Friday, March 14, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 73

If we can help discover how to a concept or skill, we've met our goal as .

A number of years ago, as a teacher and department chair, our science department designed what we called a "Student Understanding Pyramid."  The goal of this pyramid was to help students learn to self-monitor, and like a Bloom's Taxonomy or Maslow's Hierarchy, show an increase in learning needs met as learners progressed.  We inverted the pyramid to highlight what we saw as the power of mastery growth.  You can check out the picture below.

As I was thinking of today's quote and looking at the poster of the pyramid in my office, I began to think about some ultimate goals for leaders.  We certainly want all our students to be successful, and we definitely want all students to have their needs met.  Along with that, we want students to display mastery of the learning process.

The best way to get to true mastery?

Take a skill or concept and teach it.

The act of teaching requires learners to not only know about an idea or skill set, but be able to explain it deeply and connect it to other relevant items.  Teachers have to be able to anticipate questions, and that "preflective" thinking is what helps separate those who know, from those who can teach.

A learner who can teach something to other learners has truly internalized that information.  If we want school to be meaningful for students, we have to move past the "standard" assessment practices we see regularly, and put learners in a position that requires them to not just show their knowledge, but to teach it to others.

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