Comment on The sage on the stage by Steve Greenlaw

At the risk of appearing too much of a fanboy, let me relate some of the responses that your sage post prompted in me. I love to hear your wisdom. I learn from it every time. I wish there were (better) fora for experienced teachers to share what they’ve learned with novices. A craftsman or artist doesn’t need scaffolding to create his or her work. They are post-scaffolding. I suspect, though, that novices need a structure to learn how to create. It may not make them a master, but it would help them become journeymen, which is a fine achievement. I know that I needed scaffolding as a new teacher. I wish I’d known about backwards design, learning outcomes and other buzz words back then, but then the only models I had were what my teachers has done, back when I wasn’t paying as much attention. I now use those tools to inform my teaching, but not to limit it. (One of my greatest pleasures was the year I spent thinking about what it was I really wanted my students to get out of my intermediate theory course. The result doesn’t look like a list of learning outcomes–it’s a bit too abstract for that–but it is what I strive to help students achieve.)

A wise mentor once told me that he thought teaching should be learning-centered rather than learner-centered. Yes! And, it should be metacognitive. If I can get my students to think about their learning, and how well they are learning, and what’s limiting their learning, I feel like that’s success.

Comment on Rod Serling Seminar by Jon Udell

So strange to hear That Voice in conversation.

I was a bit put off when he dismissed the notion that a plumber is creative, heartened by the student’s pushback and his acknowledgement of it.

That only scratches the surface, though. I don’t think inventing a new way to fit a pipe — or do any other of myriad tasks in “the trades” — is rare. I think creative problem solving is routine, and perhaps for that reason, usually not noticed or celebrated.

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