Quotes on Teaching, Found in a Notebook

“A teacher’s modeling  is as important (to the student’s learning) as the subject matter they teach.”  

 – something I heard back in July, scrawled in a notebook

Yes… put another way:  A teacher’s modelling is the subject matter they teach.

This especially holds true where the instructional goals include the Affective Domain… and really, don’t all instructional goals have an affective component whether or (usually) not the instructional designer considered addressing one?

Next line down in the notebook, a later quote from the same person:

“Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”


About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on December 5, 2010, in Instructional Design, Learning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A classic bait-and-switch going on here, Daniel. Just when I think this is going to be a simple, straightforward, easily-grokked concept you go and throw in the link to Affective Domain and I am down a rabbit hole in an instant! Fortunately, I actually wrote out a To Do list already and have committed to getting the first three things done before venturing off the path, so I was able to claw my way up out of the hole without watching the video, or the other videos, or go more than two rows down the table.

    Well played, and thank you. I will have much to learn from this seemingly quick post!

  2. Thanks Stephen… well, just to dive into my own “rabbit hole” for a moment, I spent a bit more time on that link on the Affective Domain (http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Introduction_-_What_is_the_Affective_Domain%3F) and while it’s a nicely structured online “lesson” with some multi-media illustrations, I’ve decided it actually does a poor job of explaining what the Affective Domain really is and it muddles the distinction between Instructional Goals and Instructional Strategies.

    Praising a student is not an instructional goal… it’s a strategy. Deciding — as part of the lesson plan — that your goal is to inspire a student to value something, and therefore designing the lesson in response to that goal, well, THAT is what us Affective Design folks are after. It’s a non-trivial distinction that has held back the quality of education significantly.

    Anyway Stephen, thanks for modeling good task focus / prioritization / time management practices, even as you caused me to spend some time re-evaluating that link…

  3. In the spirit of the Meme Menagerie Completist Scrapbook approach:

    Updated the link on the post to this simple table that (mostly) explains what kinds of instructional goals are considered Affective (versus Cognitive or Psychomotor): http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/Objectives/affective.htm

    There seems to be a dearth of well-produced, authoritative content on the Affective Domain on the “scratch the surface” layer of the Interwebs… I chalk it up as a symptom of the overall lack of interest / motivation in the traditional Instructional Systems Design research community to investigate this “touchy feely” area.

    One of the best, succinct and concrete pieces I found was a PDF for Emergency Response instructors, http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/ems/Instructor/Module%2018%20-%20Affective%20Domain.pdf which simply and clearly describes it thus:

    The affective domain deals with personal issues: attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and emotions
    1. Educators believe it is one of the most difficult areas of thinking to influence
    2. Some educators believe that we cannot influence students in this area


    Educators must understand the degree of responsibility we accept when we step
    into the classroom
    1. We have a strong influence on our students
    2. They learn from and model our behaviors

    Another good, but more lengthy and academic text was this one:

    The author spends a lot of time looking at the different instructional strategies used to target Affective Domain goals. As the author writes in her conclusion, “Attitudinal components are present in many, if not most, instructional plans, whether or not they are stated explicitly.”

    Some good (aspirational, paper-based, if and when I ever come back to exploring this subject) text references here: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/lit.html

    Lastly, here’s a web page that does a good exposition of Krathwohl and Bloom’s hierarchy or “levels” of the Affective Domain: http://cetl.matcmadison.edu/efgb/2/2_3_6.htm. I’m not entirely “with” this model, and the fact that it’s analogous to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is less than convincing (with all due respect to Maslow’s elegant and sometimes-even-useful model). There is a massive opportunity for someone to do a PhD thesis which establishes a neurological basis for ranking or categorizing Affective Domain verbs/goals.

    Whew… okay… so which real world business priority have I been avoiding by compiling all this academic nonsense?

    Ah yes, sleep.

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