Why should students learn through examples rather than through direct information? People usually say that students do not need to learn abstract concepts at early ages and just need to know how to prepare for exams, but instead examples should be used a building blocks to help students reach an engagement towards abstract learning.? Does this mean that students can independently reach towards deeper learning but being more engaged with the material?

When an example is put on the board without context, it has little meaning., at the end of the day do we want students to pass the exams and move on, or do we want them to learn and flourish? Our job as teachers is to help students prepare for their futures, this means helping the knowledge we give them stay with them. Many people will say students do not need to remember most of what they learn in school. This makes me think that if this is truly the majority opinion shouldn’t we teach students in a way that emphasizes what they should use in their futures.

Should the school curriculum be revamped to have a balance between standard academics and life skills? Showing that we care is how we prepare students for independent success. From this, I also believe that education should be a seen as a powerful tool that students can feel confidence in using to reach for their own goals.

☞ Did you find yourself following the individual steps of the debugging process? Why or why not?

– I tried my best to follow the individual steps since I know they are a good practice, I made sure to at least compare what the program was doing and what it should be doing. I have some programming background so it was hard for me to just jump right into it.

☞ Paste a link to your favorite Debug it! program – https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/555499493 , I had a bit of a trouble with this one the edge bouncing confused me but I decided to revisit what the program wanted and then work with the commands I had.

Author

0 0 votes
Rate This Post
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
4 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Maritza
August 16, 2021 5:22 am

Dear Khurram:

I am captivated by your post, “Scratch Programming: My Starting Journey” because you made an interesting point on whether children benefit more from direct instruction or feed their curiosity by allowing them to investigate topics on their own.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is, “Our job as teachers is to help students prepare for their futures, this means helping the knowledge we give them stay with them.” This sentence caught my attention because a student pursing a degree in Early Childhood education I often hear that many people do not understand that at an early age students learn through play. For example, by playing with building blocks students are developing on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, creativity, problem solving, and so much more.

Another sentence that I admired was, “From this, I also believe that education should be a seen as a powerful tool that students can feel confidence in using to reach for their own goals.” I agree with you that education is such a powerful tool because without it our children wouldn’t be able to speak, read, write, and grow up to become independent individuals.  

Have you seen the article, “The Importance of Play: How Kids Learn by Having Fun”? (https://www.healthline.com/health/the-importance-of-play) I thought you might be interested because it talks about how children at an early age learn through play and how play fosters creativity, encourages exploration, and promotes curiosity. This reading will help others understand how engaging with material can led to a more memorable learning experiences than learning from direct instruction.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I will like to know more about how teachers can create better learning experiences for children that can lead to the great “aha!” moments of life. 

Marina
August 16, 2021 2:48 am

Dear Kurram: 

I am inspired by your inquiry post, “Scratch Programming: My Starting Journey.” I appreciate how you question revamping curriculum to support the balance of meeting academic standards and engaging learners with relevant life skills. Additionally, your post encouraged me to revisit the role that computational thinking and personalized learning play when revising curriculums to support the development of future-ready skills.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Our job as teachers is to help students prepare for their futures, this means helping the knowledge we give them stay with them.” I agree with this statement. It makes me think of another question – How can educators build purposeful experiences that build future ready individuals? We cannot predict what the future will look like – it is always changing, and it changes quickly. In spite of this, educators can expect that the future will always need individuals who can collaborate with others, show persistence while working through challenging tasks, think both creatively and critically with resources, and remain flexible and open to learning. Therefore, offering opportunities and learning experiences that emphasize computational thinking (both on and off screen) may be an excellent way to provide learners with a chance to prepare for their future. With computational thinking, educators can guide learners towards being flexible with strategies rather than just focusing on one way to solve a problem. That may be the best way to prepare learners for the future since the skills to help break down a problem and sort out solutions can be applied to any situation. 

Have you seen this article by Chris Bartlo: How Programming Supports Math Class, Not The Other Way Around?  I thought you might be interested in this since you will be teaching math. Additionally, the article directly ties in with your inquiry around teaching life skills such as problem solving, attending to precision, and collaboration. These are truly twenty-first century skills that young people will need to experience as they prepare for their futures. The inclusion of computational thinking, programming, and coding could be an excellent entry-point to offer students to give them opportunities to develop both hard and soft skills while also mastering mathematics goals and standards. One point that the author makes as he closes the article reminded me of your thinking is this: “We strive to set up classrooms where understanding, rather than memorization, is the path to success.” This sentence alone made me think you may resonate with Bartlo because you pondered whether we just want students to pass an exam or learn and flourish. 

Another sentence that I connected with was: “This makes me think that if this is truly the majority opinion shouldn’t we teach students in a way that emphasizes what they should use in their futures.” This stood out for me because it reminds me of the significance of personalized learning and how students thrive when they engage in work that is aligned to their current abilities and interests. This falls back on getting to know your students and building authentic relationships with them. When we really know our learners, we can emphasize what each one of them will need in their future. We can revamp curriculums to support who each learner is at the current moment so that they can become who they want to be in the future.  

Thanks for your writing and sharing your ideas! 

Marina 

Jennifer
August 2, 2021 5:11 am

Dear Khurram:
I am intrigued by your post, “Scratch Programming: My Starting Journey”, because it connected to a number of issues that I am interested in as well. I also resist the emphasis on testing and the accumulation of decontextualized knowledge. Your focus on this through the lens of the value of examples helped to broaden my thinking on this and make some connections I hadn’t previously.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “People usually say that students do not need to learn abstract concepts at early ages and just need to know how to prepare for exams, but instead examples should be used a building blocks to help students reach an engagement towards abstract learning.?” I love how you conceptualize examples as a bridge between the concrete and abstract. It’s interesting that you say people think students don’t need to learn abstract concepts at an early age. I guess that’s true in the sense that traditional schooling tends to focus on a careful sequence from basic skills to higher order thinking tasks and complex material. My own perspective is that this underestimates children and can be a source of disengagement for them. I think you are really right to point out how meaningful examples can increase engagement. 

Another sentence that I appreciated was: “When an example is put on the board without context, it has little meaning., at the end of the day do we want students to pass the exams and move on, or do we want them to learn and flourish?” This whole paragraph stood out to me because it’s so relevant to the discussions happening right now around “learning loss”. You point out that most people don’t expect specific facts to be retained beyond schools so much as ways of thinking (e.g., the scientific method, historical method, critical thinking, empathy and imagination, mathematical and computational thinking, etc), foundational skills and important concepts, ideas and lessons of historical development. I really agree with you when you ask: “if this is truly the majority opinion shouldn’t we teach students in a way that emphasizes what they should use in their futures?” 

This is why I think the “learning loss” is so misguided. There may be a lapse in recall, a weakening of certain skills or a delay in accumulating them, but we don’t “lose” what we’ve learned. If we can lose it so easily, then perhaps we never learned it. Rather than focusing on “making up” lost learning through yet more testing and testing-aligned skills instruction, I think we should be doing more of what you propose here: using examples that have context and meaning for students to engage them; thinking about how to connect learning to life skills they will need in their future; and helping students to see learning as something that can accomplish their own goals. 

Have you heard of the Consortium schools in NYC? Here is a link to their website: http://www.performanceassessment.org. I thought you might be interested in this because they focus on project based learning (examples), performance based assessment rather than tests, and learning how to learn through depth rather than simple accumulation of facts through breadth. Their website shares a lot of resources about what this looks like in practice and even has examples of student work. I think they are a model of the kind of teaching/learning you are describing in your inquiry.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I think you wrestle with a lot of the same issues I’m thinking about, but from the perspective of the math/science side rather than the humanities side. This helps me to think through the connections and learn from other disciplines.
Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer
August 2, 2021 1:06 am

Dear Khurram:
I am intrigued by your post, “Scratch Programming: My Starting Journey”, because it connected to a number of issues that I am interested in as well. I also resist the emphasis on testing and the accumulation of decontextualized knowledge. Your focus on this through the lens of the value of examples helped to broaden my thinking on this and make some connections I hadn’t previously.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “People usually say that students do not need to learn abstract concepts at early ages and just need to know how to prepare for exams, but instead examples should be used a building blocks to help students reach an engagement towards abstract learning.?” I love how you conceptualize examples as a bridge between the concrete and abstract. It’s interesting that you say people think students don’t need to learn abstract concepts at an early age. I guess that’s true in the sense that traditional schooling tends to focus on a careful sequence from basic skills to higher order thinking tasks and complex material. My own perspective is that this underestimates children and can be a source of disengagement for them. I think you are really right to point out how meaningful examples can increase engagement. 

Another sentence that I appreciated was: “When an example is put on the board without context, it has little meaning., at the end of the day do we want students to pass the exams and move on, or do we want them to learn and flourish?” This whole paragraph stood out to me because it’s so relevant to the discussions happening right now around “learning loss”. You point out that most people don’t expect specific facts to be retained beyond schools so much as ways of thinking (e.g., the scientific method, historical method, critical thinking, empathy and imagination, mathematical and computational thinking, etc), foundational skills and important concepts, ideas and lessons of historical development. I really agree with you when you ask: “if this is truly the majority opinion shouldn’t we teach students in a way that emphasizes what they should use in their futures?” 

This is why I think the “learning loss” is so misguided. There may be a lapse in recall, a weakening of certain skills or a delay in accumulating them, but we don’t “lose” what we’ve learned. If we can lose it so easily, then perhaps we never learned it. Rather than focusing on “making up” lost learning through yet more testing and testing-aligned skills instruction, I think we should be doing more of what you propose here: using examples that have context and meaning for students to engage them; thinking about how to connect learning to life skills they will need in their future; and helping students to see learning as something that can accomplish their own goals. 

Have you heard of the Consortium schools in NYC? Here is a link to their website: http://www.performanceassessment.org. I thought you might be interested in this because they focus on project based learning (examples), performance based assessment rather than tests, and learning how to learn through depth rather than simple accumulation of facts through breadth. Their website shares a lot of resources about what this looks like in practice and even has examples of student work. I think they are a model of the kind of teaching/learning you are describing in your inquiry.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I think you wrestle with a lot of the same issues I’m thinking about, but from the perspective of the math/science side rather than the humanities side. This helps me to think through the connections and learn from other disciplines.
Thanks,
Jen

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

CONTACT US

Email allisonpr@gmail.com Call or Text 917-612-3006

Sending
4
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account