education | June 27, 2013

Teach The Love Of Learning—Not Just The Material: Pedro Noguera [VIDEO]

"What are your teachers focused on?" education speaker Pedro Noguera asks in his keynote at Summer Institute 2013. "Are they teaching students or are they covering the material?" This is a critical distinction to make, he explains. A major shortcoming in the education system is the focus on blazing through material; instilling an appreciation for that material and a love of learning are secondary. Noguera, who is an educator himself, says this needs to change.

Further, he believes that equity in education is a crucial component to student success. "Until a child's background does not determine how well they do in our schools, then we know we have work to be done," he tells the audience. "If your school is in fact reproducing the patterns of inequality that exist in your community, then you know that's what you've got to focus on." It's about capacity building, and cultivating talent, he adds. The classroom is not, as some school boards practice, a place to measure and group students. There is talent everywhere, Noguera argues. The schools that come out on top are those who recognize that background should not act as a barrier for success.

When Noguera takes to the stage, his audiences alternate between listening with rapt attention and bursting with applause. His keynote at the Summer Institute was no different. As well as his experience in the classroom, Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. He studies the influence that social and economic conditions in the urban environment have on the education system. What's more, he shows educators and policy makers how they can overcome these barriers and help the children they teach to thrive.

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health | June 26, 2013