It's too easy to point out Confucius' saying that ends with "I do and I understand". But it's also true! Learners must be highly involved in experiential teaching strategies to be successful 21st century citizens.

Archive for February, 2012

How to Create a Good Simulation I

Start with a model. A model is a simplified version of reality. The word model may sometimes be difficult to conceptualize but you must realize that much of our thinking and our experiences are based on models. Mario Brothers is a model. As I said in earlier posts, Cowboys and Indians is a model. Playing House is a model. Any novel you read is a model. Any TV show you watch is a model. Most any lesson is a model.

All a model is is a stripped down version of something more complex. Our brain has to strip down what it perceives and what it considers to distill down to the important essences. If it can’t I’d posit that the learner / thinker will not be able to truly grasp the concepts or skills associated with what you are trying to teach. (more…)

“What Gets Measured Gets Done”. How Do I Evaluate Experiential Activities?

On the one hand it is troublesome to me that this question needs to be answered. But on another I understand the need. We can rail against the tide about this age of accountability all we want but isn’t it the truth that the good teacher can always gauge how or to what extent their teaching, whatever strategies they use, work on  two levels; i.e. on the whole class and on the individual?

And on that same one hand again, assessing the effectiveness of experiential strategies, of simulation and role play activities, etc., can be troublesome to a teacher or to school leaders if their paradigm of measurement is superficial and / or quick fix.

And on that other same hand it falls to curriculum and lesson designers to align the goals of such strategies to blunt the naysayers’ criticisms by schooling THEM on how to assess experiential teaching for their true worth. (more…)