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Pseudolearning

I’m a little bit late jumping on the pseudoteaching meme. I’m wondering whether it’s the right thing to attack.

Look at that. I can’t tell if it’s wordle, or imitation wordle made by hand. But it’s front and center at our school lobby as “evidence of learning”. I can’t blame anyone for putting it there – it’s certainly more visually interesting than what I gather as evidence, and that space is supposed to be visually interesting.

But I also see people advocating twitter for communication. Or Powerpoints1 for final projects. Or any other number of things that seem to mostly look pretty, rather than cause a student to dig deep and struggle.

Our standards are so dense and thick that we are coerced into teaching them by rote – investigative lessons are mostly used to supplement the learning, rather than as the foundation of it.

The 1right3wrong tests we are judged on are yet another incentive eschew deep learning in favor of memorizing simple patterns. All of the pressures I see for how to teach seem to encourage flash over depth, and I’m not surprised that teaching at large is following along.

If things are to change, it needs to come from the motivations being given to us, and I for sure don’t see that happening any time soon.

1 Sure, Powerpoint can be effective. But I have a hard time believing that 5 slides with 18 words arranged as bullet points requires the same amount of thought and connection of concepts that a properly constructed 7 paragraph essay would.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Sue J | March 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    The 1right3wrong tests we are judged on are yet another incentive eschew deep learning in favor of memorizing simple patterns.

    ??

    to eschew, I guess, in which case… I agree, and most fervently about the Powerpoints. They do, however, sometimes require more thought than some seven page cut and paste masterpieces I’ve seen.