Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Six Facets of Understanding

Today we covered an interesting topic: how do we measure a student's level of understanding?

As teachers, we need to first accept that their are multiple forms of literacy. While the inner English teacher in me would traditionally identify literacy as the ability to read and comprehend any given text, I accept that literacy encompasses a wide range of abilities and modes of understanding. If I were to look at a piece of Theater, I'm willing to bet that a Theater major would be more than capable of identifying the different dramatic elements that would establish the value of that performance. In that sense, the Theater major would be more literate than I would be as my own education has mainly focused on evaluating the worth of a text.

With that said, I then can accept the idea that there are multiples levels of learning. To understand something, a student has to be trained to see past traditional notions of knowledge and skill. In the example I listed above, I would benefit more from an education that recognized that intellectual comprehension escapes its traditional definition of textbook analysis.

This is where the Six Facets of Understanding our Professor introduced really took hold with me. If a student can explain, interpret, apply, have a perspective, empathize, and create a sense of self knowledge, then he or she would be more than able to effectively comprehend both a complex text like James Joyce's Ulysses or a dramatic piece like "Fate of a Cockroach".

The next few entries will go into more detail as to how I view the importance of the Six Facets. For now, I will end this post by saying that these facets genuinely intrigue me and I cannot wait to use them during my tutoring sessions/future class sessions.

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