Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jyotsna Vijapurkar - Unimportance of the right answer

The attempt to find an answer is not only fun, but also the best part of learning. It develops thinking, concentration, resilience, and perhaps even tells you something about yourself. In other words, the path to the solution is equally, if not more important than, the solution itself. Remove this, and concentrate on the solution alone, and you deprive the learner of a rich opportunity to explore all manner of things.

Not only the student, but the teacher too loses something valuable in such practice: An opportunity to learn the workings of the student’s mind — whether it’s a beautiful solution to a problem, something the teacher or textbook writer hadn’t thought of, or the reason the student did not get the solution right away. The “mistakes” students make are wonderful windows through which you can look into the workings of their minds, particularly with young students who may not be able to articulate whether or not they understood something.

As teachers, once we get an idea of how or what the student is thinking, we can incorporate these insights into our teaching. And in doing so, keep our teaching practice from becoming a tedious one — teaching the same lessons over and over again, in the same manner, even difficult ones that only a few students can really understand... read more: