Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't answer your students questions...

Let's take a moment to think about thinking.  That's called metacognition.  This is an intimidating word, rather sounds like educational rhetoric, but in actuality, we need to produce thinkers out  of a generation of students who do not think much at all.  In fact,this generation almost feels they are entitled to the answers without thinking.  

Last week, I visited many libraries and observed a rather enabling behavior.  All the students questions were answered without giving the child to think through the answers for themselves.  Where do I find this book?  Under the guise of efficiency, we too often mirror the Google box, or the Ask Jeeves man and provide a quick answer.

Socrates would have answered the question with another question.  If Socrates was asked where can I find this book, he might have said, "Well, Johnny--what's the call number?  Who is the author?  Where is the fiction section?    We need to model the thought process so that the students can answer their own question the next time.   

Actually, Socrates was anti-print, now that I think about it.  So, he might have said, "Scrap the papyrus Johnny and use your brain."  Use it or lose it.  Same motto today as 2000 years ago. 

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