Saturday, September 7, 2013

Moving Away from Coverage to Learning

A simple move to avoid ‘coverage’ and make time for more learning

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This, despite the fact that we all know, at some level, that it is not the ‘teaching’ that causes learning but the attempts by the learner to learn that causes learning; and that the 1st attempt may not be successful. The importance of feedback and its use, the idea that a key concept or skill is rarely learned at the first go, the need to ferret out and address misconceptions – all of what we know about optimal learning is far too easily trumped by a syllabus, course framework, or unit plan that says: we have to move on to the next topic!
So, here’s a simple move in four parts that we have used in building units and courses for clients that ‘tricks’ you psychologically into giving students more needed opportunities to learn important things – without feeling stressed about it:
  1. Part 1: Build in and identify in your map/syllabus/unit/lesson plan what we call white space. White space is a placeholder for any results that are likely to occur that require slowing down or re-teaching or re-practicing. Practically speaking, each week has a half-period or a whole-period built into the week’s plan for such adjustment.

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