Trust The Children

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Creating Converts...

Again from Barrows.

Is Problem-Based Learning Worth the Trouble? (subheading in the article)

Interestingly, this question is usually raised by people who are asked to consider the possibility of a problem based curriculum without having ever been involved in, or observing problem based learning. Once anyone is involved as a PBL tutor and has the opportunity of seeing what students can do when given permission to think and learn on their own, he or she usually becomes a convert. Faculty members can see how students think, what they know and how they are learning. This allows teachers to intervene early with students having trouble before it becomes a more difficult issue. Faculty members work with alert, motivated, turned-on minds in a collegial manner that has no equal. This is quite different from lecturing to a passive and often bored array of students whose understanding of the subject the teacher can only deduce indirectly from their answers to test questions."


I Bet This Sounds Weird...

Do you want your children to be dependent learners? I mean dependent on a teacher to learn?

In some readings I am doing, Barrows shares some teaching approaches that make students dependent on teachers in medical learning situations.

Making Students Dependent on Teachers

1. Directive Teachers, 2. Providing teacher driven learning expectations, 3. By pairing reading assignments with problems, 4. Telling students what they should know, 5. Faculty generated multiple choice questions to assess.

Imagine being treated by a doctor who did really well on multiple choice questions but still needs to turn to the teacher when presented with your health problem?

Maybe that is how Obama is going to come up with Doctors to serve his ficticious 50 Million people who he says don't have insurance?

Call your teacher during the operation because you came up against something you hadn't seen before?

Medical knowledge on demand for surgeons. Of course this won't work. The point is that medical institutions have changed the way they teach medicine to encourage students to inquire themselves, free inquiry actually, and learn what models, frameworks and patterns of diagnosing work as they gather, sift through and conclude from information surrounding a patients presenting problems, as their learning model.

Why do we think our kids deserve any less for their lives. Do we want them to be less capable than the best doctor? Less capable at all? Yet we often continue using the same dependance creating methods with our own children.

It worked for me, right?