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ERIC Number: EJ888625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
It's Not What We Teach, It's What They Learn
Kohn, Alfie
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v74 n4 p4-7 Dec 2008
Real learning often can't be quantified, and a corporate-style preoccupation with "data" turns schooling into something shallow and lifeless. Ideally, attention to learning signifies an effort to capture how each student makes sense of the world, so teachers can meet them where they are. "Teaching is mostly listening." (It's the learners who should be doing most of the "telling," based on how they grapple with an engaging curriculum.) Imagine how American classrooms would be turned inside out if teachers put that wisdom into action. It's not just listening in the literal sense that's needed, but the willingness to imagine the student's point of view. How does it feel to be sitting there with one's shaky efforts to write an essay or solve a problem subjected to continuous evaluation? Indeed, educators ought to make a point of trying something new in their own lives, something they must struggle to master, in order to appreciate what their students put up with every day. Successful school leadership doesn't depend on what principals and superintendents do, but on how their actions are regarded by "their" audience--notably, classroom teachers. Those on the receiving end may be older than students, but the moral is the same: It's best to see what we do through the eyes of those to whom it's done.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A