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Patricia Ruvalcaba

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How can SOLEs be implemented without causing students to shun necessary but "boring" skills?

I remember when I was in 8th grade and a classmate asked me point-black what was the purpose of geography. Let me tell you, my answer of "so you know the climate of the country you are visiting or where is it" was utter rubish - both to my classmate and to me, but that was the only thing I could think of that she could actually relate to (two months later, she move to New Zealand).
In school, we are taught many things that we may not WANT to know, but that we NEED to know. Examples: grammar, composition, history, geography, mental maths, etc. Also, there are also many subjects for which we know the bare minimum (learnt at school) because we never give ourselves the time to learn about even if we know they are important (not many people actually read their country's constitution) or interesting (ethics, philosophy, art, etc.)

So... how ca SOLEs include these subjects without going against their principle (learning through self-motivation, not through imposition)


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  • Mar 14 2013: I think with the approach Mitra is using, the students don't learn to encapsulate a body of knowledge into a subject like "geography" until *after* they have already used it to answer questions.

    If you open with a question instead of with presenting a body of knowledge, then a student's curiosity is engaged, and you've pretty much won.

    Also, in my experience of teaching, whether you lead with questions or with knowledge, if students are interested in most of what you give them, then they will trust you enough to take a bit extra on faith.

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