At some point in the past I though teaching was planting new ideas in vacant space. Sort of the “use a bucket to fill a pot” idea. I touched up the science I understood and tried to deliver it only to find out there was poor reception. That was my introduction to problem solving in my classroom:
Problem = lack of interest and motivation;
Solution = motivate students.
[Notice here that the “stuff” I was teaching was sidelined immediately by a larger problem].
Now I see my teaching more in the mode of problem solving: I problem solve (How to motivate? How to communicate? How to design activities so that students learn by doing (rather than “do and hope to learn”).
And I realize students are in the same boat; problem solving: How do I identify what I need to learn? How do I learn it? How do I motivate myself to learn what does not appear interesting? How do I connect this with my life?
I teach content; but content is nested inside method so that method and content “feed off each other.” Or, like they say in biology, “method and content are in a positive feedback loop where the presence of one stimulates the other and both increase over time.”