Teaching “Believees”

From Louis C.K.’s Live at the Beacon Theater (expletives, and humour, deleted):

I have a lot of beliefs and I live by none of them. That’s just the way I am. They’re just my beliefs, I just like believing them. I like that part. They’re my little “believees,” they make me feel good about who I am, but if they get in the way of a thing I want, I do that.

beaconI’ve been thinking about teaching believees.

“Mistakes are opportunities to learn.”

“Students need to be comfortable taking intellectual risks.”

Warm fuzzies. Cheezy posters.

- Chris Hunter

CHRIS HUNTER

And then…

“Fifteen percent of your grade will be based on homework.”

Doesn’t exactly encourage students to make and correct errors or take risks, does it?

“Struggle is a necessary part of learning.”

“Problem solving builds perseverance.”

More warm fuzzies. More cheezy posters.

Don'tEverGiveUpAnd then…

Simplified, spoon-fed, step-by-step directions. Practice pretending to be problem-solving.

Why the vast disconnect? Do we really just like the believing part? It can’t be about things we want. Who wants to mark homework? Who wants to teach follow-the-recipe mathematics?

March 5, 2013: I wrote this post about six months ago but didn’t publish it; it seemed a tad negative. But it is a reminder to teach by my beliefs. So I guess there’s that.

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