I often joke that the really good students do well “despite my teaching”… While I am not dead serious when saying it, there is a certain amount of discomfort in me when saying it. This begs the question whether our education system produce winners?
Are the A-candidates the successful ones in life? While there may be some, the academic world would have to acknowledge that somewhere something goes astray… Sir Ken Robinson in a TED presentation asserts that schools kill creativity! Mitch Joel, in the context of branding, says that success can be created and summed up in two words: be remarkable. I think this pretty much holds for people as well: be remarkable!
But how do we teach people to be remarkable. Well, for one we don’t teach people to “recite facts” (oops?!) and the give them A’s for “knowing so much”. No, the start of being remarkable is, in my opinion, the attitude. I was glad to hear this opinion shared by Neil deGrasse Tyson in a podcast on Science Literacy. We need to foster a specific mindset in our students… and the best way to teach this may be to not “teach” in the first place. Providing a setting where learning can take place…
Its time that we all realize “teaching <> learning”. How far do you think are we on this journey?
In the words of Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen blog) “It is not enough to give people information, we must stimulate their imaginations. Presentations and class lessons are ephemeral and short. As much as anything else, shouldn’t we be stimulating people in a way that inspires and encourages them to go out and learn and discover more about our topic on their own at their pace and in a way best suited for them? Bullet point slides, for example, rarely inform, are hardly ever memorable, and never inspire action (unless that action is taking a nap).”
So, the winners are… those with a craving and will to learn!!! those with imagination!!! (maybe despite our teaching…?)