As an educator, I’m always excited to hear new ideas and new ways to think about old ones. I consider it to be part of the change process, the constant wave of refreshing your mind and practice in the service of student learning.
It is with this mindset that I listened to Bruce Beairsto present at the BCPVPA Short Course last week. An experienced administrator, his goal was to give us one hour on Leading Learning. It was clear from the outset this was to be a dense talk, that I could hardly write fast enough to capture the nuggets he was dropping along the road. There were plenty of ideas to ponder later, not the least of which was the one he dropped at the start of part 2; Learning results from thinking, not teaching.
To put this in context, his main point was that thinking is what we’re after. It requires engagement on the part of the learner, which is a voluntary act. If they choose not to engage, learning won’t happen. Establish a purpose, make a connection with the learners, show them you are a learner yourself.
The refresh part for me was the disconnect between teach and learn, reminding me that they aren’t joined except through connection and intention. “I taught it, she just didn’t learn it” is often the complaint.
There is much more for me to stew on here, clarifying this in my head. That’s the great thing about simple ideas, they force you to reconnect the dots you thought you had a handle on. Thinking results in learning, teaching may result in learning. So then, it’s the teaching that stimulates thinking that we’re after. Duh. But what are the ways we can stimulate thought in our practice, and what are the ways we don’t? A new lens through which to see.