TED Conversations

Conor McManus

Full Time Student, Belfast Metropolitan College

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What are the opinions on the view of moving away from lecturing to facilitating shared learning in a more creative environment?

Recently I have looked a lot at shared learning, this is centred around the idea of peers helping each other learn through creative thinking. With the vast knowledge available through the internet and companies such as Ted, twitter, you tube a student can learn so much on their own from industry leaders. Does this mean a change in how we learn is needed moving away from lectures to sessions which encourage shared learning from peer to peer. The idea of facilitating is still quite new but a conversation and a dialogue should begin now about how this can be incorporated into education to make it more useful, relevant and up to date.

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  • May 19 2011: I believe that in order to move from lectures to shared learning, ather aspects need to be considered: attitudes and values. I think we all learn more when we share in the spirit of learning, knowing that we do not and can't have all the answers, but at the same time, our view is unique and therefore plays a part in the whole. Knowledge is always changing, as human beings change all the time, so if we are to move from lectures to shared learning, we need to keep that in mind and work on the learning with a humble attitude, confident that amog a group we may find better answers and solutions. I truly believe in the power of sinergy among people who work/learn together in an environment of cooperation and mutual support, that allows and encourages everyone to be creative.
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      May 27 2011: This is great, sums things up excellently . Being humble is a key point as an egotised person can sometimes find it hard to take on new ideas I think part of the problem Meher below was getting at. In the correct environment and managed correctly shared learning is very important and can build great ideas.
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    May 18 2011: We learn from our peers constantly, and anybody can search for anything online that they want, but I go to school to be taught by teachers, people trained to educate and who have a solid grasp and expertise of the subject. I have had many classes that focus on class discussion and group projects, and to an extent these are useful learning techniques, but I have been in classes that have been hijacked by students who think their opinions and ideas are more valid and worthwhile than the experts who ideally know much more than the students. I just finished a class that was called critical thinking that was largely student run. Not a thing was taught about critical thinking. Students would be asked to research a topic or read some articles and come back and present information and 99% of the class showed up not having done any of the requested readings or research and instead had only asinine uniformed opinions to offer and used the class as a platform to rant about their misguided beliefs. The teacher did what she could to keep things civil but that was about all she could do. It was a waste of my time, money and effort. I have also had other classes in which class discussion was the focus and it worked out well, but these were all honors classes with students that always went the extra mile and were eager overachievers, these types of students are rare in my experience.
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      May 27 2011: Meher, I think that if it is done properly and facilitated correctly the shared learning experience can be controlled and delivered correctly, your opinion on people is narrow minded but I do know this type exists, but it needs to be facilitated correctly and it may have been the teachers fault it was not managed correctly. I in my time have taken part in many groups experiences and with the right motivation I believe everyone are eager overachievers.
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    May 14 2011: I recently took part in a programme called fresh taken by a man called conann Fitzpatrick. The idea spawns from him.

    Nicholas.

    My idea of a class. Lets say its a marketing class at degree level. To start imagine the topic being given lets say it was to discuss how services marketing is changing. Now the theory that will be taught is old and outdated authors such as Lovelock etc. Now although this is a good base for starting the studies how can it be as up to date as a video Seth Godin posted on an idea virus, or a journal document written by Pines and Gilmore (brilliant services marketing theorists)

    So would it not be useful for each student to go away for a week and look at the taught theory i.e. Lovelock and use their own shared learning to see other views. New views and how this is incorporated in then come back and teach each other what they have found. The information available through websites like TED and social networks like twitter allows them to do this.

    Within this context critical thought can be judged and graded through its relevance and in terms of marking it on a level of would it work and how have you justified that it would work.

    What do you think?

    Thanks to Colin and Wendy for the input I will look at the drive book. what is the idea with the school Wendy?
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      May 14 2011: So context, relevance and complexity/simplicity of end product is how you would grade critical thought or artistic thinking. Good job! It is relative to rubric lessons. Consider group learning also!

      I came to similar conclusions involving science fiction teaching. Here,
      http://www.ted.com/conversations/2505/reading_science_fiction_for_a.html

      You are thinking in the right direction, keep pushing the issue of critical thinking, it is so important and so unpopular today.
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        May 15 2011: yeah that is exactly my thoughts. To further the idea... All students take part in critical thinking and then work in teams to develop each others ideas. this will build connections between them and root out any ideas that will not work. Critical thinking is a very important and somewhat overlooked skill and it something I always focus heavily on.
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          May 15 2011: I agree,

          I actually brought this up to my friend and he said even a one course change in the modern curriculum would be service to all. A "Critical Thinking Workshop" class in which the teacher challenges students and prepares them for future criticism of their thoughts and opinions. Basics of logic, psychology, philosophy, education, anthropology, and [but not limited to] linguistics.

          I think it is vital to dictate to children, original thoughts do not exist, but creative thoughts do.

          Also that explorations are not done yet, we have a large ocean, a lot of layers of earth and the stars to explore. Need to feed the natural human drives of curiosity in the best of manner, entertainingly enhanced!
  • May 9 2011: For some great ideas on this subject see "aisudbury.com". It is a great example of the direction our schools and educators should be heading in to accomodate 21st century learners. Also see dan pink's website and read his book "Drive" which addresses intrinsic motivation as related to our schools and children. I am committed to finding out how to start a similar school here in Iowa and to try to move this idea into public schools everywhere.
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    May 7 2011: I would find this a more effective way of communication, instead of walking into a classroom as a teacher, walking in as a student filled with a room full of teachers, that way your not putting on a "perceived host role," where the students don't always fully contemplate the subject of the matter, soon being (forgotten). I crossed another thread about our children being our teachers, I contemplated this topic quite some time ago, Everything has to start from some sort of "root." GET IN(volved)!
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    May 6 2011: Post a lesson in which you feel reflects this manner.

    I have made/found a few great lessons in which you are talking about the problems rely however on the academic education system. How will you grade your lesson is also a part of the lesson. These lessons do not reflect academia but individual idealism of creativity. Which if you find some of my posted ideas you will know I advocate more than anyone else. The challenge you face is grading critical thought which terrifies me but is doable.

    How would you grade critical thought in education?