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Thursday, October 5, 2017, 09:17

We need to do more active learning in schools

I was speaking to a teacher a few days ago who was interested in our workshops and we got on to talking about the content of the workshop and teaching style.


I am a big fan of not teaching from the front and - as long as it is nothing silly or dangerous - letting the kids try out their ideas and learn by themselves.

 
It was nice to hear the teacher respond by saying that was exactly what she does too. Her school is encouraging what they call Active Learning, so she doesn’t come and check their code first to see if it is correct, they have to test it and have a go to find out.

 
This is important for kids. In real life, if you’re fortunate, you will have a network of family and friends that can guide you as go, but rarely do we have someone that can check if everything we are about to do or say is absolutely correct.


We have to do what we think is right, follow our gut feelings and use what we already know to make decisions. We won’t always get it right but as long as we are willing to learn and grow from our experiences - both good and bad - this is ok.


It is a shame that the current school system stifles this and in some ways leads students to believe that they need a teacher to validate their work all of the time.

 
We need to move away from this model - even if its only now and again - and show our students that they have the ability to validate their own thoughts and decisions. 

 
Give them the space and environment in which it is ok to mess up now and again and to have a chance to put it right.

 
This is why I love robotics and love teaching it, it does wonders for one’s self esteem and confidence… now if I can only find where I put my set of 3d printed wheels I can carry on with my latest robot project


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