Last week I received an email that read:
Dear Professor Giles,
Do you have a few minutes in the next week or two to discuss your upcoming courses?
I would love to learn more about your materials and if creating a customized print or digital reader (with content such as cases, book chapters, journal articles, out of print books, or original work) might be a good fit for you. We also publish original manuscripts and anthologies for the national market.
Please let me know when you are available and I will look forward to hearing from you soon!
All my best,
So I started thinking about the course I’m teaching right now and what materials I use. While it is an intense course, I’m pretty sure the materials are not exactly the type that could be printed out in book form or compiled for a digital reader. The “manuscript” is definitely an original one though, but I hardly have time to edit it these days.
For example, yesterday’s lessons for this course involved listening to a lizard rustle through the leaves in a bush, watching birds fly overhead and the tree get blown around by the wind, knocking down stacks of blocks, and learning how to turn the corner when cruising around the table.
I’ve seen the results of some studies recently stating that programs designed to teach three-month-old babies how to read don’t actually teach the baby to read, they just trick the parent into thinking the baby can read (Study finds ‘educational’ products can’t make babies geniuses — or even give them an advantage). That seems like a “duh” thing to me. Right now we’re teaching Iddo books are awesome by letting her see us with them all the time. She’s real good at turning the pages on her board books when we read them to her. And she’s picking up on the cadence of speech by listening to us. And that’s exactly what she should be learning with regards to “reading” right now.
Right now she’s not learning her letters and numbers, she’s learning the physical and chemical properties of the world. She’s learning about texture, is something hard or soft, rough or smooth. What do things smell like? What do they taste like? What does it sound like when you bang it against different things? Is it heavy or light? Does it roll? She got real upset when she first discovered wooden blocks do not roll like a ball.
I’ve taken and taught some interesting courses in my life. But this current course I’m teaching is teaching me a lot.