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Students Teaching Teachers? May 2, 2010

Posted by IaninSheffield in Inspiration, research, TELIC.
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Whilst out on the bike today, I was catching up on some of the podcasts I tend to accumulate and the one that caught my attention was episode 190 of Teachers Teaching Teachers. The theme was the role that games might play in school, an area that’s recently piqued my interest. Although it’s a podcast I’ve only recently become aware of, the folks on TTT occasionally invite students into the sessions … and that’s where it got really interesting for me.

The students (Jake, Riley and Matthew) were Seniors, incredibly articulate and I guess it’s fair to say, experts in this field. The teacher participants were trying to tease out the effects that gaming could have on learning . . . with only modest success. This resonated with me as I’d been attempting to do the same with the student involved in the pilot study for our 365Learning project. My initial impression is that students perhaps don’t have the vocabulary to articulate thoughts about their own learning – why should they; it’s something we rarely ask of them. (It’s also the case that I need to develop my questioning skills a little more!)

Although I didn’t find out much about the effects of gaming on learning, it was still fascinating listening to what the students in the podcast had to say. There was a marvellous moment when one of the teachers suggested to Jake that discussion about the narrative and content of a game was difficult, since other students may not have played it and only at higher levels is there sufficient complexity to warrant serious discussion. Jake’s immediate response was that the same is true in the non-tech world if some class members failed to read the set book, or had read the first chapter only. Touché!

Student discussion

From St. Gallen Symposium on Flickr

I came away from the session thinking that we perhaps don’t do this enough. i.e. provide a forum within which teachers and students have the opportunity to engage in serious discourse about learning. Surely there’s much we can learn from each other, given half a chance?

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