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Shaping Learning

What is the relationship between how to teach and what to learn? Every subject is best taught in a certain way, we agree. You don't learn integral calculus by listening to a podcast, or how to build a bridge by staying in a room. You can learn to play music, but until you face the audience, you won't be a musician.  The idea of reaching the end of a course through a series of graduated steps is part of the pedagogical approach, including more and more realistic practice.

Awareness, theory, practice, internship, advanced training, master class, research...   To learn electronics or drawing, baking or accounting, even philosophy, there are as many teaching methods as there are teachers but certain principles remain. Repetition and practice are part of the training that leads to professionalism.  A professional does not improvise much, he knows how to get a result every time.  Is this vision integrated into pedagogical theories?

Pedagogy oscillates between empiricism and theories more or less correct but which at least have the quality of formalizing a practice. Fortunately, one can move from one learning or teaching strategy to another depending on the context, the subject, the personalities, the experience of the students, their abilities, the number of people, the availability of equipment and materials, etc. To think that a single method will answer all situations seems ridiculous.

Teachers who master a wide range of approaches and techniques know how to accompany the learning of anyone in any context. Those who are limited to a single approach necessarily elude students for whom it is not suitable.  The autonomy allowed to teachers is a vital pedagogical element.

Of course the subject matter modulates how it is taught, but many other elements enter the pedagogical equation. Teaching future teachers a range of methods and strategies is as vital if not more so than subject matter knowledge. In the end, it is the student who will surpass the teacher; the mark of great teachers.

Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]

Illustration: HitaJast - Pixabay

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