Clarence Fisher + Learning

Clarence Fisher discusses in his blog Learning = Remembering? about his experience at an in service.  He describes waht the speaker said was insightful except for the statement they made that we need to use these strategies to increase retention in classrooms.  Learning is retention according to this presenter, but is that the case?  Is learning equivalent to remembering a bunch of facts and regurgitating them back to pass a test?

This seems to be the case nowadays with the increase in standards in this country, this rant will be a short one.  We push our students so hard to gain the knowledge to pass a test in the spring without any regard for what they actually learned that year.  Done with the rant.

He proposes to avoid pointless memorization of facts and focus on projects and challenge his students to think about the past and future.  He equates retention to Google where kids can simply search for a fact if they want to know.  While he considers it somewhat important as a side goal, he thinks he can spend his time better doing more productive activities with his kids.

I think he makes a great point that we should always challenge our students to think and provide better opportunities for students to actual learn.  However, our goals get lost in the pressure to meet the standards.  We worry each year about how to get students through the year we have them and lose sight of the long term goals.  We need to really need to reevaluate our assessment not because standards are ridiculous, but to provide a better way assess student comprehension.

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