Sunday, 10 May 2015

What if people don't listen to you and you know you're right?

Two  weeks ago I was in a music group I had just joined and I brought my clarinet with me for the first time. One woman welcomed me and said I could use the song music that she was singing with. I said I couldn’t because it needed to be ‘transposed’ (basically moved up a note and the key changed) so that I could play it on a clarinet. She said to me –‘ No its easy, you can do it, you just need to be more confident.  Your trouble is you’re not confident enough.’ I knew that she was not listening to what I said. I made a  couple of attempts at explaining that I needed to write out the music again before I could use it. She carried on not  listening so I stopped trying to convince her.

If I were a teacher in that group (rather than a participant) how would I have behaved differently? I think I would have done exactly the same . I would not have insisted that I was right and she was wrong.  I would have printed out some information from the internet about how and why you have to transpose music for a clarinet and I would have given her a copy of the information to read at her leisure. So she could learn the new knowledge in private when she was feeling relaxed. After all its easier to learn from observing something than from being told something. Also - maybe she did know something I did not

Friday, 24 April 2015

Playing safe in the classroom

I've joined #Rhizo15 which is my first ever cMOOC. Last year I didnt even know what a MOOC was and this year I have jumped in at the deep end and am starting to write a blog. To make this sort of MOOC work you just have to be willing to try new things - some might say its sink or swim - which is the kind of challenge I have always loved. Here is an example of one of the posts  on this way of learning. It set me thinking - is  it only the over-confident student who can join in? What about the under-confident student? I had a student in a tutorial today who described herself as under-confident but to me she seemed a slower but better learner than me as she mulled over each new idea and made sure she covered what she needed to know.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Why curiousity and how to enhance it?

Asking WHY and HOW and all the other questions we asked when we were small children is the lifeblood of learning. The picture is of me and my twin sister taken when we were 3 years old.  I recently discovered this old photo and it stirred my curiosity. I was the girl looking directly forward. I remember being fascinated by the camera as my Dad took our first ever photo. What was he doing? How did the camera work? Why was he telling us to stand up straight and smile?  As an adult with years of education tucked under my belt I find I have still more questions. How do children with similar genes and the same upbringing have different likes and interests and lives? How are people all the same, of the same value and yet so different?
This blog will be a look at what makes us curious. I hope it will also become a guide to revive and stimulate our natural curiosity. Its also going to be a learning experience. Can you offer suggestions as to how we can use stimulate our curiosity and learn from it? For starters here is a link to Gary Klein writing about the ways curiosity can lead to insight and new ideas - its worth having a go at his Insight test