#Edbean Twitter Chat

Tuesday, February 17th at 9pm CST

How much do you really remember from school?

I took 2 years of French in high school and another two years in college, and now I remember very little. I finished high school having completed AP classes, honor classes, scoring high on my ACT’s, having a GPA over 4.0, and being in the top 10% of my class. Today, I have trouble helping my 8th graders in study hall with their Math homework. I keep my iPhone close at hand when writing a blog post, so I can look up the proper use of a comma (It doesn’t help…I still use them incorrectly.). I know who our first and sixteenth presidents were, but trying to figure out any of them from twenty to thirty would be pretty tough. And while my brother is a science teacher, and I took Organic Chemistry, the whole world of science seems magical to me! What I remember and value from my time in school are not the bubbles I filled in on a multiple-choice test. They are not the vocabulary or dates or equations that I once put to memory.

Schoolchildren bored in a classroom, during lesson.Here’s my point…I don’t remember a lot from my middle and high school days, and I would guess that when it comes to content knowledge, neither do you. Sure, if you entered a certain field of study, you may be thankful for that subject in school. However, for most of us, the content we learned in school, the endless tests we studied hours for, the countless papers we wrote, and the piles of books we read have added up to a whole lot of “kind of remembering”, “almost got it right”, and “lucky guesses”.

What I do remember from school are my experiences, my feelings, and my passions. My favorite class was sophomore English because our teacher did not accept anything less than our best. I remember dissecting a frog. My group named him pig, and we thought that was very funny. I clearly remember the excitement of band tours, the pride of Key Club service projects, and the challenge of Driver’s Ed. Above all, I remember stepping out onto the stage for the first time as a chorus member in Fiddler On The Roof, and I knew that it was where I belonged. School gave me a lot of memories. However those memories are not content knowledge based.

So the question we need to ask as teachers is…

What are students going to remember about our classes?

<< Storify of discussion >>

Join #Edbean on Tuesday, February 17th at 9pm CST to discuss what we are teaching and what are students are really learning. Reflect on the questions below and join us on Tuesday.

Q1: Let’s start tonight’s chat by looking back! What are some of your strongest memories from your years in school?

Q2: Looking specifically at “learning” memories – What are some memories you have of WHAT you learned and HOW you learned in school?

Q3: We all have different opinions on WHAT should be taught. Please share your views on what needs be taught in today’s classrooms for students to find success.

Q4: “We HAVE to get through FILL IN THE BLANK!” Many teachers feel bound by national standards, state testing, and curricular guidelines. How can teachers meet these educational requirements without having to be content-focused?

Q5: Content is what teachers are trained to teach. If we are not going to focus on content, what should the focus of our teaching be?

Q6: In these types of chats we can get very theoretical. What are practical steps teachers can take to move beyond a content-focused classroom?

Q7: Assessment is essential! If the focus is not on content, tests based on content-knowledge cannot be the only form of student assessment. What else needs to be assessed and how can teachers assess it?

Q8: Some of us have taken steps to change the purpose of our classroom. Please share stories of how a change of focus has allowed for greater student growth and learning.

Want to learn more about how you can take the focus of your teaching off of content?

Check out more ideas below!

Purpose Driven Learning