Real-World Examples Still Make for the Best Teachers
- Elizabeth Hayley
- 19 Jul 2017
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Since our new way of teaching learners is indeed somewhat of an on-going experiment, we still have the “tried and tested” curriculum and method of instruction to fall back on, but parents really have nothing to worry about because it’s turning out to be an ongoing experiment that’s yielding positive results. In fact, this forward-looking method of teaching seems to be a lot more inclusive than the former outcomes-based curriculum as well as the tried, tested and much-vaunted FET (further education and training) system which encouraged kids to gravitate towards a certain career path at an early age.
So one of the targets set forth by the adoption of this new method of teaching is that of delivering lessons through the use of real-world examples. It must be said that the method itself is akin to a vastly improved version of the outcomes-based system that failed to catch on properly following its trial run and roll-out in the early 2000s. The outcome is mind-blowing to say the least because learners are showing a greater retention of the information they are required to recall, but more importantly, they are demonstrating an inherent ability to come up with their own solutions where their minds are challenged to find a better way of doing things.
The teacher is becoming more of an overseer or an authoritative figure who is but only responsible for the coordination of proceedings and not the archaic do-as-I-say instructor, and it’s really working out well!
Learners are challenged with real-world problems for which they’re naturally commissioned to come up with real-world solutions and so real-world examples are used. I’ll tell you; mathematics becomes fun and easy when one of its lessons is delivered through a real-world example and it also starts to matter to the learners. The learners start to understand just exactly why we cover certain chapters which discuss certain mathematical principles they otherwise would have wondered why it is they have to do them.
On just a recent summer holidays school projects learners were put into groups of four and had to come up with the most efficient way to spend what was an imaginary budget they were given. They had to document what each of them got up to and the cost of each of those activities had to be deducted from the allocated points tally, with proof to be provided in the form of receipts. This was to be done and documented until each group’s budget was depleted and the aim was to stretch the budget to make it last for as long as possible into the summer holidays, while travelling the furthest distance and getting the most done by way of activities.
Some of the most interesting and creative collective efforts emerged, from learners each making use of a student bus pass discount to get around cheaper and save money (and points) in this way, right up to some learners deciding to cut back completely on their would-be summer holiday expenses, for which case they still had to provide proof, of course.
Lessons in bulk-buying for cheaper expenditure, interest earned on investments made (albeit very marginal interests) and some principles used in financial modelling were all instilled in the learners in a manner which had them easily grasping the same concepts by the time we went over to the text book to cover those same concepts.