Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The 7 Fundamental Conditions of Learning

The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 13th, 2015


Last month I wrote about the attributes of the very best teachers, with the goal of identifying for young faculty members, in particular, the qualities they ought to emulate and cultivate. Several readers complained that my focus was too much on the teacher and not enough on students.
Fair enough. This month I’ll try to answer two questions: What do students need in order to learn? And how can we as teachers provide those things?
For the record, my aim here is not to rewrite Bloom’s Taxonomy, (mis)appropriate portions of it, or step on its toes. For its purpose — identifying the different ways in which students learn — the taxonomy cannot really be improved upon. I’m trying to do something different: Establish the fundamental conditions that must exist if people are to learn, drawing on my five decades as a student, teacher, and parent. I’ve come up with seven conditions.

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