Give article 52 a go, before you read this. (Link below this article)…
This was my reply to one or two people who left comments on Jon’s blog, who were not in favour of any mechanical and/or rote learning. Neither am I…. not ALL the time, but I feel it has its place in some areas……
My offering, regarding this reservation of quite a few who replied on Jon’s site…….
“I definitely agree with the incorporation of research and discovery learning.
However.. rote learning(once the logic and mechanics are understood), of some of the basic ‘tools’ which can be tucked away for regular use at a later date, can be invaluable.
I am still massively grateful for having the multiplication bonds drilled in… I can still instantly produce the product of any multiple up to 12 x 12, and it makes all the difference to the other 3 functions too. Unlike a calculator.. I know the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of all these number-bonds, as well as being able to produce instant answers.
When I was teaching agricultural science, animal-husbandry, horticulture, and farm-economics in a large comprehensive school(UK), most of our learning constituted following leads and ideas, trying and testing various methods, via animal and plant husbandry, etc.
Not only did the (often mentally challenged… I dare not use any other terms!!) students enjoy the process of working on farms, attending livestock auctions etc. etc., (not to mention our own small-holding(pigs, poultry, goats, geese, rabbits, Guinea-pigs, and a host of greenhouse and outdoor produce); they also actually finished up with great exam-results too!… basically as a bonus bi-product of the whole process; which in turn boosted their confidence and self-esteem.
These were kids that had never had a “result” in any other subject in their lives! And the life-skills and interpersonal skills came as an integral part of the package along with the incidental exam-result bonus! (A, B, and C mostly).
I always felt so grateful to have a subject that could be approached in such practical ways, and in a way that gave these kids what they really needed.. a rounded education through the approach to this subject material.
They used to tell me the stories of their lives as we dragged each other’s boots off in the potting-shed!😆
Many other subjects could work this way, if teachers were given the permission to invoke their own professional judgement in the methods of arriving at the desired destination. Unfortunately there are those who have a different agenda and a different desired destination for today’s youngsters… in my humble opinion, that is!😉
I found that my own willing hard work and enthusiasm, engendered the same in the most unlikely kids, and I loved my job right up to retirement, even though the whole shebang was, by then, being forced on to its present sinisterly slippery slope by things such as a National Curriculum, SATs, the removal of most practical experience(health and bloody safety!!) and the use of their professional judgement by teachers…. following instincts and working together.
Today’s educators are now mostly working AGAINST their own instinctive judgement, to produce what??!…
Yep…. ADHD!! It’s a crying shame, and a criminal treatment of today’s educators and their students.
But at least we now know what the ‘powers that be’ are up to!!…. don’t we??!
Awareness of that, is half the battle of winning back our right to a properly conducted and positively all-round effective education.
“Education” is not the word I would use for what’s going on at the moment!!”
What would yours be??😉