Let me start off by saying that I liked the video, "Do You Teach or Do You Educate?" As a student who has made only a few videos, none of which I am especially fond of, I know he put a lot of time and effort into making this 3 minute video. It was educational and made me really think about the difference between teaching and educating. I liked that the video gave several definitions of the word “teach.”
The definitions he gives for “educate” are extremely important aspects of being a teacher, but I honestly feel like we need to teach and educate. Students may not have anyone else in their lives to empower and inspire them, so a significant part of our job working with children includes mentoring them, showing them how to learn and being an example of how to live morally on top of presenting the necessary curriculum in the classroom. So, I suggest we teach and educate our students. We need to give them the information but also show them what to do with it and how to do research on their own.
In the next assigned blog reading, Dont Let Them Take Pencils Home, several topics were presented. Each of these topics combined makes for an inadequate teaching style. This is the old method of teaching and we have to change it. The first thing I will address is testing. We use tests to measure learning. But do tests really measure how much a child has learned? Is the student truly learning all there is to know about a particular subject or just what will be on the test? What about the really intelligent students who just happen to be terrible test-takers? I don’t think standardized tests are fair because each student learns differently and the tests cannot always make an accurate measurement of how much a child has learned.
Next, the author, teacher Tom Johnson, talks about students taking home pencils and paper to do work with. Of course he is really talking about using computers to do schoolwork with. Here he addresses the fear many parents and educators have with students using computers. Many people worry that students won’t do their work, that they will only play on computers. He compares this to playing Hangman with a pencil, adding that even if they do play Hangman, they are sure to still learn something. I agree with this. It seems that every time I turn my computer on, I learn something new, even from Facebook and Twitter. Computers give endless resources.
Another topic he touches on is how children in low income areas are marginalized and are not instructed properly on how to use computers. He says computers are marketed as entertainment for the poor. So, he suggests a parent program where parents are taught the skills that their children are learning. In doing this, we are helping teach parents and students, and making it possible for parents to help their children. Hopefully, this would get parents more involved in their child’s learning and motivate the parents and students to learn more on their own.
Until we get past the paper and pencil days, students will be left behind. It starts with us, the teachers, but we have to involve parents and administration in order to effectively change the old school method of teaching.
Like the pencil sculpture? See more at art-spire.com.