Many people associate learning with teaching. But, part of the shift to mobile learning is that learners can teach themselves by looking things up on their devices at the point of need.
So, just how important is a teacher/trainer for learning? According to Grant Wiggins, the author of “Educative Assessment,” teachers are NOT the most important factor in successful learning and are unnecessary at all most times. He writes:
“…the teacher is merely one resource for learning, no different from a book, a peer, an experience, or an experimental result. It is the learner who tries to learn (or not) from what happens. And the learner will only wish to learn and be able to learn if the conditions of learning have been optimized to make sustained engagement and understanding possible.”
What are those conditions? According to Wiggins, they include:
- Thought-provoking, intellectual challenges
- Having a clear and intellectually worthy goal
- Productive goal-focused work
- and four other states.
Some of Wiggins’ thinking was influenced by a 2003 article by Rachel Lotan on the exciting concept of “group worthy” learning tasks.
Wiggins backs up his contention about the relative lack of the importance of teachers with data from a survey of more than 1,300 middle and high school students, which found that the teacher is the least important factor in there to liking and disliking of the subject. Interesting ideas – please check out the links to read more about them.
Latest posts by Gary Woodill (see all)
- Making the Business Case for a New Learning Technology - July 1, 2019
- Rapid Doubling of Knowledge Drives Change in How We Learn - January 23, 2018
- What Does AR for Learning Enable? - January 19, 2018