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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

BOOK REPORT - Part 12 - So What Do You Do Now?


Eleven suggestions to begin the subversive activities in your classroom. As I reflect on this book, with one chapter remaining, I can't help but see that many of the things have become tools in many classrooms. The current strategies, described in this 1969 book, are either a result of teacher prep programs or "best practices" that have been shared through the years.
That said, these strategies are 40 years old now! They need to be updated. It has been amazing to me, though, to see how predictive the authors were in the vision of their future. This is a result of one of the strategies discussed in chapter 12.
The 11 suggestions:
1- Three questions to review everyday: a) What am I going to have my students do today?, b) What's it good for?, c) How do I know?
2- Avoid telling students any answers. Two articles on learning.
3- Listen to students for a day or two. Learn to listen to students to discover their views of what is relevant. Use "What's Worth Learning" chapter for list of questions to get students talking.
4- Present a problem and have students create list of questions to which answers would provide a solution to the problem. Teach kids how to ask good questions.
5- Identify why you give students the grades you assign them. Suspend and delay judgements about our students.
6- Convince yourself that your students are the smartest in the school. "Self-fulfilling prophecy" concept.
7- Promise and give the grade of 'A' to all students so they have no worries about a grade. A few will view opportunity to good off, but so what?, how many who previously tuned out may come back is the real question.
8- Provide future-oriented questions on exams or in discussions.
9- For most units or lessons the question - In what ways are media affecting our society? - I see this as especially important in web 2.0 world of personal journalism.
10- Some old measures may be necessary at times, but overall the goal herebis to create a methodological and psychological shift in emphasis in the role of teacher and student, and nature of the classroom environment.
11- Ask yourself how you came to know whatever things you feel are worth knowing. It likely did joy come from someone telling you something. Rediscover why you became a teacher.
Good chapter to provide practical application to the theory, ideas, and possibilities of the prior chapters.
 From R. Murry

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous


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