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10-05-2008 @ 12:51AM
Thank you. As a PhD student, teaching assistant, and eventual professor... very often I find myself helping students by simply going to an assignment's description and just dragging them through the exercise of actually critically reading it and establishing carefully and precisely the assignment's specifics, restrictions and requirements. Often once they fully understand where they have to begin and where they have to end, they can form a plan, determine steps and start getting useful work done.Anything... anything parents can do to enhance their child(ren)'s ability to read critically and to absorb and apply information is a great boon to them. Today you can find out nearly anything in a few seconds online... but if you don't possess the capability to actually extract and apply what you read, you're effectively lost.@TuhljinScary or not, it's how it works. While I'm not trying to connect with students based on Pokemon or Starburst-powered Martian Princesses, I definitely approach an explanation of a topic differently based on what my audiences' experiences are. I can explain the same thing to a mathematician, a statistician, a theoretical computer scientist or an electrical engineer in a way that they would understand, but none of the others would. The important thing is to discover what your audience knows already, what memes and processes they already understand, and to basically create metaphors between what you want to teach and what they know. Once you give them a foothold in the new stuff, you can expand from there, working from the base of understanding a metaphor related to something they already know.
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