Saturday, June 20, 2009

too much talk, - let's just do it ! - ( Theory VS Practice )

Five people sit around a table: 
"Let's play this board game called 'Barricade'.
These are the rules: 
Throw the dice and the person with highest number starts. 
you walk the number you got on the dice. 
If you land on another player's piece they go back home. 
But below this line you are not allowed to throw people.
If you hit a barricade you can take it but only if you land on it, otherwise it's a block." 
"You mean if you land on a barricade you take it?" 
"Yes, that right." 
"What do you do with the barricade ?" 
"Plonk it in front of another person." 
"Anyone ?" 
"Yep, anyone, except under this line." 
"I can't remember all the rules anymore. When can you take another person again ?"

"Oh look, let's just play it and work it out as we go along...."

Play commences.Jack enters the room.
"Hey, Jack, want to play ?" 
He sits down. 
"What do I do ?" 
"You just roll the dice and try to get to the top here. Just start and you'll pick it up".
There is a lot of talk about how much theory and how much practice is the right mix for students. There is much erudite discussion in the pedagogical literature about the importance of hands-on teaching. 
In practice it varies and it is the teacher's job to sense the right mix and the right mood.
It is really not that much more difficult than knowing when you have eaten enough and need to go for a walk.