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August 15, 2002

Learning with Confidence

Learning with Confidence, by Stephen Yurkiw, provides a readable manifesto for teaching differently.

"Experiential learning, including games and simulations, can be not only motivating, but very effective in developing exploration and experimentation. This can be challenging for teachers to incorporate into classroom practices, as there is a great deal of ambiguity involved in these types of activities. While the teacher can identify the learning objectives and the potential outcomes of these activities, students have a wide range of avenues of exploration open to them, avenues over which the teacher has limited control. However, encouraging students to formulate their own problems is more beneficial that offering a steady stream of answers to questions that students have not posed for themselves (Swann, 1998). In order to encourage students to ask meaningful questions, generate alternative solutions, appreciate a variety of viewpoints and develop multiple intelligences, a certain amount of ambiguity and uncertainty are not only inevitable, but necessary for good teaching (Novick, 1996)."

Looks like a great rationale for everything I'm promoting in my classes, from games to WebQuests. I'd like to meet this guy.