“We teach our children one thing only, as we were taught: to wake up.” Annie Dillard in Teaching a Stone to Talk.
In “Hauling our wealth to the surface,” teacher Doug Noon uses this section of Dillard’s book as a setting-off point for a thoughtful essay on the difficulty of practicing what we educators preach, of putting theory into practice. In particular, Doug discusses David J. Ferrero’s 2005 Phi Delta Kappan article, “Does ‘Research Based’ Mean ‘Value Neutral’?” Ferrero writes that, “… translating research into practice is not as straightforward as we often pretend. While the research can usually tell us something useful about how to teach – or how not to teach – it does so at a high level of abstraction. Furthermore, research tells us almost nothing about what to teach and why to teach it.” Noon gives an excellent overview of this article, including a brief overview of the different educational philosophies, as well as his own thoughts on the matter. It reminds me yet again of how lucky I am to be in a school where I can wake my students up in ways that are creative, child-centric, creative, flexible, and thoughtful. Not every teacher these days is so lucky.