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Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Sandraseahorse Wrote:
Quote:
Apple, my son has learning difficulties and I was a parent governor at his special needs school.  I am fully aware that for children with learning difficulties the "chalk and talk" method doesn't necessarily get the best results; my son often remembers things more if he watches a TV prgramme on a topic than if people tell him about the subject as he responds to visual images.

However, the school I referred to with the board game is not a special needs school; it is a comprehensive. If, as you agree, it would not be appropriate to produce a board game about the Holocaust, then why should it be appropriate to do one on Elizabethan times?  Are their lives of less consequence?  That would go against the idea of empathy.

I am not seeking a Gradgrind system of pupils being force fed as many facts as possible.  I see the use of films, artefacts, original source material such as letters and diaries, role playing plus bringing in people to talk about, for example, their experiences during World War 2, justifiable methods of teaching history.

What worries me with the "fun and games" approach is that there is a danger that fun becomes the objective rather than a means to an end.  

Ironically, the only times I can remember being bored at school were during games.
If that is the case then you of all people as a parent of a child with learning difficulties and a school governor should understand the value of alternative methods of teaching and not rubbishing it as trivial.

If you recall in my response about your particular gripe about board games - I did say and I quote "any teacher worth their salt would use the appropriate activity to the subject matter so important subjects don't get trivialised but the facts get taught and learnt and empathy is maintained" and as I also said board games have been used to teach facts and dates or various era's at my sons school which is a secondary school. In fact I think one about the Tudor/Elizabethan era would be acceptable because such a lot happened of consequence and different dates and historical occurrences, to teach the basic facts and dates about that era in such a way would be acceptable and no it doesn't make their lives of less consequence if it was used alongside other teaching methods and not used as the sole method, and there are sensitive subjects which you just wouldn't use a game as a teaching method like, as we both agreed - the holocaust.

As for your final comments  that your worry is the fun becomes the objective rather than the the means to an end - you obviously didn't read my other post where I said - "There has to be a healthy balance of all available teaching methods. In an ideal world this would be taken as read but we don't live in an ideal world, but we are living in a world that is changing rapidly and it does have to be addressed, 100 odd years ago with the teaching methods (some of them barbaric by todays standards) people probably had similar reservations to the changes in teaching as they came in and altered things, it is totally a question of balance and using the technology available to enhance methods already available" so my point being, I am agreeing with you as I was basically making that very point that it shouldn't be the objective but a means to an end, enhancing and making better what is already in place.

Finally, your comment that you were bored at school during games, well that just tells me that this particular method didn't work for you, which doesn't mean it wouldn't work for others and because it didn't work for you doesn't make it worthless.

Himadri Wrote:
Quote:
I wasn't referring in any of my posts to children with learning difficulties.
No I know you weren’t you were making blanket sweeping statements  that suggested that the comments made suggesting it could possibly have some educational value were rubbish and that it had no value.

For example you said:
Quote:
“Facebook can be a bit of fun, and is quite good for keeping in touch with people one might otherwise lose touch with. But whatever else it may be, it most certainly is not an educational tool, and it would debase the very concept of education to attempt to use it as such”.

“There’s nothing wrong with fun, obviously, but education is not “fun”, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Learning anything that is worth learning requires effort, and that is as it should be”.

“I think there are two arguments against equating learning with fun. The first is that what is easily learnt is, all too often, just as easily forgotten. Looking back on my own education and on what I remember of it, I think it is true to say that what I remember best is what I spent much time and effort learning. I am not, I admit, certain that this principle always holds, but if it does (and I suspect that it does) it is a powerful argument”.

“But an initial effort needs to be made for that kind of enjoyment. What I was referring to as “fun” is the sort of amusement that does not require that initial investment of effort (and I think we may agree that Facebook activities come under that category)”


I was just pointing out that there are in fact instances where using technology such as Facebook and the like could be useful for certain people and that in general these “fun ways” of learning are of as much value as traditional methods, and I used people with learning difficulties as an example as I have seen with my own eyes the results of such education, and I was pointing out that in their situation your comments about hard work and the like were also inaccurate.

Himadri also Wrote:
Quote:
As for children without learning difficulties, I think it a very bad idea to encourage the belief that anything worthwhile can be learnt without hard work.
I quite agree with you, to a point if you want something you have to get off your arse and work for it as you don't get a free ride in this life and if you want to succeed and achieve you have to pull your finger out and graft for it and I have instilled this ethic into my children, but worthwhile things can be taught with an element of fun to make it more relevant to children of today, as I maintain, if children see a relevance to their lives their understanding and empathy with the subject is increased but as I have said all along there has to be a balance, it can't all be fun, and there has to be a degree of taste involved so subjects of sensitivity are handled with the respect they deserve, but there is in my opinion nothing wrong with planting that initial seed of interest with a little fun and alternative different methods of getting the message across and after that initial spark has been created they could go on and learn using other different methods as well developing a greater understanding and achieve greater things.




Last edited by Apple on Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandraseahorse wrote:
What worries me with the "fun and games" approach is that there is a danger that fun becomes the objective rather than a means to an end.  


Well said. I agree fully.



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Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himadri Wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Sandraseahorse wrote:
What worries me with the "fun and games" approach is that there is a danger that fun becomes the objective rather than a means to an end.  



Well said. I agree fully.


I agree with that as well it shouldn't take over and become the be all and end all, as I pointed out to Sandraseahorse in my response, and I never suggested it should, but on the other hand when its been proved different types of teaching work for different types of people I believe that they should be included alongside traditional methods and enhance what is already in place, and not dismissed out of hand, by making wild claims that that it gives children the message that things can achieved without any effort and poo pooing it as trivial and worthless fun, without even considering the possible potential of it.




Last edited by Apple on Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 364



PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple, students are very willful now.  Perhaps it is because everything is a game and supposed to be "fun".  As I said earlier, perhaps we are in a transitional stage at the far right side of the fun  pendulum, and when we regain our senses, we will return to a more middle of the road stance. I think we all agree that "play" is deliterious to the mainstream of the students, while relevancy is beneficial for everyone.


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Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melony Wrote:
Quote:
Apple, students are very willful now.  Perhaps it is because everything is a game and supposed to be "fun".  As I said earlier, perhaps we are in a transitional stage at the far right side of the fun  pendulum, and when we regain our senses, we will return to a more middle of the road stance. I think we all agree that "play" is deliterious to the mainstream of the students, while relevancy is beneficial for everyone.
I totally agree kids in general are very willful, but I do think that there is more to it than just that, I think its a combination of a lot of things and deeper problems within the rapidly changing society we live in which has changed out of all recognition in the last 25/30 years. I agree that part of the problem could be that "fun" seems to be the be all and end all in all areas of life, and there is this culture of wanting everything now without having to put in any effort for it for example the promise of instant stardom and wealth with reality programmes like X Factor etc.  Also there is the fanatical emphasis and importance of celebrity which has emerged over the past few years, where people who are plastered all over the tabloids and magazines and appear to "get on" in life getting wealthy for just being famous and not really doing anything all. There is I believe a very superficial nature to society, very shallow and not enough substance to back things up.

I also believe that, as I said before teachers pussyfooting around kids with their hands tied because if they say or do anything which could be taken the wrong way they could be had up for something, there is also the kids who's parents are not hands on and who don't take an interest in their lives and who have no boundaries - the ones who spend school holidays, weekends and late evenings out standing on street corners and in parks bored and resorting to to getting pissed out their skulls resulting in vandalism and anti social behaviour. I know I was willful and I was no angel - but I had boundaries and knew where the line was (and as the parent of teenagers I get a dose of that willfulness you talk about on a daily basis!!  Very Happy ) but even though they have their moments my kids know that there are boundaries and discipline and a moral code which I have instilled into them and if they cross them they are in trouble, just as I knew I was if I crossed them.

I'm going to shut up now as I will be on my soap box for hours and it will get taken in all directions away from the original point.


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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 364



PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could not agree more with everything you just said. I thought it was just in America but maybe it is the same everywhere now. I think the factors you described are an outcropping of affluence and oddly enough maybe of too readily available education, which we take for granted in the West, as well as too much readily accessible information. It's on our phones at the touch of a fingertip - why bother to learn it.



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