David Perkins has many great points in his book called “Making Learning Whole”. His points in a whole spell out how we should be teaching, learning and the future of teaching. This reading helped me really understand how we can help our students be the best they can be.
This is a great video with David Perkins talking about how we can educate our students when we need to know what is worth teaching. https://youtu.be/a0YdX2hb_L8
The three concepts/topics that really stood out to me are:
Work on the Hard Parts
Too often we look at a subject as a whole. We don’t take the appropriate time to look at each individual step in an understanding way so we can group them all together and really see the full picture as it should be. When we start something and really do not understand some parts, we really need to focus on these hard parts so we truly understand them. As
we work on them we can move onto the other parts we don’t get and work through them all. If we just take the time to do this, our comprehension of the subject matter grows in a positive way. “Good work on the hard parts is one of the fundamental structural challenges of teaching and learning.” (Perkins, 2009) I can see focusing on the hard parts being a difficult concept when I start teaching. Students want to focus on what they know rather then what they are having problems with. Showing students that understanding the whole problem is important when you are a teacher, teaching them this will only help them in the future of their education.
The Hidden Game of Power
I think the “Hidden Game of Power” (Perkins,2009) relates to how the learning environment cannot be lumped into one type of learner. The example in Perkins writing is how classrooms have the desk chair. This chair is supposed to be a one size fits all type of seat but in reality it is not. This chair would not easily fit a student who may be pregnant which can send a message such as, “does a pregnant student belong in the classroom?”. Classrooms can’t be a “one size fits all” type of deal. There needs to be customization for the students when needed. If there are many learning styles this needs to be addressed as well. The power here is that if we can realize that not all students are the same, we can help them learn better and in a way that benefits each person individually.
Extreme Team Learning
I have always been someone who benefits from being part of a group when working on something. Usually if you are having an issue with something there is someone in the group who can explain it to me. Different point of views and ideas are beneficial to talk about and can help make the process smoother for all. The different knowledge each students brings to the group is important and it is a great learning experience too. Working hard together can create positives for all students. “It’s heartening that so many participation structures afford opportunities to learn from the team, because vigorous use of this principal may be fundamental to educational transformation”. (Perkins, 2009)
All 3 of these concepts I will be using in the future when I am teaching. These concepts are valuable in the sense that they are simple and doable and can make a huge difference in the classroom. Knowing that we need to better focus on the steps of a problem and not just looking at the entire picture is great advice. We can’t fully understand something if we don’t understand the process. Making sure I focus on the steps and instilling that into my students is key. This can help them navigate any problem they may have better. Understanding that each student is a separate person, not everyone is the same is huge. We have to understand that not every teaching style will be a win in the classroom. We need to focus on our students and really understand how they learn best and work with that. Not everything is a one size fits all here. I will make sure I incorporate many learning styles in my classroom and work with each student so I can understand how they learn. Getting to know my students better will help when they need help. This will also help with trust and being comfortable in the classroom which are two things that are important to me. I always have worked great in a group. I love sharing my ideas and seeing all the strengths and weaknesses that are present within the group. I feel this type of concept helps everyone as a whole. We can learn so much from our peers that can help strengthen our learning processes.
Perkins, D. (2009) Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education, 1st ed. San Francisco, Calif : Jossey-Bass