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Sunday
Feb132011

Standing on my soapbox and Ranting about.................

The logic behind copying/photocopying an sections from textbooks into exercise books.

What's the benefit behind this?

Why waste time/ paper/ ink/ money doing something so totally useless????????

Alright, granting the fact that if one writes out something, one is supposed to be able to remember it better. But my point is, copying without understanding is just merely copying!

I am not a school teacher. But, I AM a teacher of sorts. In my years of teaching classical ballet, I have tried and tested some effective methods. I have found that 'parrot method' (copy/imitating) works well with little kids. In fact, they NEED to imitate you. Therefore, that is why I am a wreak after my Saturday morning class with the little ones. They literally keeps me on my toes. If I want them to jump up high, I better be jumping up high. If I want them to be starfishes, I better be a starfish lying on the seabed myself. You can explain till the cows come home but they will just stare at you with the expression, "Funny lady, what are you talking about?"

But as students gets older, the most effective way is to explain and reason with them. Almost like the ancient saying, "Give the man a bowl of rice, you will satisfy him for a day. Teach him to plant rice, he will be satisfied for the rest of his life" So there am I, explaining away or giving spicy analogies and I have had ex-students from days gone by, telling me that they still remember how to do certain steps, simply because of the certain keywords I used.

Back to my ranting. This is not a posting of what a great teacher I am :)

Why copy text in entirety? Wouldn't it be better to tell the students to read the textbook, and ask them to write down the important points? or summerise what they read? Or do a report and give their opinion about the chapter? Or do some research and add more details to, say if it's history, that particular incident or era. WHY COPY THE BLOODY TEXTBOOK???????? Didn't their parents pay good money to buy those beautifully bound textbooks? Ok, some of you may tell me, they belong to the Government and needs to return them at the end of the year. Perhaps that might be the reason WHY they COPY THE BLOOMING TEXTBOOK! Wouldn't it make more sense to just pick out important points rather than COPYING THE ENTIRE BLASTED TEXTBOOK.

Perhaps, copying is not the ultimate issue that set me going. I rather think it's PHOTOCOPYING. Photocopy pages upon pages and slap the icky glue onto the exercise book and stick the pages there. WHY??????????? Do teachers think that when students drag their parents all over town to get their textbooks photocopied, the information in the textbook will somehow be 'photocopied' into their brains. In your dreams, teachers. Those things only happen in the sci-fi world. I pretty much live in the sci-fi world but even Katy the Sci-Fi nut don't think that will happen.

Kids spend a good part of their life sitting down at their tables COPYING what they already have, and most of the time, with no understanding. They miss out on their bicycle rides, running around, a bit of TV time, quality time with their parents. Right now, their time with their parents are probably sitting at their study tables with a parent next to them, breathing down their neck, "Read carefully! You copied it wrong" or "Why so slow? You are not going out dinner with us. You stay home and finish your homework and we tar pau for you"

Is this quality childhood?

Young people are different now. Years ago, this system might have worked. As human being evolve, educators have to evolve and move with the times. So school teachers out there, I would love to hear from you. Please tell me the secret behind this 'copying thing'. Perhaps, it's some sort of secret weapon and it does work. Tell me, tell me. I would love to know.

 

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