Forced Learning?

    I shared an article that I wrote about things that we should do in professional development, and many educators either loved or hated the idea of having reflection built into the day.  My belief is that if you believe it is important as an administrator, you make time for it.
    One comment was one that I found interesting in the discussion:
    @gcouros I agree, reflection is imperative to learning; but does forced reflection in a restricted time frame lose effectiveness? Thoughts?
    — paula collins (@paulacollins76) January 30, 2014
    So if we ask kids to reflect in class, does it not fit into the “restricted time frame” category?  Many would suggest that kids should “reflect” at home, but we make some very strong assumptions about their lives when we leave things for them to do after or before school.
    I thought about these questions:
    Do we “force” kids to learn like this all of the time? If it isn’t effective for us, why is it effective for them?  
    So do all teachers take the time to reflect about their learning? I had one educator outright say in a workshop, “I know that reflection is valuable for learning but who has time for it?”  If we are to model the idea of being “lifelong learners”, should reflection (and I am not simply talking about writing, but any type of open reflection) be a part of the work that we do?  This does not have to be about what we learn in a PD day, but it could also be about any learning that an educator has done.
    If the teachers feel “forced” to reflect and learn things that they might now want to do in restricted time frames, I wonder how the kids feel.  Are we hoping they just don’t know any better?  I hope not.


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