Likewise, I would consider allowing students to propose a legitimate video-based documentary on a topic ordinarily presented through traditional textbook and lecture presentation about Cold War geopolitics could substitute a qualifying video documentary in preparation for objective tests. Other students may wish to explore the prospect of learning the same material from audio tapes where such material exists.
In my opinion, the benefits of such an approach within the learning-centered environment is twofold: (1) it stimulates exploration capable of revealing greater academic potential than achievable for particular students through the more limited traditional approach, and (2) it could conceivably help students whose mediocre academic performance belies their raw intelligence, as measured by diagnostic intelligence testing. In my humble opinion, the near-exclusive focus of traditional education on textbook-based learning allows a substantial number of students with considerable intellectual potential to fall through the proverbial cracks of the modern educational system. In many cases, students fail to reach their academic potential by virtue of their greater relative ability to learn through different modes of instruction and elements of practical experience.
Ultimately, I view my most important function as an educator to be the encouragement of my students to discover their optimal learning mechanism, especially to the extent aspects of it lie outside the traditional focus of academic instruction. If I am fortunate enough to fill a faculty position at Waubonsee Community College, I hope to stimulate my students to understand how they learn as a method of increasing their retention of what they learn.
League for Innovation in the Community College Homepage. Retrieved October 6, 2008 from www.league.org/league/projects/lcp/index.htm
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