Thursday, December 13, 2012

Learning Curves

How do you take on something new?  Everyone goes about it in different ways. Some take it head on, while others shy away and hope it goes away.  Still others take the gradual steps toward mastery.

I think it is the level of motivation that drives us in which approach to use.  Think about starting anything new, whether it’s playing a sport or a game, or something professional like teaching a new lesson, or incorporating technology into the classroom. I can remember when graphing calculators were the big push for middle school and as a 6th grade math teacher I was asked to use them during lessons.  At first it was a learning curve not only for the students, but for me too!  Together as a class, we learned how to download an app and link the calculators together to share that app before moving on to the lesson.  As my comfort level increased, I even began to seek out lessons that could incorporate the use of the graphing calculator.  

A more recent change or new learning for me was moving to California. Not only was I faced with a new job, but also trying to find my way in new surroundings. Coming not only from a different district, but a different state, I keep telling myself that I need to take some time to learn. Everything seems so fast-paced that we forget that learning takes time and practice.  When we begin a new task, new role or any kind of new learning, it brings on a sense of uneasiness.  Piaget calls this disequilibrium.  We need to be kinder to ourselves and allow for the learning and the practice of the new skill or role to become balanced (assimilation and accommodation).  It’s with this practice that easing into the new will become more comfortable.

As important as this is for ourselves, we need to apply this to our students as well.  At times they feel uneasiness with new concepts.  As teachers we try to connect their prior knowledge to the new concept to help make that transition to the new learning.  This is where hands-on experiences help to make those connections.  As educators, we strive to develop students as lifelong learners as we seek to continue the learning in ourselves.  I am now able to get to the district office without my GPS, but have also discovered a new route to avoid traffic.  That’s the funny thing about learning… it never stops.  It is a continuous experience if you want it be.

By: Karen Wilson, STEM Coach

1 comment:

  1. NICE BLOG!!! Education is the process of bringing desirable change into the behavior of human beings. It can also be defined as the “Process of imparting or acquiring knowledge or habits through instruction or study”. Thanks for sharing a nice information.
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