Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ya Think?

Teacher: "What do you think about...?"

Student: "I don't know."  Translation: What do you want me to think?

A recent post by Jason Dyer  regarding the findings of Piaget being re- interpreted by James McGarrigle and Margaret Donaldson has me thinking about how often I give off context clues without even thinking about it. 

*nodding head, smiling* "Do you understand now?"

*raising hand* "Raise your hand if you get it."

*squinting with furrowed brow, head cocked to the side* "Can you explain how you got that answer?"

And more importantly, how I perpetuate the very thing that I beleive is wrong with education.

They cue in fast...really fast.  Mine cue in faster than others 'cause I got the smart ones.  But you know what, they don't think better than the others, they just figure out what the teacher wants to hear faster and at a higher accuracy rate.  They play "school" better. The ones who are the real thinkers are the smart kids we call lazy.  Yeah, that one-- the kid who doesn't turn stuff in or do homework but crushes every test.

I am starting to think it's not his fault. Maybe, just maybe, he's just not interested in me giving him answers to questions he doesn't care to ask.

1 comment:

kevin said...

Good post. More and more I've been thinking about such cues and how we 'rig' our student responses. I should start practicing some basic responses that I say no matter what they respond.

I think we let our own desire for them to succeed bleed out through our expressions, creating a situation where they can read our face and our tone and navigate their way to the answer like the horse that could do arithmetic.