Greg Freedman’s Digital Portfolio

About Greg


I am a teacher at heart. I am also a learner. To me, the two are one and the same. If one is curious and passionate about the world, then you are going to want to find out more about it and if you find something really cool or interesting, then you are going to want to share it. Basically, it goes something like this: "Whoa! What is that?" "Let me check this out." "That is awesome!" "Look what I found."


I have been teaching for a long time, but I always try to keep a beginner's mind. I always think about what it would be like to learn something for the first time and I'm always curious about the unanswered questions. There are always unanswered questions. There is always ambiguity. There is always grey area. That is the place that is the most interesting. That is the place my classroom explores. That is the place that promotes and hones critical thinking. 


Teaching and learning are about making connections. According to schema theory all new knowledge has to connect with prior knowledge in order for it to make sense to the learner. That is why it is so important for a teacher to activate prior knowledge about a subject before delving too deeply into it. "What do you know about this subject?" "Do you have any experience with it?" That way the new ideas or concepts can more easily connect to the student’s prior knowledge. "Oh, I see, it's kind of like that other thing. It is a very similar concept." The brain seems to work the same way. We develop neural pathways linking thoughts, emotions, and memories. As we learn, our brain literally makes more and deeper connections. The ease with which teaching, and learning takes place is in proportion to the connection between student and teacher. If it is a relationship built on mutual trust and respect, then learning is more likely to take place. Once again, from learning theory to neuroscience to psychology, teaching and learning is about making connections.