Teaching and Instruction

It’s about being…

Recently I have been reading a book called Making Learning Whole by David Perkins.  In his book Perkins talks about the importance of teaching any subject at any level by introducing students to the “whole game,” rather than isolated pieces of a subject or discipline. About how we, as educators need to ensure that students engage in the “whole game” so that they can see the relevance, purpose and joy that comes from seeing how it all fits together.  I think that all too often we break subjects up into isolated pieces or skills to be mastered before the whole can be revealed, if it is ever revealed at all.  We focus on what students need to do, and more often what we as teachers need to do, instead of what students need to learn and why.  This difference is more than just grammatical it goes to the heart of education.  If we are truly preparing students for the future we need to stop focusing exclusively on what they need to do today and focus on who they may be in the future.  If we can switch our focus to the BE suddenly the big picture becomes all the more clear.  Think about this…

It’s not about doing inquiry…it’s about being an inquirer.

It’s not about doing math…it’s about being a mathematician.

It’s not about doing science…it’s about being a scientist.

It’s not about doing health…it’s about living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s not about doing social studies…it’s about being a citizen.

It’s not about doing phys.ed…it’s about living an active life.

It’s not about doing…it’s about being.  The future is now.


1 thought on “It’s about being…”

  1. I agree with much of what you write because it echos the work of Brian Cambourne. If you are unfamiliar with him, this article is a good place to start:

    With that said, I think that doing math (as it relates to the NCTM Process Standards) IS being a mathematician. It’s when the focus is SOLELY on the content that the “doing” is too small picture.

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