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Culture of Classroom Discourse

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There's a culture o public discourse in classrooms in which the staff really gets results, and children have two responsabilities: They have to speack up, so people can hear you, and they have to listen and expect to be listened to. How many students in our classes when they say something is me teacher - student? That's the dynamics of most classroom discourse: Teacher-student... And when it's teacher-student... sleeping time for everybody else. If it is this, there's no expectation that anybody is gonna have anything to say about it. This business of the idea of this... or the idea of the hologram whatever is going on with adults it's also going on with children. Most of us are not great listeners Some people are born great listeners but most of us have to learn how to listen well and most staff meetings, most great level meetings somebody dominates, somebody shuts down there are a lot of stuff going on attending to this things and giving each other tools to work with can launch the conversation, This is a kind of a playful tool it allows us to own our stuff, you know and also works with kids. I've worked with kids as young as 2nd grade I had to change the language a little bit when I worked with kids that young, but all the way through high school, adults,couches,teachers, whatever... tools like this can launch the conversation and get us to agree to certain norms or rethink how we're actually talking to each other. What we are working on it's getting kids to hear to each other, to start to attend to each other. You can hear how hard that is you can see how hard that is because they are not used to expecting to have to pay attenction to one another student says. The idea that you have to repeat something and repeat it and repeat it most people think that's insane. I don't have time to do that, if you don't do that your kids are not learning, you are getting through the curriculum but you don't have any real evidence of learning. What happens in most classrooms is once a kid gives the right answer, we move on. We don't know why they gave the right answer We don't know if anybody else has the same thinking or agrees with the answer or not but we heard what we wanted to hear, so move on... That's what teaching is most of the time. My advice: slow down... and find out who heard what. So the basic beginning moves if you want teacher to begin to work on this... if they are convinced that talk is important and frustraiting because they can't get it going then here is what you do: The first thing the teacher needs to do is ... No matter what a kid says when you ask a question you ask them further questions: What do you thing.. tell me how you got that, or say more about that... Any phrase that will get the kid to tell you what they are thinking whether the answer is right or wrong.. because we have to help the teachers get away from the right-answer nonsense too. It's not about right answers it's about developing reasoning and the capacity to articulate and communicate. 2:The simpliest,easiest move and one a lot middle school and high school teachers are afraid of is turn and talk, restating by students. The teachers are doing the work, the teachers are doing the learning. That's it.. whoever is doing the work is doing the learning. And finally the teacher at moments revoices things so there are reasons why the teacher would revoices but it is not at the beginning and it's not every time it is when the kids are now at a place where they've been grappling with an idea and we need to give some clarity. We need to highlight the idea. So those are the 3 or 4 beginnig moves of starting to get talk going in the classroom. Any video would get you conversation.. looking for videos where you have great talks of people starting to have images of what it looks like and also images of regular-everyday type classroom so you can compare and contrast them and start to have discussions, dialogue debate about how important is this talk thing and how much are we willing to invest in getting it to get happening in our classrooms... if you thinck it's not important don't bother go on something else. I wanna speak for 2 seconds on this cicle like is not really a cicle so much the stages the people go through as they start to get in this collaborative groups. The whole teaching proffesion for the last 100 years has been individual preference basically and we work by ourselves in isolation. A hundred years of history here, probably more, not only in Canada, in any western country, that's what it's been and now we are moving to this collaborative work Well, when you put a buch of individuals that were used to autonomy, their own preference, etc. when they sit in a group the first thing they experience is a feeling like they have to compromise which is all about winning and losing... like my point I'm going to stick to it or I'm giving this even if it's what everybody wants me to do.. so neither feels very good, but it's usually a first stage in learning to work together. Then comes cooperation where we come to be nice to each other maybe we get a bit further along in our thinking or we can actually ground something and then comes collaboration collaboration takes a lot of skill collaboration is a deep process that is not about compromising and is not about 100% consensus is about using evidence and data and working on a project and looking at what is working and trying it again and all those kind of things So this adult path is mirrowed in the classroom you see the same thing with kids they would compete with each other they want star, they want... if you put them in groups you'll see kids back in off and kids dominating maybe you'll get to some cooperative language and then eventually you'll get to collaboration if you are paying attention to those things So I'm always thinking on two levels I always think of how do an adult operate what kind of feedback are we giving each other or are we willing to receive and then what it is look like in the classroom when we cultivate our own habits, they show up in the classroom and they raise the bar for what actually for what is actually going on in the classroom.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 2 seconds
Country: Canada
Language: English
Producer: Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities
Views: 154
Posted by: innovacionmestrado on Feb 11, 2012

Lucy West talking about the culture of classroom discourse, as part of the Leading Student Achievement Project, Ontario, Canada.

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