26 Apr 2009

Teaching, Learning...and Understanding

To avoid the craziness that would have been having to come in to school on a Monday in July, our school decided to have a number of compulsory/voluntary twilight sessions on Teaching and Learning, and earn the staff an extra day of holiday.

So, Wednesday was a compulsory one, and school even ended 40 minutes early so we would benefit from 2h30 of listening to Mike Hughes, renowned author and trainer. He was also a Headteacher/Mentor and thousands of other things. On the whole it was a good session, with lots of useful advice. It was quite nice to be able to just sit and listen to someone talk rather than actually have to do anything! Amongst covering other topics, Mike emphasised the difference between students' learning, and their understanding, and looked at how our attitude to questioning students in our classes could make a tangible difference to improving the kids' understanding of the things we are trying to teach them. He made a suggestion, which was for a teacher to go in to the last 10 minutes of a lesson in a different subject, and to carry out a plenary activity, to gauge what the students had learned, and to also assess what they had understood, I suppose by their ability to explain it to a non-specialist.

To that end, I am going to a Y12 Chemistry lesson on Tuesday to attempt to carry out a plenary, with the Chemistry teacher coming to my Y10 French lesson on Thursday. Is it going to be a worthwhile exercise, something worth repeating? Have you tried something similar? I guess I'll let you know on Tuesday!

1 comment:

Lynne said...

Really interested in this idea - looking forward to see how it works.