Friday, March 16, 2007

How to Learn

The following observation applies to all forms of learning, not just learning to read, but it obviously has implications for the belief that kids should never be drilled in letters, phonemes, etc. From Jere Brophy, "Teacher Influences on Student Achievement," American Psychologist (Oct. 1986): 1069-1077:
Attainment of higher level learning objectives will not be achieved with relative ease through discovery learning; instead, it will require considerable instruction by a skilled teacher, following thorough mastery of basic knowledge and skills that must be integrated and applied in the process of 'higher level' performance. Psychologists have learned a great deal in recent years about how automatization of skills frees information-processing capacity for attention to the more difficult and higher level aspects of tasks. Development of basic knowledge and skills to the necessary levels of automatic and errorless performance requires a great deal of drill and practice, however. Thus, drill and practice activities should not be slighted as 'low level.' Carried out properly, they appear to be just as essential to complex and creative intellectual performance as they are to the performance of a virtuoso violinist.





Stuart Buck
Stuart Buck

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2 Comments:

Blogger "Q" the Enchanter said...

I wonder if the same impulse that disdains rote practice with phonics is at work in the seeming pride of those musicians who insist that they "only play by ear." This always seems to me to translate as: I wasn't willing to do the work it takes to get really good.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Joseph Buck said...

However, there are musicians who are really good but don't read music. They are rare, but I've heard of them.

9:47 PM  

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