I recently stumbled across this podcast between Tim Ferris and Seth Godin. About midway through the episode Tim begins to grill Seth about the concept of Pedagogy, and how he goes about thinking about learning and instruction through a lens of. cognition and motivation.
To quote Seth:
"We learn things by becoming momentarily incompetent"
This one quote summarizes so beautifully everything I tried to say here, and on my best days, what I try and do in the classroom (pandemic or not). That is, to carefully walk the line between the delivery, and the withholding of information. To have faith in the empty spaces. To honor the mystery box.
I encourage you all to listen to Tim and Seth's thoughtful conversation.
Click here to access the first of three recordings for my "Spark Learning" Masterclass. This session explored research and strategies related to sparking student curiosity at the beginning of an inquiry learning cycle.
With many schools announcing that they will be embarking on various distance learning models this Fall, student engagement in the online learning space is extremely important. That being said, given the stress of curricular modification, and the barrage of training and tools being thrown at teachers daily, student engagement is often overlooked.
Keeping the above in mind, click here for a toolkit I created a few years ago to assist fellow educators in understanding and implementing techniques for sparking student curiosity. Many of you already have this document, but I am hopeful that sharing it again provides a reminder as to how simple, and exciting, curating curiosity eliciting moments are for students.
Proud to announce that I will be facilitating a free 3-part "Spark Learning" Masterclass beginning 7/22 at 9am PST / 12pm EST. More info here: http://cue.org/microsoft (search for my name).
I am currently developing a unit on the structure and function of Hemoglobin in my Biochemistry class. Keeping this in mind, in the current online learning structure I have been slipping back into some old habits of teaching as they seem "easier", or more "efficient" in this structure. However, they do not align with my personal philosophy regarding how to surface student curiosity, interest, and motivation.
For example, falling back on a traditional approach would embrace the following work flow:
Implementing an approach guided by student curiosity COULD could follow the below format:
In the later example, direct instruction is delayed, but delivered in a way that compliments an initial activity. Students have plenty of related prior knowledge, and more importantly, false confidence, around the case study, but lacked true understandings of the biochemical mechanisms. Essentially, this example is designed to "prime" students for a moment of direct instruction, and aligns well with current research on the relationships between curiosity and learning:
"It's very in vogue to talk about curiosity as a strategy to increase learning, but it's unclear how to engage people's curiosity...Our study suggests it's the uncertainty -- when you think you know something and discover you don't -- that leads to the most curiosity and learning."
The above quote is a good reminder when designing this lesson, or those to follow, that it is not about HOW direct instruction is delivered by about WHEN. What can I do as an educator to provide enough information to not demotivate, but withhold enough to instill a sense of false confidence? Such a fun task...
It's the "Tip of the Tongue" effect, that Loewenstein discusses here, or in a more tangible way, the "Mystery Box" that Abrams shares here.
I will share the complete lesson plan when done in the coming days.