Friday, June 24, 2011
A brief thought for further consideration
According to research, a great way of teaching background knowledge is to teach key vocabulary. (Marzano has something rapidly approaching 6 books on the topic.) It is very possible to know some information or possess some skill without having the vocabulary for it; for example, children from Spain conjugate verbs in the second-person plural imperfect without ever knowing what those words mean. Another example is a basketball player who knows nothing about physiology or trigonometry, but has a free-throw average of 80%. It is, however, very difficult to teach a concept without a shared vocabulary. To give a skill without a vocabulary would involve simply modeling a skill over and over, and having the student mimic it. To give knowledge without the vocabulary...again, modeling, maybe? That's tougher, I think.