Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Doing thinking

I read a primary school newsletter this morning and was really taken with the reference to learning.

To quote

Design Technology is not a subject Mr Gove rates highly. It didn’t figure in his EBAC plans and I doubt it will be the lynch pin of the new Primary curriculum still in the design stage. However I for one have always believed that children learn best by doing. Let’s face it most of us are kinaesthetic learners. We are designed to do. The old Chinese proverb comes to mind; I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. There has been a lot of doing this week and I am sure a lot of understanding. It is DT Week and the children have been designing, making and evaluating a range of artefacts. I have seen some super sock puppets, marvellous moon buggies and lots of lovely levers and perfect pop ups. What is more I have seen fully engaged and motivated children, inventing, creating, solving problems and above all doing thinking! That’s what one Year 3 child said when I asked what DT stood for! DT is literally Doing Thinking.

There is a strong link between hand and brain. I am told we have more memory in our muscles. (It’s how we learn to drive.) The act of doing not only makes learning more memorable but also strengthens the connections in the brain. It is the problem solving aspect that is the key as brains and fingers combine in trial and error; model makingmodelling cognitive development and the way our brains have evolved. Problem solving reinforces the learningin a way that a paper exercise does not. But of course the beauty of this brain friendly approach is that itenhances the paper work as well. Doing Thinking Week has been full of English and Maths too. Making a sockpuppet makes you want to write about it. Planning a moon buggy provokes careful calculations. DoingThinking in a practical and meaningful context is what Education is all about. DT rules OK. TB