Monday, 22 August 2011

Pedagogy and note taking

Over time I've become increasingly conscious of my lack of pedagogical knowledge - but as I'd always worked with teaching professionals to develop materials it didn't cause many problems. However, recently I've been conscious that it creates a barrier between me and teachers which, in my new role, won't benfit anybody. So I have recently been on a course to develop my pedagogical understanding.

It's a very interesting science - and at the same time slightly unsatisfying. You learn a lot of theory but the opportunities for practice are incredibly limited (because if you carry out experiments in education someone will learn more slowly or not at all, and is that really ethical?) and so you have to assume that this is all correct and try and build from there.

Throughout this course I was conscious of our first learning - the things about how to eat with cutlery, how to walk, how to communicate. Each of these are learned, not instinctive, and yet none of them require note taking. Why is this considered so important then? Of course, the answer is simple:

The things you do and continue to do are learned. Otherwise you need reference material.

The implication therefore, which amused me slightly, is that all those teachers who spent your education telling you that something was important and you must write it down, were really telling you that it was something you probably wouldn't do for a while (and by extension, it probably wasn't all that important).