Thursday was my day of substituting missing teachers; no lesson plan from the absent teacher (emergency), no ICT room available, where I could work on my webquests, no better alternative, except for… studying.
Class shocstruck (earthquakes happen):
- Study, Mrs. Jorge!??! But we have nothing to study!
- How come students have nothing to study?!?! (Mrs. GoofyJorge) - Can you explain how an 8th grader has nothing to study, as if I were M. DumbGoofy?
The most recent perspectives of education, much focused on instrumental aspects of education, have neglected the fundamental concept of habit.
“Persuaded” (at last!) that I had no intention of leaving the “premises” without getting them to study, they still had to clean up the mess on the tables, I mean, technically the study area, loaded with all kind of gadgets, obviously highly expendable for the purpose of a classroom, except for books, notebooks, and dinosaur-alike stuff (Can we listen to music on our i-pods? Mrs. Jorge, pleeeease?, (ongoing negotiation - we are talking about a group of 8th graders here, folks)
If education has something to do with personal development, then it is fairly clear that education is to promote habits of work and reasoning, because the habits are the extension of our essential nature, they organize our lives, making it easier.
- In a few minutes, I’m going to check on what each one of you is studying (dramatically drawing personal checklist for substitutions.
(SternSurpriseStares at one another!)
Humans are, coressencially, unfinished projects, as far as they carry, along with their essential nature, the one they were born with, another one, the operational activation of the first, which is a result of hard work and effort, kind of ergonomical extension of nature.
Mr. Pimply, the one who, one of those days, had showed up at school loaded with cheapwhisky , spreads himself on the book of Physics - Springtime is no good ally.
- Come on, do you want help?
Education core task: scaffolding/ supporting the growth and blossom of Human Being: operari sequitur esse
Mr. Gellyhair, at the corner of Classroom, studies French with his book up:
- Studying French in perspective??
Ortega Y Gasset (Spanish philosopher) stated that we have a biographical life, meaning that our life experiences can activate, one way or another, - or simply not activate - our natural abilities.
Passed more two and offered support, gave the “tactics”
- Now, please write the conditional of the verb to see (voir, in French), I want to check out.
If education is about human development, the purpose of it is to develop a series of relatively consistent and stable patterns.
Habits are acquired through extensive practice, through the consolidation and stabilization of behaviour and the repetition.
- You two, what are you doing?
- We are collecting information for the Project Area
- We read, we highlight, we take notes.
- Okay. Proceed ( love this word: military great-grandfather, father, uncles, American nephew; lawyers, public attorney and judges: five cousins).
- Call me, if you need help.
Habits are acquired in very flexible - and diverse - ways. Students with good study routines, don’t always follow the same routine, but they all have something in common: caution, attention, self-esteem, self-regulation.
- HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, please! Take it easy ... we have to leave the room tidy, don’t we?
- Mr. Pimples, what’s that paper under your chair? Can you pick it up and put it in the recycle bin, please? Appreciated.
And everyone said good afternoon, Mrs. Macgoofyjorge!
It’s been such a pleasant day…
Quotes on Habits
Francis Bacon: Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.