Another dot in the blogosphere?

Taught or caught?

Posted on: November 9, 2014

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This video of orchestral members consuming chilli peppers mid-way through a performance will probably elicit a range of responses.

Amusement. Agony. Admiration. An assortment.

The video reminded me of the #asiaED slow chat this week about building resilience. The effort of every member of the orchestra personified this trait: Going on in the face of personal troubles for a shared process and product.

Can such a trait be taught? For sure and about as much as creativity, leadership, courage, honesty, and a host of other desirable but rarely evaluated outcomes of schooling.

If these outcomes not measured traditionally, why even try to teach them traditionally?

Basic instructional design informs us that there must be alignment between objectives and assessment. The instruction that typically happens in between must also be aligned to the other two components.

That said, a traditional lesson with content delivery, examples, practice, and assessment does not necessarily work for the behaviours, skills, and values that manifest in something like resilience.

Teachers and mentors must model such behaviours, skills, and values instead. Learners and apprentices learn by observing, following, and practising in context. These desirable outcomes are not taught, they are caught.

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