Monday, January 7, 2008

Dean Kirby Barrick on Reinventing Teaching

Dean Kirby Barrick of University of Florida, presenting to NCSU on Reinventing Teaching to Enhance Learning, Made several points that are important to not only educators, but also for leaders of knowledge workers. Excuse the roughness of this post.. doing it as he speaks.

Barrick recommends that the book: How People Learn - published by the National Research Council, National Academy Press in 2000, is the starting point for becoming a better educator, or in the view of this writer, becoming a better leader of knowledge workers.

  • Students (Knowledge workers) come to the classroom (workplace) with preconceptions about who the world (and organization) works. The words we use in early interactions can be interpreted many ways. If we say the world is round.. is it possible someone would visualize a pancake rather than a gum ball.
Nice principle. We all bring preconceived ideas to the work world. As leaders we have to ensure that we deal with the preconceptions in a positive way. We must build on those that are productive and find ways to help our knowledge workers identify and address those preconceptions that need to be unlearned.

  • Students (Knowledge workers) must have deep foundations in the content, they must understand the facts and ideas, and they must organize knowledge. There are exceptions.. memorizing your multiplication tables just has to be done, but most knowledge must be organized to be useful and productive.
  • Use appropriate technology appropriately. Not everyone likes powerpoint.. not everyone likes color chalk.. It is about giving students (knowledge workers) opportunities for feedback.
  • Five principles to remember:
    • Organize and structure the subject matter
    • Students (Knowledge Workers) must be motivated to learn
    • Knowledge of one's progress and performance is critical, individuals need to be rewarded and reinforcement
    • Using best practices in instruction (techniques).. moving toward direct, and active learning, toward inquiry and practice.
    • Learning is most successfully when students are forced to apply content to a real situation. We have to help them learn how to apply what they learn to their world.

  • Five factors on the relationship between teacher behavior and student achievement that were found to key (Rosenshine and Furst, 1971)
    • Clarity- Is the Teacher (Leader) clear in what they say and present.
    • Variability - Does the Teacher (Leader) use a variety of approaches, presenting tools
    • Enthusiasm - Is the teacher (Leader) enthusiastic about what they are sharing.
    • Task Oriented - To what degree does the teacher (Leader) keep us on task and achievement oriented.
    • Student Opportunity - To what degree can the student learn and keep up with the content covered in the class.

No comments: