Dec 22, 2016 10:20 AM EST
5 Educational Insights From The World's Top Academics
Teaching is both tough and very rewarding. Most of the time, however, a lot of teachers think that tough moments outnumber the rewarding moments. Regardless of the point you are in right now as an educator, here are very helpful insights from some of the best 5 minds in education.
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is a professor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School and a MacArthur-winning sociologist. One of her famous quotes describes good teaching like ideas which are communicated through relationships. In short, teaching is not just ab out transferring knowledge to your students but, first and foremost, about building relationships with mutual respect.
John Sweller and Paul Kirschner
John Sweller and Paul Kirschner are educational psychologists who point out that students have not learned anything at all if no changes have been made in their long-term memory. Thus, a teacher's job is not just to teach lessons that will be forgotten after classes end but lessons that will impact the lives of their students in the long term.
A professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, Daniel Willingham is famously known for his quote that "memory is a residue of thought," which means that the longer we think about something, the more we will remember it. In the same way, if the lessons are too easy for students - something which does not require a lot of thinking on their part - they are more likely to forget it quickly.
Robert Bjork, psychologist and director of of the UCLA Learning and Forgetting Lab, breaks the common learning myth that restudying material while it is fresh is the best way of learning. This is counterintuitive, he said, because distributed practice, learning in short bursts with other materials in between, is more effective. Students might not like this since they have a tendency to focus on one topic at a time. However, it has been observed that they remember a lesson more when distributed practice is used in the classroom.
Yogi Berra is not a teacher but a baseball player; nevertheless, the famous quote he has about knowing where you're going holds a lot of truth and insight for teachers. How many times do teachers present their lessons to their students without clearly communicating what the objectives are. If you don't tell your students where the destination is, it is less likely they will arrive there.
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