Pretty vs. Pedagogy
Pretty things glitter, sparkle and are appealing to the eyes. They attract us and lead us towards them, but often what happens is that once we get a hold of them we lose sight of what’s surrounding us.
It seems to me that these pretty things are popping up more and more as I walk through this world we call education. It masquerades itself as purposeful and meaningful learning, but when you look past the shininess of the glitter and sparkle, the pedagogy behind these lessons and materials is very weak or sometimes, non existent.
From neon colored card stock, flashing lights, to songs and dances, these practices that are becoming more and more popular are fading farther and farther away from the tried and true pedagogy we should be using to guide our way. Students should be creating and designing in classes, not putting together crafts created by the teacher. Students should be communicating their ideas amongst each other and sharing their own thoughts rather than writing them down on paper. Students should be asking questions and inquiring about their learning material, not answering teacher-made questions on a worksheet. Regardless of how cute the font or borders look! (If you want a great read on worksheets, take a look at Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog post “Frick’n Packets”.
I know it is easy to go to a website, search for a topic or standard that aligns with what you are teaching and use a lesson created by someone else. And believe me—there has been a time or two when I have done the same. But when you get stressed, busy or just plain overwhelmed, remember that true teaching and learning doesn’t always need to be pretty and flashy—it can often occur with very little. 💎