Your opening quotation distils what is at the heart of learning. Experience of specific instances build into a generic understanding of a class of instances which can be used to predict other specific instances that may not, hitherto, have been encountered. Hence the presentation of ‘facts’ can support learning but is not enough, in itself.
Your second quotation summarises my concerns about teaching ‘to the test’ without exercising the ability to transfer skills, or apply them in unfamiliar contexts.
The ‘Teaching for Understanding Framework’ you describe understands and gives emphasis to these considerations.
Thank you for posting this.
Learning facts can be a crucial backdrop to learning for understanding, but learning facts is not learning for understanding.
Teaching for knowledge or teaching for understanding? This is a hot topic for some educators who use social media. It can become a rather abstract and artificial debate at times but it’s important to think about how ideas of ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ influence curriculum design and day-to-day practice in teaching, learning and assessment.
Is the curriculum relevant to the students?
Can students use the knowledge being taught?
Do students understand the knowledge being learnt?
‘If you can’t actually take an idea outside the classroom and use it, you don’t really get it. But once you use it on your own, its yours forever.’
Robert H Frank, economist
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