Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Etre et Avoir"

Monsieur Lopez, in "Etre et Avoir", demonstrated several effective methods for teaching kids. Above all else, the strategy that seemed to stand out most was the way in which he continuously asked his students question after question, forcing them to create answers for themselves rather than just telling them how they should think. What's more, he did not only apply this method to classroom related issues. When there was a fight or when a student was wondering about life in general (ghosts, for example), he would ask the students to explain in detail the way the understood their situations. In doing this, Lopez was able to teach his students far more than just mathematics or writing--he taught them to think critically and he challenged them to understand their own thought processes. He never allowed his students to accept an abstract idea without having them demonstrate why that idea was important. This strategy is extremely applicable to the work we will be doing at the Gandhi Ashram. While it would be possible to simply convey the various theories we wish to teach, Lopez's approach illustrates the great value in forcing students to find ways to make those theories personal. Without a means to relate to concepts taught in classes, our students will not have the ability to use and apply the knowledge we will give them. For this reason, it is important that we learn to place our lessons within contexts that make sense to our students. By engaging our students in this way, we will be able to both maintain their attention and pass on knowledge that the students will be able to remember and apply.

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