Who controls the learning in Room 3?

Try this activity with a class you know. Ask them all
to point an index finger at the ceiling. Tell them
that you are going to ask them a question, and
when they have come up with their answer to the
question they should then point their finger at the answer.
The question is: “Who is responsible for your learning?”

I read this in an article by Chris Watkins (“Learners in the Driving Seat”) and thought I should give this a go with my class. I just made one slight change and asked, “Who is in control of the learning in Room 3?” The kids pointed to the ceiling then kind of wafted their arms around a bit. They were thinking hard. It’s difficult to point to more than one person at a time!

So they had a bit of a chat and, in the end, 4 children decided that they controlled the learning. 20 decided that everyone (other kids, themselves and me) controlled the learning. Apparently I have relinquished the majority of the control in the classroom. PHEW, I thought!

Most students felt that we had the balance about right, between child and teacher control. But we will have another discussion soon about any changes that could or should be made to tweak the balance.

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