Field of Science

Can a boomer teach a millenial?

In an article on teaching the millennial generation, the author concludes, that "the onus is on teacher educators to develop pedagogically appropriate teaching and learning strategies for their millennial students". Should this worry the Phactor since he still thinks he has a few more years of teaching left before retirement? The answer is quite simply, no. Once again someone who studies education has got it exactly bass-ackwards. Now even a semi-Luddite such as myself has adapted to using new technologies in teaching and studying organisms. And no question this is a different generation used as they are to constant input and distraction, instant gratification and communication, social networking and other impersonal interactions, and their multitasking, all of which seems to result in frequently distracted, easily bored students who have trouble paying attention or concentrating on a problem for more than a minute. OK that's the problem, and you ain't gonna fix it by changing your pedagogy to accommodate it. Sooner or later you still have to know something, and in botany that means spending enough time working with plants, observing plants, and thinking about plants that the knowledge is deep enough and complete enough to be useful. So rather than worrying about how to pedagogically adapt my teaching to accommodate the habits of millennial, the Phactor is going to work at breaking their bad learning habits. Hey, it can be done; no one watched more TV during their youth, and some of us actually turned out to be productive intellectuals, or what passes for intellectuals these days.

1 comment:

mr_subjunctive said...

The media rediscovers the existence of young people every ten years or so and then tries to make them out to be something completely new and different, completely unlike previous generations.

This has, so far, not been true.