The convenience of having an actual living, breathing 5th grader in my home during the popular weekly game show may not be all that convenient.
As a family we enjoy watching the show and pretending we are the participants and my step-daughter plays the role of the student. Sometimes she’s right and sometime my wife and I are. But it’s just a game and not really what is taught in school, right? Wrong!
Last week I overheard my wife and step-daughter, Lauren going over math homework. As I listened I could tell Lauren was getting frustrated. My wife is an analyst by profession and numbers and math are her friends, but I was getting the sense she was getting impatient, too. I simply made the comment, “You’re making it harder than what it is.” Oh, was that the wrong thing to say! In my wife’s loving voice she said, “Here!” and handed me the worksheet.
How hard can it be? It’s 5th grade math. It was a simple worksheet where the student was given a grid with blank numbers, figure out the pattern, and enter the missing digits. From that, the task was to write an equation using the rule: ax+b=c. Seems simple enough.
Not only did the worksheet instructions not make sense, there was no reference to a text book to understand how the rule works. In my mathematic wisdom, I figured if I started back at the basics of how the rule worked, we could answer the questions with ease. When Lauren about the text book she explained to me that everyone just took notes off the board. Ok, so where are the notes? I found myself getting frustrated as well for a few reasons: 1) I should know this stuff. 2) I was disappointed in the lesson. 3) It really did not make sense. It was getting late and past her bedtime and we (all 3 of us) did the best we could and recommended Lauren ask for more help the next day.
I pondered this for the remaining of the night and several questions came to mind:
- How many time are we presented with things we have to ReLearn?
- How often do our learners not understand the material we present to them in the workplace?
- How often do we memorize material to simply pass a test?
- The term “applied math” came to mind again and I thought about how much do we really teach “appied learning” in the workplace?
Even writing this more questions come to mind. The idea of ReLearn is the theory of being presented with a task that we know we were taught at one time in our past, but have essentially “dumped” the knowledge because it did not pertain to everyday life, our workplace, our homes, etc. I don’t think we can categorize ReLearning in any sort of organizational manner, rather they are opportunities that simply appear when a particular task arises. Some things come back to us easy, while others we have to start from the beginning again. I don’t like starting over because I know I had already learned the ‘task’ and it bothers me my brain cannot retain every last morsel of knowledge ever taught to me.
I think I’m going to study ax+b=c some more just in case…