02 October, 2011

Teaching and Learning Techniques

By now, all professionals in problem solving and creativity should know this. Whatever is your favorite method of solving problems or of being creative, you can take immediate advantage of it in a huge domain, the domain that pertains to all matters of education. Here is also a simple reminder to anyone involved with learning or with teaching or training - - -

Hundreds of different ingenious problem-solving methods and creativity-related techniques are successfully in professional use around the world....

Convert any one of these - or all of these! - Into a super learning, accelerated learning-with-understanding method. Here is how: where one would ordinarily feature the problem statement, use one of these four questions below, at the conclusion of a lesson or a chapter:

A reminder that every one of the creative problem-solving techniques - including those of ours you cited - can also serve as super learning techniques for the understanding mastery of contents. Just use a rotation of these four questions where the problem statement would go otherwise:

"What are the ramifications of the main point in this lesson?"
"What main point in this lesson do I most need to give further attention to, & why?"
"How do the various points in this lesson relate to one-another?"
“What in my experience - or in my whole life thus far - does the main point of this lesson somehow remind me of? I wonder why that somehow reminds me of that....
...and then Wind tunnel, free note, or otherwise rapid-flow express and record freely whatever comes to mind in response...

Teachers, five minutes invested thus, having students buzz such questions with each other in pairs at end of your class, will more than double your students' long-term retention of what you've taught them, and profoundly improve their understanding thereof. If there is value to what you have taught them, then this seems a worthwhile investment: "Students, please turn to the person next to you and in the next couple of minutes, see how best between you that you can answer this question...." If you listen to those buzzing, you will discover more clearly than any tests or drill work could show you, how and what you have gotten across, and how best TO get across what you have been trying to teach.

Teachers: if you have conventional classroom setup, for the sake of the classrooms next door have your buzzing students huddle close together so their conversing-to-answer will be a mild buzz-murmur instead of a cocktail-party roar.
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