Short and sweet today...I have been teaching about the Industrial Revolution for a few weeks now and I really was starting to feel like the kids "got it". They were understanding the big ideas, how people's lives changed, what it lead to and came from. Until that it is...
Me: "So let's think about some short and long term changes that would come as a result of the innovations and inventions during the Industrial Revolution. For example, what might be a short term, immediate change after the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed and people could travel all the way west across Canada on the train?"
Student A: "Easier transportation of goods and people."
Me: "Yup, excellent."
Student B: "More people would immigrate west into the open land."
Me: "Love it. Anymore?"
Student C: "There would be a lot less pollution because more people would take the train and that would mean that there would be less cars on the road going west."
Me: "Ummm, okay...let's step back a bit and think about this?"
Sometimes teaching is such an...adventure? I've learned, over and over, that I should never take prior knowledge for granted. Background knowledge is such a powerful thing and I think that teachers, myself included, too often forget that our students aren't bringing as much knowledge as we are to the classroom.
A little knowledge goes a long way and I believe it's not only our job to teach students what they need to know for the future, but what they need to know from the past to help them learn even more in the future.