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No Parroting Allowed!

Learning Emergence by Asking Questions

Emergence Group Babies

"Doing Homework"

Questions for the Week of December 4, 2006

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When asked, "how do you best learn?" most people usually respond with either a technique, like, "in a classroom," or by naming their favorite sense, like, "I learn best visually." Unfortunately, this implies most people define "learning" as the ability to parrot the correct answer.

What is wrong with this? We believe that "parroting the correct answer" creates parrots, not students; dullards, not Einsteins. So how can we create more Einsteins? We believe, by asking questions which are intended to provoke the student's own questions. More important, we see this as the best way with which to reawaken in students the love of learning.

This week's topic is, "Doing Homework." Would you like to awaken your love of learning about this topic? You can, simply by reading the teacher's questions and then, by asking yourself, "what questions did these words just provoke in me?"

"My Homework on Homework"

The Teacher's Questions (asked by Gary)

  • Does the word "homework" put you into shock? (I think I know how I'd answer this one.)
  • Can a student learn by doing homework while in shock?
  • Is being in shock about homework a Layer 6 (Blocks) experience?
  • Can a teacher nurture an environment wherein students are less likely to be startled (and consequently go into shock) before assigning homework?
  • If even the word "homework" puts some people into shock, can simply using a different word, one that would not be a subconscious trigger, mitigate a painful response?
  • I kind of like "fun-learning-at-home," but it might be too wordy. Maybe "home-learning", as in, "Hey Steve, what's this week's home-learning?"
  • I associate part of the pain of my response, or lack of response, to homework assignments with my difficulty with planning and time management. Are time management skills simply skills to be learned, like reading and writing?
  • If one's ability to plan and manage time is blocked, does that injury need to be healed before, or at least in addition to, one's injuries in and around homework?
  • Given these injuries, is it fair or reasonable to ascribe to someone a measurement of respect, or disrespect, for not having done one's homework?

Sample Student Response Questions (asked by Colleen)

Great questions, Gary. They make me think about the social priorities.

  • I wonder if a teacher knew his/her students' social priority order, could he/she use that knowledge when offering "home-learning"?
  • Also, homework is a huge issue in public schools and the bane of many a students' existence. I wonder what it would be like for students to NOT experience that shame that comes with knowing they are ill prepared.
  • What if students made up their own individual homework assignments and only did work that they were excited about?

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