Chapter 9 Summary

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Last Updated on October 6, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 363

This chapter explores how we can incorporate rethinking and encourage complexity in the practice of education. One such way this can be accomplished is by calling attention to how knowledge is produced and what its limits are. For example, a much older textbook can be compared to a present textbook in order to emphasize how human knowledge changes. Historical narratives can also be challenged based on new evidence and by pointing out the omitted perspectives of other actors. Additionally, one can ask students to interview and understand people whose perspectives they disagree with. This challenges students to use their imagination in order to understand what our current body of knowledge has done and what it has failed to do, as well as to think of knowledge disciplines as an active ongoing investigation that invites collaboration, rather than a static tissue of ready-made propositions to be implanted by an instructor.

Increasing students’ required share of input in class was also found to be effective. When an analysis was conducted on whether students would learn better under a lecture or a hands-on activity, it was found that students were significantly more likely to fail classes taught mostly by lecture, even though the general student opinion leaned in favor of that method. This may be because lectures place less burden on students and are by themselves an inadequate method of teaching students how to actually think for themselves.

One American teacher named Ron Berger encouraged students to learn the art of revision. He asked students as young as kindergartners to create multiple versions or iterations of their work. Some teachers expressed concern that students might find this discouraging; however, the students actually enjoyed that the work toward improvement was treated as part of the process. Some students went so far as to do up to ten revisions of their work. Berger also made time for the class to give specific, constructive, and kind suggestions for improvement of each individual student’s work. In addition to this, he encouraged his students to continuously think about the standards they should set for their own work; that is to say, how would one know that their work was excellent?

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Chapter 8 Summary


Chapter 10 Summary