Once a week I have a horrible room for teaching HSC Economics so it has become known as the room for listening or chalk ‘n’ talk to use the old language. A couple of weeks ago I provided resources and left them to devise their own lesson. The resources were the syllabus outcomes for the topic and an article questioning the use of GDP and the instruction was to plan and conduct their own lesson:
I had hoped they would have a discussion based on the article but instead they reverted to individual learning, highlighting text and completing other set tasks online, in the quietest environment I’ve ever seen for this class. I tweeted the whole experience:
They were confused by my instruction as to whether it meant individually devise their own lesson or collectively. When I added to the instruction to make it clear it was supposed to be a collective exercise it didn’t change anything. There were mutters about their desire to be ‘taught’ and how our school over-emphasises innovation.
Towards the end of the lesson some pair work occurred while others just counted down the minutes (not usual).
In the debrief there was a comment that they worked individually so they could work at their own pace. They want to plough through the material with what I refer to as the ‘tick box’ mentality, only focusing on what they HAVE to know for the HSC, rather than having an enquiry approach or making the process interesting. Only one student demonstrated deep learning from the article.
I love working at a school where there is freedom to take such risks.