7 Comments

  1. I am usually suspicious of statements like “it’s more work” or “it’s harder work” when talking about a new role, school, grade, class, subject or way of teaching. In my mind, it’s often just “different work”. We’d all be a lot happier if we saw new situations as opportunities to work differently rather than complain that our comfortable processes are no longer effective.
    It’s true that we do too much thinking, questioning and talking for students. The person doing the talking and questioning is the person doing the thinking. If we never give students opportunities to formulate and ponder great questions, how can we possibly be surprised and disappointed when they can’t do it?

  2. Douglas Gorham

    George:
    This is a timely article for me, which often seems the case for your posts. I am inclined to comment because my 7/8 team was discussing homework and whether or not students should write it down themselves or just rely on their teachers to populate their to do list. We have responsibility as a core value and I am on the side of having students take ownsership of knowing what their assignments are for the evening. In response the the leading quote, I believe that when teachers do this work for the students they are denying the students the opportunity to be accountable for their own learning. At some point, they will be left to do this on their own. Seems as more high schools and colleges are doing this. When will students learn how to maintain a planner if adults in their life do this for them daily?
    Doug

  3. Ken

    George, your comments are right on the mark! I am a big fan of Harry Wong’s belief that the hardest working people in the classroom should be the students! Thanks for sharing.

    Ken

  4. Peggy Rinkenberger

    Thanks! I have been working to implement more student-centered assignments that allow my kids to use and develop their skills while developing and deepening their understanding of the material. Yesterday looked a bit like the old teacher-centered approach. This came at the perfect time for me!

  5. Desiree Finestone

    Your post immediately brings educational consultant, Kath Murdoch’s provoking questions to mind:
    • Are students ‘doing the learning’ rather than having the learning ‘done to them’?
    * Are students doing the cognitive ‘heavy lifting’ or is the teacher doing all the hard thinking work?
    When I find myself racking my brains and ‘sweating’ in the classroom, these 2 questions always seem to have the power to shift my approach to the learning and get the kids to do the ‘heavy lifting’. Amazing how the atmosphere within the room changes when learning is flipped and the students start to take over.
    Thank you George, thank you Kath for encouraging this ‘shift’.

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