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Home » Joe Ruhl: Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future (Transcript)

Joe Ruhl: Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future (Transcript)

Joe Ruhl at TEDxLafayette

Here is the full Transcript and summary of Joe Ruhl’s TEDx Talk: Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future at TEDxLafayette conference. This event occurred on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at The Civic Theatre, Lafayette.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:

Joe Ruhl – Teacher, Biology, Genetics, and Science Research courses

I have one of the best jobs in the world, because I get to work with people who are fun, funny, energetic, creative and insightful. They happen to be 14 to 18 years of age. I really do think kids keep a person young and I think that’s probably why when I’m in the presence of adults, I sometimes don’t know how to act, so you’ll forgive me.

So inspiring the students of the future. What really works? 37 years of teaching experience have taught me that two things are needed. Research-based teaching techniques and relationship. Relationship is huge, but we’ll talk more about that later. What I’d like to look at first are the techniques.

I think probably most of us remember the teacher-centered classroom. This is probably what we’re familiar with from our youth. You remember the teacher was up front in the center. The students were in nice neat rows, not allowed to talk to each other. And the teacher, the source of authority, downloaded information to the kids who regurgitated it back up on a test designed to measure how much content they could remember.

Now I have to admit I love lecturing but my students don’t always love it. It does not always inspire. So I was thinking: what really inspires? Years ago, I was doing lunch duty at school, standing in the lunchroom, being visible, watching kids go through the cafeteria line. And as I watched the kids going through the line, it occurred to me they loved having choices. And so I said to myself: maybe that would work in the classroom. Let the kids have choices and so that’s what I did. I converted my classroom to a situation where student choice was a big part of the room along with four other Cs: Collaboration, Communication, Critical thinking, and Creativity.

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