“I Made You Look, You Dirty Crook, You Stole Your Mother’s Pocketbook!” How To Surprise Your Students With the Opportunity To Learn. PROCEEDINGS
Alfred Benney, Fairfield University, United States
World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, ISBN 978-1-880094-35-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Remember when you were a kid how the above taunt reflected youthful humor when you caught someone by surprise? Remember when you took great delight in such antics as "Your shoe's untied!" "Ha, ha, I made you look! April fool!" Or how with two or three of your friends you stood somewhere in public all gazing up at some imaginary thing-in-the-sky and laughed like crazy when passers-by would stop and try to see what you were looking at? Imagine my surprise after many years in the classroom suddenly to arrive at the conclusion that teaching is a lot like that! And to realize that with all its complexity, the real trick to teaching is getting students to really look at something. My beginning point is the realization that in order to learn, a person must perceive the data as something new -- really to have a new "perception of." Humans tend to see what they expect to see and just looking is in itself boring -- unless we are surprised by what we see! Moreover, our system of education seems to foster the notion that study is boring because it creates the assumption that we won't be surprised. In some way we seem to have mistakenly defined classroom orderliness as quiet inactivity and classroom attentiveness to be a sort of dopey reticence.
Benney, A. (1999). “I Made You Look, You Dirty Crook, You Stole Your Mother’s Pocketbook!” How To Surprise Your Students With the Opportunity To Learn. In B. Collis & R. Oliver (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 1999 (pp. 1394-1395). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
© 1999 AACE