How Kids Learn; How Teachers Should Teach

The months of March and April always make me think about the stress kids, teachers, administrators, and families are going through with testing taking place in schools; in Texas STAAR and TAKS.Additionally, last month’s St. Patrick’s Holiday brought up a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The following is an experience, a memory that just came back to me, and with Spring testing going on, I’ve been thinking on it.

Teaching styles: How Kids Learn; How Teachers Should Teach.

I spent several years living, working, and furthering my education in Ireland and the UK. Through many classes and observations, I found a similar pattern of andragogy. In general, the Irish, Scottish, and British don’t teach through talking and lecturing but have a way of teaching where every single class and subject is hands-on learning and fun regardless of pupil’s age.

I had one director tell me “If you can have your class teaching your class then you have taught them well. And you also lessen your load which makes you seem brilliant and end up successful.” Another told me “If you are talking all the time, how do you know your students have learned anything? Testing only shows you they can take tests.

The Flipped Classroom! Photo credit: AJC1 via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA


This is what was noted to me from one of my Cambridge directors:
Learners obtain approximately:

90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.

Sadly, I think the over-testing in many American schools is out of hand. Teachers are losing their ability and opportunity to truly dynamically engage which also steals the enjoyment of teaching. Many school districts are forcing teachers to teach for testing but not necessarily learning. “The standards have come to be associated with testing rather than the deeper learning they were intended to promote.
Feature Photo credit: mrsdkrebs via Visual Hunt / CC BY

Teaching styles: How Kids Learn; How Teachers Should Teach.
What are your thoughts about how students learn, the overtesting in schools, and the stress of testing on both teachers and students?

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