Another dot in the blogosphere?

Upfront or emergent?

Posted on: October 15, 2016

Yes, my mind goes off on tangents.

Video source

I can watch a video like the one above about someone using candy like pixels and think about how it applies to teaching.

If you did not notice what the still grab of the video was, you would not know what the eventual artefact looked like. You would have to wait till later in the process to get an idea where the work was going. Despite this, you might continue watching to see how it ended because you enjoy discovery.

Looking at the thumbnail is like revealing the outcomes of a lesson before teaching. This lets learners know what to expect and do. However, this also removes other possibilities and might reduce the need for the process since the end result was already clear.

Sometimes teaching does not need to be preceded with outcomes. Sometimes the outcomes are emergent to allow for alternatives, good surprises, learner-defined outcomes, and unexpected but no less valuable results.

The first approach focuses more on teaching. This tends to be reductive and about the expert view of an issue or problem. The second approach is more about learning. It is about discovery and enjoying the process as it happens. While the approaches are compatible, they are also quite different, which might explain why teaching does not always lead to learning.

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