And now we come to the meat of the book. Whereas the first part of the book explained the PIRATE system, the second part is all about creating the lessons the utilize the parts of the system. As Dave says, it’s one thing to read about the system and find oneself agreeing with it; it’s a whole other thing to take the parts of that system and create something powerful and engaging for students.
This particular chapter introduced the third circle, the one often bypassed by teachers. One circle is content, and another is technique/methods. As teachers, we have been trained in both of these. As time goes on, we take professional development and college courses to update ourselves on our content and techniques. However, what many tend to ignore is the third circle, which is presentation.
I know many teachers who shun presentation, and find that education is not entertainment. A song and dance should not have to be done in order for students to pay attention and learn the material. They should learn the material because it’s required. At the same time, is that enough? Required material alone doesn’t mean that students learn it, or even adults for that matter.
Think about the museums or historical presentations that you’ve gone to in the past. Some were certainly better than others. The ones that drew you in had an engaging element to them. You didn’t realize you were retaining so much information until afterwards. You were so caught up in the presentation that you didn’t know you were learning.
Now think about the lectures or trainings that you’ve been to that you were bored to tears. You needed to learn the information and you needed to retain it, but the presenter was just so boring. You’re probably thinking of a particular class or training right now. You’re surprised that you remembered anything from it at all. Did you pay attention to what was being said? Or did you try to keep yourself awake and do other things instead?
These are the things one is left to ponder before the next chapter…