EDUC440 (Critical Analysis of Teaching)
Thinking about this assignment has gotten me quite nervous in general because having something as "free-form" puts me out of my comfort zone. I found myself clinging to every single word on the outline and guide, indeed, every word of the announcement on Blackboard as well. This essay, therefore, is a homage to my inability to think outside the proverbial box:
The first step of this assignment was to think of learning something that "can/should be something fun." Fun? Why exactly do we think of the need for learning to be fun? Is it not alright for us to learn something completely boring? There seem, therefore to me, to be three tracks of learning: "mainstream" learning, "mainstream-plus" learning, and "fun" learning.
"Mainstream" learning should traditionally be categorized as something that one has to learn. A good example would be institutionalized learning, especially for the younger ones when they go to elementary school, perhaps, where they have no choice but to learn something (or in fact, many things). "Mainstream-plus" learning can be categorized more for the benefit of teachers and education systems all around the world, on trying to make traditional learning not miserable. Also, there seems to be an armada of recently-introduced models and frameworks (Anderson, 2016) to first distinguish the learning styles of students, before delivering tailor-made learning experiences to them. Questions that will arise from a practitioner in the "mainstream-plus" education track would be: "How can I make this lesson more interesting for my students?" or "How can I best make my children have fun, and learn something at the same time?" A simple search on Google with the terms, "how to make learning fun" will yield many (thirty-two million, to be exact) results; also, a lot of ways, strategies, and guides. "Fun" learning, however, can be loosely defined as learning about something that is outside of what someone does regularly. Ostensibly, this is the kind of learning that adults should be doing (now that they're done with traditional education) because it will broaden our horizons, and/or make us more rounded human beings.
I don't really do "fun" Therefore, when it came time for me to decide on the topic/subject that I wanted to learn, I had a dilemma: should I learn something "fun," or do I stick to some other form of academic learning? I chose the latter. I told some friends (who were educators) about what I chose, and their immediate response was that of a unanimous "You're so boring, and learning about the UN is no fun at all!" I thought about their statement and decided immediately that they were right fun was not exactly in my wheelhouse. But, as I looked at Blackboard, with my colleagues declaring that they were learning supposedly interesting things like spinning wool, bridge, and bicycle maintenance among the many, I thought deeper to myself, "Why wouldn't those subjects...