I found this amusing post in 9gag and in tumblr, and it describes the different types of learners. However, as far as I can remember, there are many of the given examples that I did not encounter in our education subjects. This made me remember of a certain project which I worked on with a group in our Education 25.1 having a course description of Educational Technology 2.
Our task was to to create a lesson which falls to ta certain level of this new approach of teaching. An introduction of a new concept from Edgar Dale of his 1946 book Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching. The concept introduced has been popularly known as the Cone of Experience and sometimes it is also called as the Cone of Learning. It was designed to “show the progress of learning experience” from concrete to abstract (Dale, 1969 p. 108). An example of the Cone of Experience is found below.
In our group, we were tasked to use the third level of experience where we to either let our students watch a demonstration or attend an exhibit of a specific site. For our group, we decided to do a demonstration wherein we will tackle basic chemistry tricks that focuses on cohesion and adhesion. We based our lesson flow as if we were mad scientists wearing lab coats and protective eye googles (WOOHOO!!).
Our first explosion of our lesson proper was the demonstration of the “anti-gravity water” wherein a bottle was filled with water up to the brim. A screen was secured at the opening of the bottle with an elastic band. Then, the facilitator pressed his free palm on the screen covered opening of the bottle and turned the bottle upside down with his other hand. He then removed his hand and it resulted the water to be suspended and not go through the screen. We allowed the students to make their observations
Next, we allowed our students to follow a set of instructions that still involves the concept of adhesion and cohesion. We called the experiment as the “milky way experience”. It involved milk which was placed on a container put on a flat surface. Then different colors of food coloring were dropped on the milk. A side of a cotton bud was then dipped to the mixture, and the other side of the cotton bud was dipped first to a liquid soap or a dish washing soap before it was dipped to the milk and food coloring solution. The students were then allowed to make their own observation. The result of the experiment is seen below.
From our demonstration and discovery learning of our students, we used the art of questioning to know their observations and for us to arrive at a specific conclusion on what happened between the two experiments.
From my experience, I realized a few things, and these are:
1. Teaching and learning is an exquisite experience
It is undeniable that teaching and learning is and exquisite experience in a way that both parties involved will give and take. I realized that even though I was one of the facilitators, I learned from my students that their interest level rises when you give them the opportunity to discover things on their own, and if you give them a chance to feel excited of what they are going to learn if they see in the teacher that he or she is excited herself. Also, when we let our students answer the activity after the discussion, I was overjoyed to see that most of them was able to get the concept of adhesion and cohesion.
2. Approach and process matter
When one desires to learn, how the lesson is presented and how it the students are involved in the process of learning changes the percentage of learning. As I remember most of my teachers in high school who has deliberately nagged their way in each lesson really saddened me. With my past experience and my newly acquired knowledge it gives me a wider view that as a facilitator, there is so many variations that I can do to make my students interested and involved. Though my only goal is for them to learn, the process doe not only involve a straight line of giving a lesson which shall equate to a learned student. there many factors to consider, and if this was a business, how we “advertise” our lesson and what the students will do as the “consumer” creates a big difference to their learning.
3. Real life experiences is the greatest weapon to learning
From the demonstration my group did, i observed my students were confused at first on the concepts we were presenting because they were mainly based on the provided experiments. However, towards the end of the session, we put a question which relates to a situation in their life. We saw an “AHA-moment” or the “click” which is also known as the “light bulb moment”. Though it took more time than expected but when we reviewed and allowed them to discuss with their group mates, they were able to put two and two together that made them answer with no error. Just like Edgar Dale has mad the Cone of Experience, the students experiencing their lesson first hand will allow them to learn more.
4. Emotional connection is important
Whatever lesson I give, i make sure that there is an emotional connection because it makes learning ten times more intense than the usual. Just like in our demonstration, I asked the class how they felt while doing the activity and they answered that they were amazed! And to dig deeper in that feeling in relation to the lesson shall help them remember the concepts explained. Within the discussion, we also included that the feeling of amazement was caused by the cohesion and adhesion properties of surface tension. With that they were able to see the real reason of the phenomena with proper understanding but with an emotional connection that makes them want to find out what happened. Also, for long term memory, the emotional connection shall help them remember what they did and what caused the feeling.
5. Teaching is NOT easy as anyone thinks it is
This is self explanatory. But if it is not understood, the only way to do so is to crawl into my skin and walk around it.