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Literacy-Based Maker Education
Dieting and Teaching
In 2014, Sir Ken Robinson gave a TED talk entitled “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley.” At a certain point in his presentation, he speaks of the difference between the task and achievement senses of verbs. Here he gives a powerful analogy between dieting and teaching and whether or not it is effective:
“You can be engaged in the activity of something, but not really be achieving it, like dieting. It’s a very good example. There he is. He’s dieting. Is he losing any weight? Not really.
Teaching is a word like that. You can say, ‘There’s Deborah, she’s in room 34, she’s teaching.’ But if nobody’s learning anything, she may be engaged in the task of teaching but not actually fulfilling it.”
As we head into the New Year, many of us are thinking about dieting. We have a plan - throwing out all the holidays treats and buying healthy food to replace it, or talking to a weight loss consultant. In the end, the numbers on the scale and the measuring tape should be decreasing. Our goal is to look and feel better. If none of this is happening, our diet is not successful.
This comes back to the idea of learn-try-do. As teachers, we need to look hard at what we are doing. If the students are not learning, we definitely need to try something new.
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Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.