Monday, February 18, 2013

How Do Children Learn?

 "Congratulations," my colleague smiled and said, "They're so quiet.  You're doing a good job!"  My first reaction was to think, She hasn't read Hattie's book, Making Learning Visible for Teachers.  If she had she would know that quiet doesn't necessarily equal learning. I had similar thoughts when another colleague suggested students had too much screen time inferring that using the computers meant that students were simply staring at the screens the whole time.

Those comments and more make me wonder how much educators today really know and understand the research-based reality of student engagement and learning.  I myself have a lot to learn about the latest theories and research related to cognition, brain-friendly lessons, memory and engagement.  I do know that learning is not the linear ladder of obedient response that many think of.  Instead learning is a multi-faceted dynamic web-like process of connection making that looks to and thrives in positive, friendly environments.

I want to make a 21st century list of learning-friendly environmental attributes and actions--a short list to guide my work and the work of others.  I'll study this during the summer months as well as in the weeks to come.  In the meantime, I'm wondering what you would add to the list, and what resources you believe bring the most relevant data and information to this discussion.