Here's an interview with George Lucas, who has formed a connection with Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence author). The article, "Educating Hearts and Minds"
is at Edutopia. It makes us think through the teacher's role in 21st Century student learning.
From the article: "Today, I think we need to focus on three things: teaching kids "how to find information, figuring out how to test that information, and using that information in a creative way to do something tangible, as opposed to teaching abstract concepts, which never seem to have much relationship to a student's daily life. This is put forth in processes such as project-based learning and cooperative learning."
"It also puts the kids in the driver's seat, which is where they want to be, especially when you get above the sixth grade. They don't want to be subjected to the authority figures that have usually been presented to them -- mainly their teachers.
A really good teacher is not a person who is dictating information to students. We have discovered that if a teacher approaches teaching saying this to the student, "You are a bright intelligent person who can figure this out on your own, and if you need help, I'll help you" -- if you take the teacher out from the front of the classroom dispensing information, and you encourage students to find the information on their own with the teacher as a guide or facilitator in their information-finding adventure -- the students will learn a lot more and be much more empowered.
The best thing that a teacher can be is a human being. There is nothing more powerful for students than to have the teacher pat them on the back and tell them they're doing a great job. It works wonders if a teacher asks a student, 'What are you doing? Explain it to me.' Or, 'Have you ever thought about this?' For the teacher to be a guide, to send students off in different directions, or to be someone a student can go to for help when they really get desperate, it makes them, dare I say it, a mentor rather than a teacher."
"Isn't it a paradox, George, that in the digital age, when more and more of what in education is becoming looking at a video monitor -- gathering information and getting the data -- the teachers are still important?"
Lucas responds, "The teachers are even more important. The digital age allows the teacher to get to know the students, to be on a one-to-one basis with the students. There are some teachers who like to be protected by the screen of a plan that they do every day and that they've done every year. They don't talk to the students; they just deliver their little spiel, and that's the end of the class. But there are a lot of teachers who understand that the students are discovering something, and they like to watch that process. They like to actually watch the lightbulbs going off over the students' heads.
The human connection is more vital even as kids are learning to use their computers.
Yes, and that's also where emotional intelligence comes in, because, if you're working in groups, you really do have to learn the process of argument, the process of presenting facts, of proving your point of view, not just sort of demanding it, or hitting someone in the face, or taking it at face value. You have to learn to let go of your beliefs when they are proved to be erroneous, and not let your pride and other factors get in the way. You have to learn to admit when you're wrong about something, like, "The information I gathered is wrong, and we're all going to use this other information, because it is better."
That is a very, very important thing to be able to do. It's something that is not taught in schools, and it is extremely important in the outside world. Otherwise, you have a lot of organizations that refuse to change, and change is the name of the game in the twenty-first century. "
Do people at CR2.0 agree with Lucas's view of 21st century learning and the teacher's role--especially how the teacher's role seems to include a lot emotional intelligence work?
Tags: 21st+century+skills, Edutopia, Goleman, Lucas, motivation, project+based+learning
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