Teaching is not Rocket Science

Today I found a blog post called ‘Teaching isn’t Rocket Science‘ which linked in with one of the sections on this subjects study desk. Professor Richard Elmore was quoted saying that ‘Teaching is not rocket science. It is, in fact, far more complex and demanding work than rocket science’, and in our Module it spoke about how an effective method for helping one student will not necessarily work for another student, and how the method for that one student may work today, but it may not work tomorrow.

The questions we were asked were ‘What do you think of this observation? Does it match your experience?’ and ‘If this observation is true – that nothing works everywhere – what does this say about attempts to mandate particular pedagogical practices across large collections of classes, schools, or states?’

I agree that this observation is true. Each student learns differently. Some students are better at some subjects more than others. From my experience, when you a teaching a concept, there are some students who understand quickly, and there are also some students who struggle with the concept, so you have to find other ways to explain it to them, to try to help them understand it.

In regards to if it’s true that nothing works everywhere and what it says about the attempts to mandate particular pedagogical practices across large collections of classes, schools or states, I think that it is true, and that their efforts are futile. It’s impossible to have set pedagogical practices that must be used in ever classroom, school or state. Each class has different groups of students, different behavioural issues, or students who have a disability. Because of the diversity of each classroom, this means that the pedagogical practices have to be left up to the teacher, as they know the students best, as well as what works and what doesn’t work in their classroom, and that the pedagogical practices have to be tailored to fit each individual classroom.

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