Three ways of learning
- Study a book
- Follow expert advice
- Learn from your classmates
For this next week, create three sections in your homework for each of these three sources, follow some of the advice of each, and reflect on how differently you learned from each
- Your task is to learn SQL, so the question is not really what your preference might be, but how differently each of these methods brings you up out of what you know and into a different world: learning, in this view, is transformative
1. Study a book
- Sometimes one learns best from instructions like “do this, do that,” so for the next week: do ALL of the examples in Chapter 2 and maybe even Chapter 3 of HFSQL
The book is the result of years of work and thought about teaching and learning and how differently and maybe better one might learn SQL, so observe what you learned and how and report on that (don’t repeat the formulas, do observe, for example, what you learned when you filled in every single line of the exercises: what concepts, methods, principles did you see that you had not seen before?
2. Follow expert advice
- Read again my advice For 24.6.19 and see what you might learn from that you hadn’t seen, done, thought, or responded to before
My advice is precisely that, advice — weaker than a command, stronger than a suggestion — based on my studies and experience teaching, so some of it might apply to you this week or next, one cannot say for sure, but try to follow it: “you can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Write up the one or more things you found here that you explored and found helpful, describe your discoveries about SQL and learning, so that when we meet in class we’ll be able to thank each other: you thank me for the help, I’ll thank you for doing some great work, and so it is with teaching and learning: this is about people.
3. Learn from your classmates
- Identify one or more things you find in the homework last week of Daniel, Ralitsa, Simeon, and Oriana AND as you applied it: don’t say, “oh, I learned so much …,” do apply what you learned from them and begin to document it so that the compliment is real and the example is stunning: we really all do learn from each other — and as you can see I learn from you, too!
I spent a year, full-time, learning SQL and Oracle Database Administration, I worked my way through entire books as if you are going to run such systems you have to be prepared for everything, so I think I can say that there is a LOT of interesting stuff to be learned. But the problem is, our differences in age, preparation, motivation, etc., mean that what works for me might not work so well for you. The thing to do is figure out what I am after, follow the advice of books and experts, but also solicit the advice of your classmates as relevance is often the better part of advice — as you saw Ralitsa and Simeon did so incredibly well last week — and where each of you helps the other by sharing questions, coming up with ideas, etc., etc. If you don’t have a good partnership like they do, at least do your best to figure out how their conversation worked to their mutual advantage — how one tries the front door, when that doesn’t work asks a neighbor, then the back door, through the windows — as there is a fixed language in sql that you have, ultimately, to learn, but there are multiple ways of getting there. Write up how you found your way.
So, how did it go?
- Explain to someone, preferably outside our class, what this exercise is about and how it went, and in the process discover something about your learning — and write down what you discussed
- What are the three most important things you discovered about SQL, and by that I mean not simply a definition of some term or description of some procedure or concept, but what you learned: what lead you to scratch your head, see something you’d not seen before, though you will definitely compare it to something, and how you thought, gee, this is really important, this is really going to help me in LIFE.