Tag Archives: learning

Teaching Men To Fish (Metaphorically): Pondering the Educational System

By Autumn Palen

A few days ago, standing across the kitchen island from my roommate, we discussed what our TED Talks would be, were we given the chance to have one. I talked about potentially studying the correlation between old parents and nerdy kids. Hers was much better. She had one in mind right off the bat, apparently having already pondered over it for quite a while.

My roommate works as a volunteer teacher throughout the week, helping 2nd and 3rd graders learn the fundamentals of science and math. Her TED Talk, as she had intricately sketched out in her mind, would focus on the inadequacies of the educational system. She had particularly noticed that many teachers of scientific subjects — Chemistry, Physics, Biology — teach facts, figures, and solutions, but not how to arrive at these conclusions. This method of teaching is all fine and good for passing quizzes and tests, but is detrimental to the future individual development of knowledge in these fields. Students know what the answers are because they’ve memorized them, but many may be incapable of finding the answer on their own, or knowing why the answer is found in a particular way.

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The Selfish Learner

By Dominique Murdock 

So there you are in class… the lecture has started, pens and pencils are diligently scribbling all around you, heads nod up and down in agreement with the lecture, and everyone seems to be in sync… except you. There you sit, worried, confused, and nervous because you feel like the bus left without you. At this point, you may look something like this…

The Selfish Learner-6

You begin to panic. You can literally feel your heart beating in your throat. You know that if you could just ask one well-worded question, you would have a better understanding of the lesson. You think about raising your hand, but the idea of interrupting the flow of class for your “stupid question” seems annoying and counterproductive to the learning environment. You feel stuck and frustrated… what do you do?

First… you TAKE A BREATH. That’s right… step one to becoming a selfish (and in turn, more informed learner) is pausing your brain and taking a relaxing, clarifying breath. Kind of like this guy here…The Selfish Learner-5

See how his nostrils flare with confidence as he prepares himself to take on the world? Or rather the class? Yep, a deep breath can calm the receptors in your brain and allow you to achieve the clarity you need to focus.

The next step is to recognize your power. Yep, crazy thought but here, in our educational system, students have this beautiful thing called power, or more specifically, the ability to focus the class into the direction that best fits the needs of the students. As a learner, your main goal is to do just that… LEARN. As a paying college student, your #1 right is to attain information using the means that work best for your style of learning. What does this mean? It means that you have the absolute right to ASK QUESTIONS. No matter how big or small they may seem, questions are how we clarify understanding so that we can then move on to the next bit of consumed information. There is absolutely no way to learn without questioning, so you are encouraged and expected to do so. 🙂

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Why I am Best Friends with A Ninety-Year Old

By: Jackie Kim

Ever since I was young, I’ve had a great relationship with people who were older than me. I’ve always loved visiting my grandparents’ home, something that plenty of my peers despised. I’ll certainly never forget the time when my grandma whispered in my ear that I was her favorite grandchild and the feeling of guilty satisfaction and pride that welled in my heart. Later, when I moved to America in middle school, I was on texting basis with the majority of my teachers in each of the schools I attended.

During high school, I discovered my love for the nursing home. I found talking to and interacting with the residents naturally easy and comfortable, and it wasn’t long before I started traveling to the home twice a week to provide company to the senior citizens. Whenever I walked into the toasty nursing home, the residents’ faces melted into crooked smiles. I loved how they called me “Jackie Wacky” and “Honey,” how I always had to assure Audrey that I’ll always love, how Carol snuck me the centerpiece after I told her I loved flowers, and how Ken always asked for a kiss before I left.

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