Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Interview with Herbert Puchta: How teens learn #IATEFL2016

Reporting on my favourite Herbert Puchta's interview today, talking on how we should teach teenagers.
According to H.Puchta, teens should develop response-ability as well as responsibility in the classroom and he reflects on the two roles that the teacher has:

  • we have to develop the students' language
  • we also have to be educators and support students in developing themselves, their personality, their responsibility. we have to prepare them as citizens of tomorrow's world.
But how do we make teenagers talk?
Although current materials focus on personalization, we have to understand that sometimes the questions do not make sense, if they are for example: "Do you like bananas?".
We need to find ways to challenge teens, to develop their critical thinking.
Herbert Puchta explained that his research is based on neuro-biology and the development of the teenage brain.
In teenagers, there seems to not to be a connection between the limpic system of the brain, which is responsible for our emotions and the pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for logical thinking.
As a result, teens are very emotional, they take risks more easily and they are not mature enough to foresee possible consequences of their behavior.
This can be dangerous with the temptations of the modern world.
So they have to develop their basic skills as well as go beyond superficiality,
Learning should be fun, but should not always be about entertainment. Teenagers have to face real issues in the real world. They have to learn values. Sometimes they look "cool", but they are very insecure. So they have to learn the difference between right and wrong.
Self-esteem is very important.
If their self-esteem is very high, they can be foolish, and it it is to low, they are very defensive, this can also lead to provocative behavior, they don't take teachers or other students seriously, sometimes it leads to bullying or some kind of aggressive behavior.
As teachers we have to help them to develop their own self, their self worth.
It is critical for teachers to take decisions of what they are going to teach, and this should bot only be about celebrities, but also about real world issues and problem solutions. 

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