How to Teach for Deeper Learning? An International Survey Provides Insights

Dion Burns, Education Week, Mar 06, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is another one of those articles that confuses between what the author wants you to conclude, and what the evidence says. The same problem is repeated throughout, but I'll focus on one example. Let's suppose that the survey data is correct, that " more than 94 percent of teachers agreed that their role was to facilitate students' own inquiry and 84 percent agreed that thinking and reasoning processes were more important than specific curriculum content." Then what are we to make of this? "Yet less than half of all teachers indicated they frequently used small group discussions in their classes." Instead of agreeing with the author that it's a shame so few teachers use this method, shouldn't we see this as an indictment of the small group discussion? Maybe small group discussions don't serve these aim at all, and that's why teachers don't use them.

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