Let (or help) students do the thinking

I agree intellectually, but still find this amazing, and a bit guilty, emotionally:  a proficient teacher rarely finishes any of the cognitive work that students could own.”  -Wow.  In other words, the students not only should think critically, not only ought to be encouraged to think, but must think critically, and for themselves!  This is what school should have always been!  This is not the teacher who asks, waits half a second, and then answers her own question while the students sit and look at her:  this is pushing kids to use that gray matter between their ears as if they really were real people -and they are!

(Yes, I am hearing the theme song of “Kids are People, Too!” from way back when!!)

*Quote comes from the Teaching Fellows core rubric: http://www.noycefdn.org/documents/hccollab/TNTP_Core%20Teaching%20Rubric.pdf


Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

3rd of June, 2016


2 thoughts on “Let (or help) students do the thinking

  1. Hi ShiraDest,

    Just in case you are interested, I am posting here as well my response to your comment on my blog:

    I think that motivation is largely inherent. As I see things, allowing the child to choose what they want to learn is not “giving up” on the child – it is rather respecting their individuality.

    The notion that a teacher can cause a student to be interested in a given subject is disrespectful toward the child. It implies that the child’s interests are determined from the outside rather than being part of the child’s individual nature.

    Note that for various reason people (including children) often learn things they are not interested in. That is possible, but difficult. Teachers should be aware when that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Sorry, I got no notification of your reply to my comment on your blog: will check my notifications…) -Difficult, yes, but also, depending on the situation, necessary. Kids growing up in At-Risk neighborhoods in Inner-City schools here in the US have been shown to perform far far better when teachers learn to motivate them to learn: by not allowing them to opt-out of required subjects. It is more disrespectful, imho, to allow a child still too young to know his/her interests, to decide not to study a topic that will play an important role in the child’s future success. Respecting individuality can come dangerously close to not expecting children to be able to perform as well as their more affluent peers (as the Postal Code performance studies show).


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