Are we inadvertently squashing kids’ thinking?

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I’d like to invite you to collaborate on a doc that I think will be helpful to many teachers. I am curious about what we say and do to open learning up (or keep it open) versus closing it down or squashing students’ thinking.

The aim of the doc is to come up with a list of questions and statements that:

  • Open learning up – By this I mean, when you are having a conversation with a student, you might reply “can you tell me more about that?” or “I didn’t know that” or  just an interested look; which would leave the pathway of the conversation open to take many directions. The student’s thinking is also completely open and they don’t leave feeling squashed.
  • Close learning down – Here a teacher might respond to a student with a statement that means the student’s thinking is thwarted or stunted, like “not right now, we’re doing spelling”  or forced to take a direction they didn’t want to or that they didn’t need to come up with on their own, like “oh yes, we should make a diorama of that.”

I’d love it if you could share your ideas and add to the doc, which we can all use to highlight how important every single word, gesture and phrase we use is to students’ learning. I intend to use it as a reflective tool for myself too.

Thanks for your ideas!

Here’s the doc.

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2 thoughts on “Are we inadvertently squashing kids’ thinking?

  1. Emma… Kerri Thompson here. I am just letting you know that it looks like the Doc is in ‘view only’ mode as I went to add some ideas to it but couldn’t.

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