Explicit teaching vs. constructivism: The misadventures of Bean Dad

Reblogged from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Some poor fool, thinking either that he was being funny OR that he was being really profound posted how he used a ‘problem’ that his daughter had as a ‘teaching moment’. What he actually did was (1) open himself up for enormous ridicule – his name is now officially Bean Dad – and trolling on Twitter and, more importantly (2) showed why discovery learning is not the way to teach (that is if you can call having kids take large amounts of time to discover things that can be taught in a few minutes and then applied and practised in an effective, efficient, and enjoyable way thereafter.

Robert Pondiscio – senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute – wrote a very nice piece about this example of foolishness entitled: Explicit teaching vs. constructivism: The misadventures of Bean Dad. He begins:

Nearly every day, social media plucks some poor, anonymous face in the crowd from obscurity and makes him famous. If you’re making New Year’s Resolutions this year, one should be never to be that guy. Over the weekend the unfortunate soul was musician and podcaster John Roderick, doomed to be known henceforth as “Bean Dad,” the trending topic sobriquet earned when he declined to make lunch for his hungry nine-year-old daughter, insisting instead that she make herself some baked beans.

Bron: Explicit teaching vs. constructivism: The misadventures of Bean Dad


Een gedachte over “Explicit teaching vs. constructivism: The misadventures of Bean Dad

  1. Thanks for sharing.

    An excellent refutation of Dewey’s “child-centered” silliness. However he spoiled his main points with a sly put-down of the “guide-on-the-side” approach to teaching.

    Guide on the side, if done right, is NOT discovery learning. It is a tactic that sets the stage for the learner with quick explanations and reference material (“You’ll need three items–a can of beans, a can opener, and a pot, and a stove. Here’s a video on how to use a can opener. Here’s the directions to use the stove.”), a demonstration (“Here’s how to open the beans. Pour them in the pot. Turn on the burner–be careful.”), and THEN the learner practices–guided first, then solo.

    “Guide on the side” is in contrast to “sage on the stage,” in which the chef stands at a podium with a 184 slide PowerPoint presentation and pontificates on the soil required to achieve the best bean flavor, the advantages of copper over aluminum, etc, etc, etc, while the learner sits and watches. And in the end does not know how to heat beans.

    A “Guide” is NOT a companion on a self-directed trip. A Guide is exactly what the word means–a Guide. A Guide knows the terrain, knows the paths through the woods, knows how to cook. A Guide accompanies the traveler, indicating which turn to take, which plant is okay to eat, guiding the learner.

    Other than that, an excellent refutation of the discovery learning nonsense.



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