Saturday, February 9, 2013

This week in C2C, as well as in my Curriculum & Instruction class, I learned about the different ways in which people learn.  It was informative to hear what I learned in my Curriculum class re-iterated by thee TFA teachers and exemplified in their different classroom settings.  They took a typical lesson plan about asthma as a health topic and adopted it to the different age groups and populations they teach.  It was fascinating to hear what types of instruction worked best for different types of students. For instance, an interactive class activity involving physical exercise may work effectively in a 6th grade class.  However, incorporating physical exercise in a lesson plan for adults may not work nearly as well.  In fact, you may risk losing student interest as a result!

What resonated particularly for me was understanding how to adapt different learning styles and strategies into a lesson plan, as well as how to combine content-based learning with skill acquisition and development.  I couldn't help but imagine a mosaic in my mind.  An educator is a scientific artist using a lesson plan to craft something beautiful for the benefit of learning minds.  Such a person must be able to teach a student content about asthma, for instance, but also must think of ways to teach a skill, such as group cooperation, or note-taking or reading comprehension.  I can only imagine the amount of creativity, thought and long-term planning must go into each lesson plan.

Then I thought about my own relationship with education and the types of learning I had been exposed to over the course of my life.  My thoughts specifically went back in time to when I was a secondary school student in Nigeria.  Learning takes on a very different form in this part of the world.  Resources to teach students were quite minimal, especially in government schools, which was the type of school I attended.  Classes, even at an early age, were seminar-style.  Students were assigned a particular classroom, and teachers cycled through.  There were no extra resources to engage in activities.  Education was reading, writing, and regurgitation intensive.  It seemed teachers were not taught to incorporate experiential learning into lesson planning.  Learning was very content-heavy.  While all this may seem bleak, to be truthful, Nigerian students all over the world excel by leaps and bounds in other educational systems, as we have become accustomed to some of the most disciplined and rigorous forms of learning.  And I have had the privilege of navigating both worlds - figuratively and literally.

(Oh! And I hope you like my word cloud! I designed it myself on by word-farting the 100 words that popped into my head, using education as a theme! Too fun!)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Udee -- I love your wordle! Also, it's so interesting to think about how learning is different in other countries. I'd love for Fodie to weigh in on his experiences growing up in Mali and the educational system there.

    Also, Sahar shared this John Steinbeck quote with me last week that seemed particularly relevant:

    “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”