Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A lifetime of learning or arcade games?

Sorry for being slightly absent lately, as graduation approaches I've been busy busy busy packing and getting ready to embark on the world of teaching.

Yesterday I was faced with the choice of attending a lecture on "A lifetime of learning" or to go have lunch and to an arcade with my friends. As I walked towards the lecture, my teacher certification study guide in arm, I decided that this lecture would not help me learn the properties of thermodynamics, which vitamins do what for your body, and aid me in remembering the details of each war I have ever learned about. I was, and still am, trying to remember a lifetime of learning.

I remember reading Howard Gardner and him talking about how it's not what children remember from their elementary school education, but how they were learning it. Children forget half of what they learn. I no longer know all about the ocean from my second grade ocean project, I cannot tell you the details of Saturn from my third grade science project, and I certainly could not tell you the laws of thermodynamics from 8th grade science. But I could tell you what form the projects took place in, the fake news report, the ocean collages, and the songs my friends and I made up to remember thermodynamics linger softly in my head.

Am I nervous about teaching? Sure, but I'm way more nervous about a certification test where I am trying to pull out a lifetime of learning from some dark hiding place in my memory. So I resort to flash cards, something I have not used in my liberal arts education, and push towards the finish line remembering that thousands of people take the same test as me and most of them probably are recalling a lifetime of learning themselves.

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