I started reading the book “How humans learn” by Joshua Eyler. It’s billed as an idea book for college teachers. Being as I am a college teacher, and I like ideas about teaching — I have not been disappointed.
The first chapter deals with Curiosity. Humans learn because they are innately curious: humans come pre-programmed to learn.
Unfortunately, as Eyler explains (citing the research of others), high-stakes learning teaches humans to learn for reasons other than curiosity. “O wow” I thought, “that sounds exactly like my experience as a young student!”
Eyler suggests designing courses around key questions — so that instead of telling a student what they are expected to learn (which could rob them of the excitement and satisfaction of learning) the entire course is framed as a journey of discovery for the student.
I can see great benefits *IF* students will truly invest in it. But, because I teach college students, I have to counteract students who have already been rewarded for suppressing their natural curiosity!
Nevertheless, I have identified the following (work-in-progress) overarching questions for several of the courses I am teaching this semester:
* ESET 181 IT-OT Fundamentals: How are computers used to control critical the physical real world?
* ESET 4481 Critical Infrastructure Defense: How can we best defend critical infrastructure industrial control systems from intentional cyber attack?
* ESET 4487 Professional Development and Certification: How do you become a successful industrial cybersecurity professional?
These now feature prominently at the top of each course page. I have been referring back to them periodically as I interact with students, lecture, and lead discussions. I already like the feeling of congruence and direction it gives me and them.