Reflections on Learning from both sides.
Learn by Doing. At Carnegie Mellon they refer to it as LBD. My students refer to it as “having to teach themselves” – not always intended as the compliment to my teaching that it really is.
I always spend time reflecting on what I have asked my students to do and on the feedback I get from them. I have a list of questions that guide me in this process. Was I clear about my expectations? Did my instructions make sense? Are the tasks I set clearly aligned to the key learning objectives I have outlined? Did students adequately demonstrate mastery? You know, all those questions we bullet list under the word “pedagogy.
But, what about these questions. Was the experience perceived as worth while by my students? Does the word “frustration” really mean frustration or does it mean “no one has ever truly challenged me before?” Has at least one student let me know that the experience of learning mathematics was not as bad as they had feared it would be?
I use these same questions when I reflect on what I am trying to learn. It helps me to target things that work and things that don’t. They allow me to own and appreciate the mistakes I make for the value they provide in redirecting me to different approaches, options, tools, and ideas. My mistakes are things I can truly own. No one wants to take credit for a goof up. It is a good thing I get so excited about mistakes, it is the only time I know I am really learning something.