Friday, August 5, 2011

Old Fashioned?

An Australian research project has shown that teaching children ''old-fashioned'' behaviour at the same time they learn to read can dramatically improve literacy, particularly among students who have been struggling.

The report states that integrating positive attitudes and behaviours for learning, such as confidence, persistence, working in teams and getting along with others, helps to prepare students for the challenges they will inevitably face - even learning something they think is boring. If teachers can develop students' positive attitudes and behaviours for learning, they become better learners and this makes teaching them much easier.

I find this report somewhat bewildering. I don't believe that it is correct to label these attitudes/behaviours/dispositions as old-fashioned. What makes them old-fashioned? When I think of something as old-fashioned I imagine something that was used or valued in a previous time or generation, such as using a typewriter. Is the author trying to state that they are not considered important or taught in this day and age at all?

The social-emotional development of a child is something that the PYP places great importance on. The Learner Profile and Attitudes aspects of the framework combine to place a huge emphasis on the development of the whole child. I certainly agree that they are important to foster within our students but to make a value judgement on teaching and say that these are not being addressed undermines the fantastic work that some teachers do every day.

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