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I’d probably be OK if this was all they really took away from my class

March 26, 2013

“It’s amazing how much the children already know, and it makes me wonder how much of our own knowledge was “oppressed” buy vocabulary and worksheets.”

“I am learning in this class that you build off what the children know.”

“I have always thought I had to teach a lot of background knowledge before actually teaching the topic. It is amazing how much children already know or can come up with–ideas that are closely related to the topic and will guide them to the “right” answer.”

“What I have started to realize is that student’s have more of that information then I am giving them credit for,… taking information from experiences that they already have to apply to the new topic.”

“I am definitely guilty of assuming students this young are not capable of in depth discussion and critical thinking.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2013 7:33 pm

    it is pretty amazing to think how these teachers may operate and think differently from teachers who do not yet believe these things– kudos!

    • March 26, 2013 9:44 pm

      Kudos with a caveat I suppose. I’m happy to help plant the seed, and to help plant it with some initial excitement about it. But nurturing that seed, and helping them to translate that idea into action is a whole different story.

  2. March 26, 2013 9:24 pm

    Please share what experience prompted this!

    I wish I could get my students to have these realizations about themselves and each other. *sigh* Do you think it is easier to notice in other people before noticing it in oneself?

    • March 26, 2013 9:42 pm

      Good question. So we recently finished a unit, in which, for many students things really came together in the end. I think it was surprising to many that somehow all that confusion resulted in something that ended up quite meaningful to them, and consistent with what scientists think. Then, before starting our new unit, we spent a whole 2.5 hours watching and discussing a video of children discussing the rock cycle, drawing on what they know (like we have been doing), to really figure out some stellar ideas. Third, they had a reading that helped to consolidate some of that–a chapter from Ready, Set, Science, it talks about research on children knowledge and abilities–and how research keeps showing that children know more and can do more than we initially thought. I’ve assigned that chapter almost every semester, and students never talk about or notice that. I think it’s timing, and what that reading means in light of their recent experiences with themselves and watching children.

  3. jsb16 permalink
    March 27, 2013 2:54 am

    One of my problems this year has been students who assume that they don’t know anything…

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