Further my message dt. Oct 1, 2010 6:34 PM, responding to Robert Hansen: > Robert Hansen posted Oct 1, 2010 2:00 PM: > > GS, you often say that we should bring all the > > stakeholders together and from this gathering will > > emerge the answers we seek. Why does that make > sense > > to you? Wouldn't it make more sense to just look > at > > the top 20% of the students and do as they do? > > > Entirely valid questions - herewith some responses > (unfortunately in pure prose which renders it > difficult, if not impossible, to go very deep into > the issue): > <SNIP> > 3. It took a very special teacher to do that for me: > I'd be interested to see if such strategies can > n develop right from within the system, even from > teachers who may not be quite as special as that > teacher was; I'd also be interested to see if a > large number of teachers can become 'special > teachers' like that one was. I believe this can be > done. > I'm entirely certain that this can be done: for instance, I have often quoted my example of a (freshman college) student who had approached me after I had given a talk at a local Rotary Club, who then subsequently worked (with me to start the process; later, he worked on his own) to develop his 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) for his Mission: "To understand all topics of my math syllabus thoroughly and THEREBY to improve, very significantly, my results in my math, tests, quizzes".
What I should emphasize is that I gave him NO math tuition at all - I merely demonstrated to him how to create an OPMS Action Plan for his Mission; how he could interpret the models he created; what to do next at each stage.
He did all the work to understand the OPMS process thoroughly and continued developing it after I had left him on his own. His own innate keenness to do better in math stimulated him to do all that was needed for his Mission, including asking his peers and his math teachers for help; and so on. In just about 8 months' time he had so significantly improved his performance that he was consistently getting over 75% in all his math examinations, etc.
I believe that demonstrates pretty strong evidence of my claim, that students do (and can) learn largely from 'internal stimuli', and that what the teacher needs to do is to learn how to awaken that internal 'learning system' that is inherent in all of us; provide guidance and knowledge as needed; and so on.
This also is a demonstration of my belief, as stated at No. 3 above, that "such strategies can be developed from within the system". It also demonstrates, I believe, that most teachers can become very special teachers, if only they will learn how to stimulate the student's internal desire to learn.
For those who believe that only 'disciplinarian teaching' can enable students to learn, I recommend strongly that they should ingest as fishfood for the brain some of the shrimp that they have been assiduously been purchasing.