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

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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