If talk supports learning, so it follows that children need to learn to talk to a purpose, so that it enables learning. Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing and Philosophy for Children encourage purposeful, deeper talk that goes beyond finishing and activity. However, there is a greater imperative to incorporate high quality talk purposes into every aspect of teaching and learning; the teacher is the model thinker and speaker in the classroom...
You may not “see” me learning, but have to rely on other things.
The term “proxy” appears often, but seems to be used as a negative.
Proxies can apparently include engagement, motivation and interest,
Which have been evident in classrooms forever.
Apparently they’re not learning.
Working might also be a proxy; busyness certainly doesn’t necessarily mean learning.
That’s been a constant throughout my career.
It’s easy to give children busy work, low level activities.
It always has been; just colour in this picture…
Before differentiation, we use the term match and challenge,
With challenge being the significant driver.
Task design was carefully considered to embed a clear outcome into a process.
Something to think about, to talk about, to decide, do act on, to review and revise,
To create or produce, so that both the outcome and the process could be evaluated.
We talk of a thought process, which is enhanced through talking ideas and getting feedback,
Which becomes an activity process,
Working to create a suitable solution to the problem that’s been set.
And when it’s finished we can look at the outcome,
reflect on what we’ve done,
edit and improve if the need is immediate,
or hold in mind those things that we need to work on further.
So, no, you can’t see my learning.
You can talk with me about what I am doing
and get a feeling for my thinking and where the journey is taking me.
You can give me advice and help me to refocus if necessary.
You can sit with me and talk through a problem as my guide.
You can critique the outcome of my thinking, a form of conversation.
To know my thinking, you need to listen, to observe, to engage in discussion, to guide, to help me evaluate and decide where to focus next; in other words, to be party to my thinking. Otherwise you might be guessing.
That way, what I produce can improve, with quality creating pride and a focus for effort.
Learning needs challenge, focused effort, constant editing or evaluation, occasionally support and refocusing.
It can’t be seen in and of itself, but you can perceive my growing capability and enable me to build myself as a learner.
A range of blogs that look at the place of talk in learning.
All talk? Every lesson is an English lesson.