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learning and memory

June 1, 2010

I read a good blog post from Charles Jennings about the importance of action in learning.

“These days we’re a little better informed about what constitutes learning. It’s not that there have been fundamental discoveries in the field. There have been a few, but we’ve also spent more time observing learning in action. And ‘action’ is the key word. It’s become clear that learning is about action and behaviours, not about how much information you hold in your head.”

As I read through the post, I reflected on how little I sometimes have actions for students in lessons.  The importance of the students doing the activities instead of me talking about what they should learn is again being banged against my head.  I still have a ways to go before I get it in my head amd in my practice. 

Thank you Stephen Downes for pointing me toward this article.

In my case, sometimes it is just easier to tell and even show than have them translate this into actions.  Showing is important in modeling, but it isn’t enough, and I know it.  I can give the students worksheets and practices, but they decontextualize the learning or make learning just filling out the sheets in order to get the right or worse just get them done.  My goal needs to be to involve the students in more meaningful activities.  I know this.  Nothing really new about it.  But doing it seems to overwhelm me to the point of creating cognitive blocks that keep me from creating the types of activities needed.

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