I think I will always remember the days at school I had the most fun, were when we went out on a museum visit or a factory or even in nature to make some observations then coming back to class writing our report and feeling thrilled about all the tiny discoveries we made.
I still remember teachers who impressed me when teaching something difficult for a pre-teen mind some math concepts that were presented in a story format, the story of the mathematician who found and solved a certain calculus, adding some real life events into the explanation, I am pretty sure I could explain these after so many years even if I never studied maths beyond my standard schooling years…
Image Courtesy: The Teaching Resource Resort
A common impression remains: I had Fun! Fun to learn, fun to understand and fun to take ownership for such knowledge.
Many years later, I joined some technical programs related to Informational Technologies, I still remember a full course that was kind of punishment to me. Five days in a row listening to an instructor who was almost stuffing our brains (the class) with acronyms, with concept in a language as if we were initiated specialists… It was the most boring sedative intoxicating a course could ever be!
I am pretty much aware such monotonous courses are still given nowadays and I sincerely feel sorry for the students (logically) but also for the teachers who did not pass the sympathy test in class. This teacher will be labeled as a “boring teacher”. And that’s how he or she will be remembered for a long time. But most seriously is the fact that students would have missed the course content therefore lacking potential critical knowledge for the continuation of their future studies.
To be honest, teachers are not to blame for delivering boring non-fun courses, it is more the system, the teaching the teacher, the people who set the pedagogical strategies while building educational programs for teachers, they seem to have forgotten a key element: “what is fun?” and “How fun can make people happier even teachers!”
Having fun is a matter to consider very seriously, as long as it is not turning into sarcasm, letting learners enjoy a class can also be part of the collecting of knowledge process.
Education is a journey, hopefully a pleasant one, let us think in our daily work how we could add this little touch that would bring a smile to the people we take care of whether as children we follow or learners with whom we share knowledge…
Michel – November 5, 2014