Ya Think?

Teacher: “What do you think about…?”

Student: “I don’t know.”  Translation: What do you want me to think?

A recent post by Jason Dyer  regarding the findings of Piaget being re- interpreted by James McGarrigle and Margaret Donaldson has me thinking about how often I give off context clues without even thinking about it. 

*nodding head, smiling* “Do you understand now?”

*raising hand* “Raise your hand if you get it.”

*squinting with furrowed brow, head cocked to the side* “Can you explain how you got that answer?”

And more importantly, how I perpetuate the very thing that I beleive is wrong with education.

They cue in fast…really fast.  Mine cue in faster than others ’cause I got the smart ones.  But you know what, they don’t think better than the others, they just figure out what the teacher wants to hear faster and at a higher accuracy rate.  They play “school” better. The ones who are the real thinkers are the smart kids we call lazy.  Yeah, that one– the kid who doesn’t turn stuff in or do homework but crushes every test.

I am starting to think it’s not his fault. Maybe, just maybe, he’s just not interested in me giving him answers to questions he doesn’t care to ask.

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1 Response to “Ya Think?”


  1. 1 kevin May 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Good post. More and more I’ve been thinking about such cues and how we ‘rig’ our student responses. I should start practicing some basic responses that I say no matter what they respond.

    I think we let our own desire for them to succeed bleed out through our expressions, creating a situation where they can read our face and our tone and navigate their way to the answer like the horse that could do arithmetic.


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