As the opening keynote speaker at ISTE 2011 conference in Philadelphia, PA, University of Washington’s Dr. John Medina seeks to provide an answer on “what a good teacher might look like”.

In a passionate and convincing presentation, Medina explains how our brains are wired similarly and not so similarly, and how these affect learning and teaching.

Medina argues that it’s the “boulevards and alleyways within the structure of our brains”–the deepest recesses if you will–where the individual differences between humans actually lie. It is here that learning and specific differences reside. So, what makes a good teacher good is not readily apparent.

There are two parts to learning Medina argues. Collectively, improvisation and creativity are important parts of learning. And so too is memorization (to an extent and for a specific purpose). BUT, there is an important underlying balance between improvisation and creativity coupled with memorization (crystallizing knowledge); to be successful at learning anything both are equally essential to the process.

improvisation/creativity + database/knowledge = rich learning




NOTE: I just wish we could see his slides–it would make the video all that more complete.

Coming to a TEDTalk near you perhaps?

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