TED Conversations

Jeff L
  • Jeff L
  • Madison, WI
  • United States


This conversation is closed.

We should teach kids how to learn. We should teach kids how to teach.When they can do both well they graduate. Just informing is not enough.

We spend to much time trying to get kids to understand and retain a core curriculum of information. We should be spending that time trying to create a love of learning.

Life long learner are far more successful and valuable to the world then those that believe they are done after their primary education. Am I wrong? Is there a reason why this is not our primary focus in the early ages?

I have my views on this, I want to know what the TED community thinks about it.


Closing Statement from Jeff L

It was great to see the insightful and dynamic conversation taking place on this subject. I am encourage to see that there is traction for the idea of teaching and learning by understanding what each means to us as individuals. The more educators we have the better our education. The easier to disseminate what techniques should be passed on and what techniques should not.

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    Dec 7 2013: 'It is incumbent of all students and educators to collaboratively and constructively challenge how and all that is taught, towards the goal of refining the methodology used to teach and the understanding of the subject matter in question.'

    This is a philosophy I put forward. I use it when I teach and I find that it empowers my students by making them aware of the importance of staying curious, taking responsible control of the questions and sharing unique (and therefore invaluable) perspectives. Every lecture becomes an incredible double loop learning experience.
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      Dec 10 2013: Wayne,
      Well said, but I'm curious, what type of techniques do you disseminate in oder to help students retain the information they are eagerly learning. Is it just mere curiosity that aids in the learning process or do you show them the best techniques to understand and retain?
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        Dec 22 2013: Hello Jeff,

        Curiosity is not enough. Attitude, imagination and motivation, as well as invested skill and knowledge are what I consider the crucial assets necesarry. If I may elaborate:

        After the requisit ice breakers and not necessarily in the same order every time, I begin my first lesson with a conversation ment to entrench the idea that you commented on. learning is for me a team sport so I make sure they are comfortable with the idea that although I might lead the group most of the time, the best leaders know when to follow.

        In order to do this I present an exercise that encourages each member in the group to embody and articulate what attitudes ( or philosophy etc.) communicates for them a meaningful sense of assertive collaboration. This with some guidance;

        1) makes evident and concrete our shared MOTIVATION, which is to learn.

        2) A discussion follows where, collectively, we share SKILLS. The best rules of conduct respecting how and when we should 'act'tually collaborate or, if necessary, work alone, are established and put into practice.

        3) we share KNOWLEDGE . Explaining (exploring) our unique perspectives provides all present a more complete or global understanding of any problem. I believe, it also gives each individual the opportunity and encouragement to use their initiative and shine.

        Hope this helped, cheers!
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          Jeff L 10+

          • +1
          Dec 23 2013: I absolutely love it!! You learned that, and you teach it. Exactly what I'm talking about. The hope is that they will then pass it on.

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