“Most of what’s learned in your class is not in your lesson plan; in other words, there’s a documented, enormous and profound differential between teaching and learning.” [from Brain-based Learning by Eric Jensen] …if the majority of what we learn in the formal context of the classroom is nonconscious, i.e. not necessarily what the teacher planned for, then it puts a whole new slant on the debate about how much work-based learning is formal and how much informal. Now the usual figures quoted are 20% formal to 80% informal (Jay Cross’s book Informal Learning has a chapter devoted to the accumulated evidence on this), but it would seem that most of the 20% is informal as well!
So, are our efforts at controlling what people learn doomed? Are those hours spent preparing learning objectives wasted?
Only if a teacher just makes objectives but doesn’t bother to check if those objectives are attained or not.
I followed Clive’s link to Eric Jensen’s website, and read some more about brain-based learning. Here are a couple of resources on this subject I’ve found useful. It’s an area I found myself growing increasingly interested in.
- Ed Nuhfer’s excellent Nutshell Notes
- Thinking About Teaching and Learning: Developing Habits of Learning With First Year College and University Students by Robert Leamnson