Monday, 21 September 2015

Good at learning or good at school?

A former student responding to a prompt asking the difference between learning and studying:

"It’s one thing to read Romeo and Juliet, and I can tell you, you know, which ones were the Capulets and, you know, I can name and tell you Juliet, who she is. I can pick out the symbolism and I can say, this is a reference to this, that was happening in Elizabethan England. It’s another thing to read Romeo and Juliet and to talk about some of those higher level themes and then to make connections between Romeo and Juliet and something I saw on television or something that’s going on in my own life. Now, I own that information, because I can manipulate it and use it to meet my own needs versus I've memorized that information, it’s stored in my head, but I can only access it when we’re talking about Romeo and Juliet." 

And that's what rigorous learning material helps kids learn how to do. If I can get my 6th graders anywhere near this understanding, I'll have achieved something worthwhile this year.

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