Learning from our students (Nel Noddings)

This article was a little confusing for me. The most interesting part was the competition for the highest GPA and that that doesn’t really matter at all. I agree that grades should be less of a focus because people are diverse. Someone who may love a subject shouldn’t be held back in pursuit of their enjoyment because of a class that they weren’t inclined to.

During high school I took an IB course called Environmental systems and societies and I would easily have pursued a degree in ecology but the prerequisites at university require computer science and high level math courses. My options were quelled by the fact that I didn’t take math C 30 in high school. This article also aligns with my teaching philosophy that students should learn about the things they want to learn about. Learning is about engagement and finding ways to make material relevant and inspiring for the students.

After re-reading this post a few times I understand it better. I think this post missed out on an important feature. The younger the students we listen to, the more we get at the heart of our culture and the cultures around us. From the very youngest years kids learn in stories: by telling them, making up fantastic realities, hearing them, reading them, creating them through moments and I think this is a really key feature to education. As a teacher you are encouraged to get to know your students but usually as a student you only get to know the profession part of your teacher. Every culture that I can think of uses story telling throughout an individual’s lifetime and this can be a more holistic form of learning. Story telling can be integrated as treaty education as well. Being an english major obviously I’m a little biased but I think that this helps to solve the grading issue and minimal requirements issues outlines in the article. Stories are interpretive and students take from them exactly what they need to. You can push students to see new ideas within the text, context etc. and it allows for cross curriculum learning for all students with any disabilities and strengths. While there is a push for grading there is also a push for student entered learning. I always say if you put good things in you get good things out. Through stories you can push students to do their best and while they may not come to all the same conclusions they read/ listened/ wrote to their aptitude. Stories allow students to come to similar realizations through different paths. The most important part of stories is that the students take what they need. I have read the Great Gatsby twice in entirely different ways because my situation in life changed as I grew up. Students will focus on the most interesting part for them and thats where the joy of learning comes in. Through this, educators can expand on these moments and encourage further study fuelling participation, inquiry-based learning and engagement.

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