Plugging a Post…

Great Post by Aaron around the idea of the journey as being just as important as the end destination. Here’s a teaser:

I remember one junior high math teacher above all others because she taught me to show my work.

She said that the process of getting to your answer was just as important as the answer at the end of the problem.

In that one exchange she showed me that the process was just as important as the product, and through following the process we could better arrive at the right product.  ( “What if the Process, Not Product, Mattered More” ) .

My thanks to Aaron for bringing this up.

When I look at my own academic journey, it is not the degree (that seemingly important piece of paper) that is important to me. Sure, I am glad that I persevered and made it through, but you won’t see a framed degree on my office wall. Frankly, I think it looks tacky.

The actual learning is more important to me. That time spent reading, researching, learning from mentor profs, that is what matters to me.

I think Aaron’s quote speaks to the importance of honoring our students’ construction of knowledge; the actual assembly of it, not just the finished product.

This begs for implementation. I wonder why it is so stressed in math, as Aaron pointed out, as opposed to the humanities? Perhaps we are focussing to much on the end product and not enough on the actual journey.

Thanks, Aaron. I needed this.


One thought on “Plugging a Post…

  1. Mr. Nelson,

    I think this fits in really well with your “Square Holes” Entry. I had a nice comment written for that one but half-way through I realized the point I was trying to make had totally changed.

    I’m sure you (and all other good teachers) hope that your students learn in your class not just to be prepared for the final exam at the end of the year, but because they genuinely want to gather information and improve the way they think.

    I know, though, that students tend to not feel the same way. Oftentimes they just want to burn the course so they can get a high number through the other side of the square hole.

    So I applaud teachers who are constantly trying to make their classes a safe and interesting place to learn.

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