Thoughts on the First Week’s Reading

I am excited to be starting a new semester with a new group of classes.  This will also be the first blog that I have ever had (not counting a failed food blog way way back which lasted for a total of 3 posts).

After doing the readings this week (chapter 1 & 2 of How People Learn) and looking over the ALA Core Competencies, I am caught on an idea that as people we still haven’t nailed down some seemingly basic concepts of human-ness, such as how people learn.  Considering how much and for how long our civilizations have emphasized education and learning, it is funny that we don’t quite understand how humans learn and what is happening during the moments when they are utilizing their knowledge.

I enjoyed reading the chapters and during which often thought about my years teaching (in tutoring centers and cram schools) and the difference in my instruction throughout the eight years.  When I first started I had no formal education training; I had been just been a student for the majority of my life.  I was definitely a novice and struggled to find ways to teach ideas in meaningful ways.  The Hamlet example in the book struck a chord because the first teacher’s enthusiasm and understanding didn’t translate well to his students.  This was something I struggled to convey to my students (particularly my high schoolers).  Time and time again, I would excitedly come up with an idea to teach what I thought were important ideas in current events or social justice, only to fall short in practice.  Yet as I continued to teach and get feedback from students, instructors, and co-workers; I started to see patterns in teaching and learning.  This helped me become a stronger teacher, however I still think that I am a novice.  I would like to be a better teacher even if I never step foot in front of a proper classroom again.  I know that I will be engaging in some form of teaching, whether formally or informally and I want it to be meaningful.

One last thing that has wiggled its way into my brain is the breadth of the ALA’s Core Competencies.  I hope to be able to employ them (live up to them) at any point in my career, let alone when I graduate from this program.  They are some pretty lofty goals.

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About mainvils

I am a first year UMSI graduate student specializing in LIS and Preservation of Information.
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One Response to Thoughts on the First Week’s Reading

  1. I think that part of the trouble of pinning down how humans learn is that each individual mind works differently. It seems that in order to be an effective teacher, you have to “get inside” people’s heads: a near-impossible feat when you are faced with 20-30 students. I do not envy your having to teach a group of less-than-enthusiastic high schoolers!

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