Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Class Discussions

September 25, 2013

I find it really tragic that students associate school with such drudgery and mindlessness--so much so that they tend to think that when a teacher allows them to have a discussion about a particular topic, they have succeeded in getting the teacher to 'waste time' and thereby make class go by much more quickly.  It says something about us that we think talking, debating, exchanging ideas, supporting those ideas with facts or  anecdotal evidence, making connections to ourselves or among ourselves is somehow a waste of time.  That's THINKING, people!  That's processing, formulating. re-formulating, and articulating.  That's opening up to new ideas and new perspectives.  That's never a waste of time; that's where some real learning takes place.  How sad that kids think they're 'tricking' the teacher into 'not teaching' if they continue the conversation.  I love it when kids are invested and engaged in the conversation, even when their extrinsic motivation is to 'waste time'.  If they are fully engaged in order to pass time, they are, in fact, tricking themselves into thinking, which is the whole goal to begin with.

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