What’s Going on Here? A Tale of Two Visions:
After reading, What’s Going on Here: A Take of Two Visions, I kept the activity we did the first class in the back of my mind. It was almost instantaneous because “…we learn from people around us with whom we identify. We can’t help learning from them, and we learn without knowing that we are learning” (Page 3). I felt that the activity we did, by jotting down things we learned and who inspired us to learn them, was not something I would naturally think about, because it is “effortless.” I could not help to think about who I am as a person, my identity, and the influences that made me-- who I am.
After talking with Tina about what I learned over the years, many of the things I listed were not academic. They were all things I identified with and whom I identified with. For example, skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing are all things I have or had a passion. These were mainly the topics I shared. I learned these things because it was something that interested me. I understand my passions and how I learned them. I know if I posed this question to students I probably would not get "Mr. Kard teaching me how to graph quadratic equations."
Now my question is how I can use my student’s interests and identities to engage them in math. I know twelve students from my advisory, but what would happen if I knew all my students right now at the beginning of the school year? How would a forum of interests become the topic in my math class? This is now a goal by the end of September.
The visions of learning also made me think of my content and my presentation to students. I have a passion for mathematics and I “sell it” to students as best I can. By “selling it” I do not mean a prescribed and generic conversation about why math is important. But I learned that creating dialogue about a different topic makes students less anxious and more excited about the subject. It is unrealistic to know all my students will have the same passion for math that I did. I do know that having conversation about what makes students interested in learning math makes students make connections. In the Smith article, “the official theory is unsound and dangerous, and we must help each other to gain the confidence in the alternative point of view, which all the real-world evidence… demonstrates is right” (page 5). I fell this statement hits the nail on the head. It is important that teachers implement effortless learning based on self-interests that is a social and promotes growth (Project-basedLearning or PBLs). The link I provided reminds of the differences between "the classic view of learning" and "the official theory of learning." I feel this philosophy of learning and teaching makes the teacher/student dynamic more engaging.