Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that
ICT-ELT is a TOOL, NOT a SOLUTION.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

NOT all "IDIOTS" are IDIOTIC...

This is the first Hindi film from Bollywood that I have watched, and although I have included four parts from it to use in this post, I didn't enjoy it that much.  However, this post is not about a film review.  It is about how we should consider why there are far too many teachers, lecturers, state edu-departments and school boards who appear to have got it all wrong when it comes to what students need and what, in fact, they want.

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This first video shows...a typical classroom teacher asking for a definition (of machine). One boy stands and offers a simplistic, yet creatively amusing definition. His effort is severely rejected by the teacher. Then another boy stands and gives out the text-book definition, to which the teacher replies, "Wonderful, perfect."

The fact that the teacher wants to have the exact definition as laid down by an author, and in no way can it be described differently, is exactly what too many teachers want their students to do: rote learn, memorize and never question conventions. 

EQ: Why do teachers and schools wish for their students to only memorize, and not fully understand what it is they are being 'taught'?

EQ: Why should you use language you fully understand, and language that can be better understood by the audience?

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The second video shows...how teachers and professors can have a power-hungry hubris that seriously affects and undermines students' confidence, development and creativity. Even though the student has flouted numerous attempts to make deadlines, he is castigated for this by failing his graduation.

EQ: Why should teachers and professors make themselves very clear and the serious outcomes for students not following conventions and norms expected at school?

EQ: Why are many students put off from following those conventions and norms by hubristic and annoying teachers?


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The third video plays out a very emotive and affective scene...the main 'idiot' alludes to fact students are put under far too much pressure at school, and it is a huge problem causing suicides.

a great quote: 

"If engineers could make a machine to measure mental pressure, they would find that most suicides, in this context, are in fact murder."

The professor goes onto claim it isn't the fault of schools and teachers, but the students themselves.  
The student reminds him that there is no point to such ideals.  He adds that most students don't discuss ideas and conventions of theories, and they only "discuss grades, jobs and settling in the USA."

This is a serious issue in Turkey where I live, also. The desire of students and their families to get the highest grades, at all costs, so they can make that move to US universities that expect and accept only the students who are willing to conform and comply.

EQ: Why do parents force their children to sacrifice true learning & understanding for grades alone? 

EQ: Even though there is a movement to change this idea, why is it so difficult to break down antiquated conventions and norms in higher education?

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The fourth and final video shows..."the number one idiot" giving the professor a lesson on how to teach. The scene highlights how ridiculous many tasks given in classes around the world are taught. Tasks that have no bearing on real life investigative enquiry.

He shows the students how they are so willing to do what they are asked without questioning it at all. He calls it a "race to nowhere" which I believe is a perfect summation.

A great quote: "A circus lion will get on a chair for fear of being whipped. Does that mean the animal is well-educated or well-trained?"

EQ: Why do teachers and professors not want their students to question their words of 'wisdom'?

EQ: Why are weaker and/or slower students far too often ignored or left behind the real learning-curve?

EQ: What is better for students, to be well-trained or well-educated?

I included several Essential Questions for you to use in your own classes.  My colleague and I will be using this lesson on our return from the festive holiday period. Thanks to Bollywood, but a wee tip: drop the dancing for such a serious subject (it is the only idiotic thing in the well-intentioned movie script).

2 comments:

  1. Very thought-provoking post, DM. Is it for classroom or teachers room use?!

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  2. That is hlarious, Anonymous. I hadn't thought of it that way, but you are so right. I am sure the teachers would all start to look out the window once the EQs were introduced. Of course, they would never expect their own students to do that, now would they?!

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