Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THINK A STUDENT SHOULD LEARN WHILE GROWING UP? WHY? Convince parents and teachers about passing this information on to the next generation.

I believe the most important thing a student should learn while growing up is how to learn. There are many different ways to view a situation, an event, a novel, a news story -- it all depends on your perspective and what lens you are using to put the items into context.

I never learned much about how to look at the world from the perspective of a historian or a scientist. My history and science education was serverly lacking. It is not that I didn't take the courses or do well in them - I did. It was just that I did not appreciate how to look at things from the scientific and historic perspective. What variables might have influeced A so that it ended up at Z? What observations can I make to help form a guesstimate about what is happening. Where do I go next to test out my theory? What do the theories say to support or negate my claim? This type of thinking has only come to me later in life.

Same can be said for the historical perspective. I learned facts, figures, names, and places but was never shown the big picture of how it all tied together. I never got that history is something that you are making and living everyday -- and I never felt that I got a lot of the cultural and global perspectives necessary to better understand current events. We used to "do" current events -- cut out an article, wtite about who, what, when, where, why, and how -- but we were never encouraged to look beyond that to see how things were tied together or the impact that A might have on B.

Now that I am older (not old, just older) I wonder what my life might have been like had I had those additional lenses to look through at the events in my life. I am excited about learning more, now that I have some tools about how to do research and how to look through different lenses. Wish I would have had that when I was traveling and going to school - if I had encountered one teacher who looked at things through patterns or changes over time-- how different my world view. I feel like I am playing catch-up. I feel a bit cheated. Maybe I can help my students to see that world as well, while they are still on the path of discovery rather than at the stage of reflection.

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