Week 5 – What is the relationship between teaching and learning?

I like the quote in this weeks assignment, “I said I taught him how to talk, I didn’t say he learned.  I think this is a recent phenomenon from the 70’s and 80’s and basil readers and textbooks.  Everything was canned or prewritten for teacher.  The teacher had a script and any trained monkey could give a lesson and only a truly heroic student could stay awake or truelove learn something.  I also see this with teachers with a fixed mindset and and traditional teachers.  I had one of my teachers say, “My job is to teacher them, it is their job to learn.” His point was that as a teacher all he had to do was provide the opportunity to learn.  If he did that, it din’t matter if the students actually learned.

I think the whole purpose of this weeks question is to reinforce that fact that teaching and learning should mean the same thing.  How can you teacher if no one is learning just as how can you lead if no one is following?  You would think this is common sense, but some where we got lost.

Our text talks about No Child Left Behind and the emphasis on testing as being the culprit for the disconnect between teaching and learning, but I think it has to do with the fact we are doing what we have always done.  It is very hard to make real change in a culture as ingrained as education.  Our textbook quotes Belland, saying that, “Teachers fall back to their own experiences as learners when teaching.”  I believe this to be true.

So how can we focus on learning and not what the teacher does?  In our textbook Sylvia and Gary list Dr. Seymour Papert’s eight big ideas behind the constructionist learning lab.  Their proposal is that these eight ideas will help teachers implement constructionist learning for students.

The Eight Big Ideas from Papert are:

  1. Learning by doing
  2. Use technology as building material
  3. Let students have hard (challenging) fun
  4. You must learn how to learn
  5. Take the proper amount of time for a project
  6. Make mistake and then learn from them
  7. Let students struggle and don’t worry how the project will turn out
  8. Students need to know about digital technology

I believe these ideas will help teachers move in the right direction, but we have a long way to go. Some systemic change needs to happen before this becomes a reality in most classrooms.


Julio Emilio Diniz-Pereira. (2003). The social construction of teachers’ individualism: How to transcend traditional boundaries of teachers’ identity? Retrieved on 6-13-17 at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED471561.pdf .

Martinez, S. L. Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

Park, H, (2008). “You are confusing!”: Tensions between teacher’s and students’ discourses in the classroom. Journal of Classroom Interaction.  Vol 43.1, pages 4-13.  Retrieved on 6-13-17 at 9:45 pm at: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ829005.pdf .



By waclawskid

3 comments on “Week 5 – What is the relationship between teaching and learning?

  1. I am constantly thinking about whether or not I am just teaching the way I was taught or am I using the best methods for this group of students and this concept. Teaching is not the only situation where we do things the same way experienced it. Raising kids, culture, etc. are also done just like we have experienced earlier in our life.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head with this: “we are doing what we have always done.” I think so many teachers have this as their sort of motto. Why change when they can keep doing what they’ve always done? This isn’t as big for me, just because I’ve only taught for seven years, but I went into teaching planning on doing what my teachers had done in the past. In a sense, I was doing what they had always done. I within my first year that wasn’t the right way to do things. It has taken me a few years to get into the right mindset, but now I enjoy looking for new ways to be a better teacher.

  3. I also think you have a point. It is not the emphasis on the test, or national standards, or any other reason we give so that we can continue to do as we have always done. That may really be the reason so many teachers complain about their students not being successful. We need to stop whining and start helping our students learn. If that means we have to change the way we teach, then change the way we teach. It is up to us.

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