Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A great definition of what we do

So today I finally got in the mail a book I had ordered about a month ago, Teaching Concepts: An Instructional Design Guide, by Merrill, Tennyson, and Posey. I'm so excited to read it. I'm really looking at trying to validate more of what we say we do. But that's just the kicker isn't it? We always have a hard time explaining to those who aren't in the know what it is exactly that we do. In the preface of this book they give a great explanation:
"There has evolved from the research conducted by cognitive and behavioral psychologists a set of very specific, empirically validated procedures for teaching concepts. If followed, these procedures provide far more efficient and effective concept instruction than that typically seen in classrooms or mediated instructional materials.

"The procedures outlined in this book may appear to be extremel laborious compared to procedures you are now using to prepare instructional materials. However, after you have prepared several lessons using the recommended procedures, you will find that your planning efficiency has actually increased. In addition, your students will find your lessons more enjoyable and much easier to understand.

"... Instructional design is a phrase which means selecting and arranging instructional materials in a way which helps students learn more efficiently and effectively. It also means selecting and arranging special materials which allow you as a teacher, or the students as learners, to find out whether they have learned what you intended."

Now that's pretty much how I explain things, but I found this entire passage really clear. I can't wait to read the rest of the book.

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