๐Ÿ“‘ Teachers use many teaching approaches to impart knowledge. Pitting one against another harms education

Bookmarked Teachers use many teaching approaches to impart knowledge. Pitting one against another harms education (theconversation.com)

Thereโ€™s a variety of useful teaching models โ€” and this includes explicit instruction โ€” which have been designed for different purposes. It is the educatorโ€™s task to select the most appropriate given the context.

Creating simplistic binaries in a field as complex and nuanced as education impoverishes the debate.

Alan Reid raises three flaws with the argument that inquiry-based approaches harm student learning. He argues that teachers regularly move up and down the teacher-centred and student-centred continuum, that not all inquiry is the same and that the data used to form the position is problematic.

David Price touched upon the issues raised through the PISA report a few years ago:

The extreme polarisation weโ€™re currently witnessing between โ€˜Traditionalistsโ€™ and Progressivesโ€™, is incredibly damaging and not representative of the teaching profession as a whole. Because the PISA hysteria that has politicians all around the world spouting nonsense, arguing for the end of inquiry-based approaches, and a return to direct-explicit instruction, sees the world in black-and-white. This polarisation ignores the reality of what goes on in the leading nations, and assumes that getting to the top of PISA is the end goal, in itself, of a successful education system.

While Peter Skillen and Brenda Sherry capture the flux in this visual:


I am also reminded of a piece I wrote a few years ago about ‘pedagogical cocktails‘:

I think that the problem is that sometimes we think that we feel that we can only partake of a particular cocktail, that someone else always knows better, therefore we should listen to them. However, this denial of choice often results in teachers who have little engagement and ownership over their curriculum and classrooms, while it also restricts many potentials and possibilities. Instead, teachers maintain a status-quo that often no longer accounts for the world that will come tomorrow, let alone we live in today.

My fear is that in restricting the debate has the risk of stunting the growth and development of teachers. Instead of taking the time to appreciate the nuance, there is a danger of teaching based on the default.

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