March 2, 2011 by Willy Cardoso
Make a list of and debate:
- What good learners believe.
- What good learners do.
And since David mentioned the fantastic Postman and Weingartner on the same last post. I’ll copy down here what they think about it. Their sagacity seems to trigger very provocative conversations about teaching and learning, always good to have around to jazz up some teacher talk.
have confidence in their ability to learn.
tend to enjoy solving problems.
seem to know what is relevant to their survival and what is not.
prefer to rely on their own judgement. (this is especially interesting, let me quote more: they recognize, as they get older, that an incredible number of people do not know what they are talking about most of the time)
are usually not fearful of being wrong. They can change their minds, in fact, that is what they are most interested in doing.
are emphatically not fast answerers.
are flexible. They understand that answers are relative.
know how to ask meaningful questions.
do not need to have an absolute final, irrevocable resolution to every problem. The sentence, ‘I don’t know’, does not depress them, and they certainly prefer it to the various forms of semantic nonsense that pass for answers. (Teaching as a Subversive Activity, 1969 pp. 41-42)
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that being a good learner is the first step to become a good teacher. Therefore, teacher training should focus more on learning than it generally does on teaching. Before engaging in teacher training one should engage in learner training. A teacher to be accredited as a qualified teacher (if you think such a thing is important), should also be accredited as a qualified learner. How do you do that? Well, I don’t know. But I don’t know either how can one qualify someone else to teach. It also seems to me that good learners don’t need even need teachers, so why bother?
Anyway, what makes you a good learner?