Do our schools speak LEARNing as a "first" or a "second" language?
Are our schools, colleges and universities LEARNing institutions or TEACHing institutions?
Do our schools, colleges and universities "teach" STUDENTS or "teach" COURSES? As well as some other more heavy-duty questions:
Do our institutions HAVE a perspective on TEACHing or do they TAKE a TEACHing perspective?
Do our institutions HAVE a perspective on LEARNing or do they TAKE a LEARNing perspective? Obviously, these are "huge" questions (far smarter women than I have been trying to address these over the years) - and certainly questions that can not be answered in a single blog-post (however "non-lazy" it may be - this time around)...
LEARNing as a First Language (LFL), or
LEARNing as a Second Language (LSL) …really started when I was asked to lead a discussion on the “digital divide” at a conference in Antalya (around 6 months ago). In that presentation I used a C-NET video that was really popular at the time (you have to click n’ view – Clementine is so “sweet”). More recently, another YOU-tube video (go on – click n’ view) has surfaced – a video that suggests that I might have been right (but I really do not want to be “that guy” – you know, the guy that says “I told you so” – na, nah, na, na, nah…) The point I was trying to make in the session I led was that there is more than a word of truth in the claims that today’s kids really do "speak":
DIGITAL as a First Language (DFL)… …while there are many of us (not just in the world of teaching) that "speak":
DIGITAL as a Second Language (DSL)… I did note that all the chatter about digital “natives” and immigrants” is perhaps a bit overstated (you have to read the great paper written by Zur and Zur on this).
It's about the language, dummy! The “grammar” and “lexis” used by those who speak LFL is very different to those who speak TEACHing as a First Language (TFL):
Taken a “students-eye-view” of what the world of LEARNing and TEACHing should look like in our institutions… Reflected on the implications of this at the level of school leadership and culture… Conducted the type of “cultural anthropology” and made the type of “appropriate adjustments” recommended by Zur and Zur. Modified the way they “do the business” of curriculum and assessment planning (at a systemic, whole-school level) Adapted their learning environments and classrooms to mirror these – hell, even bothered to modify how “timetables” are built…