We hear it all the time. Students say, “I get it when my teacher shows it to me, but I can’t do it on the test.” Then parents tell us that their child “doesn’t test well.”
When children say, “I get it when my teacher shows me,” what they’re really saying is that they didn’t learn it for themselves.
Turning New Knowledge into Prior Knowledge
The process of turning “New Knowledge” (NK) into “Prior Knowledge” (PK) is what I call “internalization.” When our brain receives new information, it looks to store it somewhere meaningful. If there is no related PK to connect it to, then the NK remains just that, unrelated, unconnected information that has no lasting memory.
However, when the NK finds a comfortable home, it is connected to meaningful PK and can now begin the process of internalization, that is going from NK to PK.
Christopher discusses his strategies for teaching music and compares learning music with regular classroom learning. His music program, School of Rock, holds strong examples and practices that can be employed in the traditional classroom. One of the biggest lessons Chris brings to classroom teachers is the need for students to practice independently, exploring and building curiosity and interests independently, then applying it — performing it – in the larger classroom. Continue reading →