Friday, March 27, 2009

Topic: Disturbing Thought for the Day

Secondary School

10-second review: “The ‘classroom’ (structurally and aesthetically) is the least likely place to learn anything. It is set up for indoctrinating rather than educating.”

Title: "Individualizing in the Secondary Schools: It Can’t Happen Here.” English Journal (November 1975), 10-12. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Comment: Hard to argue with this statement. Most classrooms are set up with the teacher’s desk and the teacher in front of the classroom and four, five or six rows of chairs or desks stretching from the front to the back of the classroom. It implies teacher talk and students’ regurgitating the teacher talk. Change the arrangement of the room, but keep the teacher talk and nothing changes. Put students in groups and don’t teach them how to work in groups and nothing changes. Still no learning, only the ignorant working with the ignorant.

In tomorrow’s blog, I’m going to reprint from my book, Teaching English, How To…., my recommendations for helping students to work effectively in groups. RayS.

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