Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Too much talking by teachers

The last two days I've been at a professional development project called "Building Learning Capacity of Professional Learning Leaders". This is a 10 day program running over the next few months.

The building leaning capacity is from Guy Claxton and one of the readings we had was his keynote address for the British Educational Research Association last year. One of the key ideas Claxton discussed in his book 'Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less' is slow learning. We started the first session with a handout of 5 pages to be shared between two people and were expected to read and discuss it in ten minutes. I turned to my partner and asked, "What was your reaction to the task?"

She replied, "I like to have my own copy to read and write notes on."

Precisely my thoughts. I kept thinking that this was the opposite of slow learning, of slowing down, savouring the ideas, tossing them around before talking about them. But this seems to be the case of education everywhere - speed up, data, analyse, react, get it down quickly. At the end of the two days when we were asked to reflect a comment made at my table was that we talked too much. And this was coming from teachers. We all agreed we'd like more time to think; quiet time.

1 comment:

steve said...

What you're saying rings true Sam. Schools are BUSY places- and if you feel BUSY then the assumption is you must be doing a good job.
I think about the chess program and how that eveloved- how much dialogue, thinking and reflection went on before anything happened!

Harry and I started talking at lunchtime chess for a number of weeks, playing with ideas, wondering how we could create something interesting.

We started emailing our thoughts- and on your advise- cut and paste those emails. I have 66 A4 pages e-record of those conversations- and stopped recoRding in JUNE LAST YEAR!

I'm sure it would be well over a 100 pages by now. I've started the recoRding process again this year- and am up to 18 pages.

By the time the project hits the ground people go
-GEE- THAT WORKS WELL.
-GEE- THAT LOOKED EASY.

And none of the dialogue had a sense of urgency, an agenda, minutes, a sense of duty. It was because there was a genuine authentic interest in what we were doing.

And because of that, other people willingly joined-up and came on board.

Have you read JOIN-UP by Monty Roberts- The Horse Whisperer? I suppose thats seperate blog entry.

Cheers.