Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by Drexel University or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Topic: Kent is such a tease
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jul 15, 1995 7:14 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
TPANITZ@mecn.mass.edu

Posts: 133
Registered: 12/6/04
Kent is such a tease
Posted: Jul 15, 1995 2:23 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

I have finally figured out why Kent writes what he does. He just loves to
tease group learning advocates. You know something it works. It also keeps
the discussion alive which is terrific. He has my attention so here goes.....

Kent wrote:
<<<Although I'm not against group learning in principle, I'm a little skeptical
about teachers who use this technique almost exclusively. Is this not just
another form of crowd control? The teacher prepares all the materials in
advance and just sits back and facilitates. Is this method popular because,
perhaps, teachers are afraid to turn their backs on their students? Is this
just a refinement or the old worksheet method of teaching? >>>>>

Kent has taken just one aspect of group learning and highlighted his concern
about the potential consequences. Group learning involves much more than
students working together on worksheets, which by the way are a good mechanism
for focusing on specific material to see if all the students have grasped a
particular concept. Students can be helped to work together on homework, text
examples and text language, they can work together on test corrections after
they have done their individual testing, they can even work together on
original tests and get a joint grade. They can work on special handouts which
challenge them more or are used for extra credit. They can be encouraged to formstudy groups inside and outside of class and even work together at someones\
home. The list of possibilities is endless and that is what takes a lot of
effort by the teacher, to try to organize all the different types of activities
so that they make some sense.
In group learning you always have the opportunity to ask the students if theproceese are working for them, by direct questioning or written exetrcizes.
They will tell you if something is not working because they know you well
enough to trust you not to penalize them if they are critical of you. Students
will chat with you as you move around to each group. HOW MANY LECTURERS HAVE
EVER HANDED OUT AN EVAKUATION REQUEST DURING THE SEMESTER TO SEE IF THE
LECTURES WERE EFFECTIVE OR IF THE STUDENTS WISHED TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS TO
IMPROVE THE PROCESS???? It happens all the time with group learning.
Why would a teacher turn h/her back on the students?? I suppose Kent
means to write on the board. In group structures you are generally interacting
closely with the students usually face to face with individuals or addressing
the group as a whole. Of course if there is something you wish to go over with
the entire class a brief lecture/discussion is always available, but even here
you will not have your back to the class very long since if you use group
processes it is an anathma to be facing away from your students. The natural
structure is to be conversing with them and trying always to determine what
they understand, not what you think they should understand because of your
brilliant presentation of a body of material. Oops, that just slipped out.

In any event, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK KENT!!!

Ted Panitz tpanitz@mecn.mass.edu





Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© Drexel University 1994-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.