Ron Berger, Expeditionary Learning Chief Academic Officer, explains the importance of viewing and constructing education around the mindset of a learner.He specifically points out the importance of modeling a practice to learning a skill.
[MUSIC PLAYING] I think it’s important for us to think about ourselves as learners for a moment rather than as teachers and think if we wanted to learn something new, how would we do that? So let’s say you’re a 25-year-old teacher or a 45 or 55-year-old teacher, doesn’t matter, and you want to learn guitar or yoga or golf or tennis or anything, I mean, how would you do that?
It’s really unlikely that you would pick up a book and read the book and think, now I’ll be good at golf or tennis or guitar. That’s not going to happen for you from just reading a book. It’s also unlikely that you would go to a lecture and have someone tell you how to play guitar or how to play tennis or–
You would begin with models. You would begin with, what is a good tennis player look like? What does a good guitar player do and sound like? What are the yoga positions I need to know? What are these dance things I need to learn? And you would study those.
You would also begin to critique them, to think about analyzing what is that? You would begin perhaps yourself or with some help to look at what are the features can I start breaking down what’s making that work? Can I analyze the tennis stroke? Can I analyze the guitar chords? Can I analyze the yoga position and see what are the features in it that I need to focus on more carefully.
And then you’d begin your practice. You’d be practicing golf, practicing tennis, practicing guitar, practicing yoga, whatever. And you would want critique all the time.
You would always want someone giving you those little pointers. This is a little bit different, this is a little bit different. If you just did this way, if you adjust your hand here your stroke will be a lot better, if you position your feet here, it will be a little different. You would be feeling like you want as much critique as you can possibly get from a wide range of friends and experts to help you make that next step. That’s how you get better.