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Ryan Woll on Read With You Presents

Listen to the podcast here.


Bachelors in business administration

Started a cabinet making business

Got contractors license

Became a cabinet-making teacher

Became department chair, then V.P. assistant principal, now principal at high school

Masters in Education

Teaching in Context

Ties in with his background. Students that are taught concepts in isolation have trouble remembering it

When we used to learn vocabulary we would learn it by rote memorization.

That doesn’t work so well

Our brains our wired so that new knowledge has to have something to hang on. The way connections are made in our brain is that we have to link that information to something.

As educators and parents we help make that link for them

We teach when the concepts come up, and they have clues because of context around it

Science shows that when you do that a student is almost 20 times more likely to remember it

The idea is to take that same concept and teach them when the situation arises

It links better in their brains and stays there

“Our brains are a set of networks, you can hang a picture on a wall but you have to have a nail to hang it. Our brains are the same way. You can’t just through something into your brain and hope it sticks, you have to hang it on prior knowledge.”

One way to do this is by teaching the concepts as you go through a project

Teach the concepts as the students need the information in their project

The information becomes important for what they need to do right now

1. Hang it on prior knowledge

2. Relevant and meaningful right now

In education, use real world application so that the kids see how it will be used in life

Project based learning: do a project, like build something, teach the students as needed to complete

Problem based learning: go to an agency and ask what problems need to be solved. Find out the problem and the kids come up with some solutions.

In both situations, you change from push education system to a pull education system, where the kids come to you asking for information, seeking to be taught.

With memorization, there is a brain dump that happens after the test

Using the information gets the students engaged and they remember because they have applied the information

Learn-connect to previous learning- application-revision

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