Connecting learning to their lives

A few weeks ago I read this blog, Where is reflection in the learning process? and bookmarked it so I could return to for a blog post of my own.

There were two main ideas that caught my attention. The first is the role of the teacher, as below:

 As Osterman (1990) comments, “critically reflective teachers – teachers who make their own thinking public, and therefore subject to discussion – are more likely to have classes that are challenging, interesting, and stimulating for students” (p. 139). Stephen Brookfield

The second is something I am pushing for more and more with my students; self-reflection. It is part of a bigger picture of teaching students to know their own minds. What I like about the questions she included was how it causes students to look for the value of their studies and also to to consolidate that learning at the end of the week.

I am no where near where I would like to be with this. I am thinking about how to routinize this for the end of every week in my classes, if not in groups, then at least in their journals.

I don’t want school to be one thing, and ‘the real world’ to be another. I want the students in our school to see their education as the vehicle to know themselves and the world they live in.

Some other questions I can add:

  • How is what we learned about history connected to the world you inhabit?
  • What did the characters in your novel learn that can help you in your own life?

I already don’t like the two I came up with. They are not broad enough. It directs thinking where I  want them to do the mental work to make the connections. Hmmmm…. we’ll see how it goes. I think there is some huge potential here.

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