I figure if I'm not having fun as a teacher, no one else is having fun either. - Doug
I was delighted to read the article "The Neuroscience of Joyful Education" by Judy Willis in the summer online edition of Educational Leadership. This is basically the science behind what good teachers already know - kids learn better when they are having fun, are involved, are motivated and the topic is relevant. You read the article, but one bit stood out for me:
When stress in the classroom is getting high, it is often because a lesson is overly abstract or seems irrelevant to students. Teachers can reduce this type of stress by making the lesson more personally interesting and motivating. Ideally, students should be able to answer the question, “Why are we learning about this?” at any point in a lesson.
Teachers can find valuable background materials and human interest connections in textbooks published in the 1990s, before many publishers dropped such information to make room for practice test questions. (Bold is mine - Doug.)
Is this sad or what?
One of the operative words at NECC this year seemed to be "fun." For all of Second Life's pedagogical possibilities of being the ultimate constructivist environment, what attracts me to it is that it is fun. Maybe that is what attracts me to educational technology and to libraries in the first place - both can and should be fun.
Have some fun this weekend.