more meaningful. Some of the step seem kind of obvious like: ‘provide direct instruction’ and ‘provide practice on the basics’. Those are things that should always be a priority when teaching. However step like: ‘revisit the original hook problem’ and ‘give student the opportunity to reflect’, are often skipped and can really take away from the overall learning process. Even though I don’t have any plans to teach after I graduate, I think these steps can and should apply in every learning situation. Whether its at work or at a workshop, it’s important to so through the 12 steps and ensure that milestone are being met. Otherwise there will always be hole in your understanding of things and the information won’t be truly meaningful.

Til nest time…shhh

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One comment

  1. Meaningful learning has been a running theme in several of my classes this semester, and it’s something I want to foster in learners. And I agree that we can’t skip steps like reflection, as much as we might be strained for time in a workshop or classroom. This sort of metacognition or thought on our thoughts is crucial for students to develop deeper understandings, and it is necessary if we want to encourage growth mindsets where people are always striving to get better.

    And this is a couple months after your post, so I’m hoping that you’re seeing that as a librarian you’re going to be a teacher in some ways too. 🙂 And it’s something that I think gets more comfortable with practice.

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