Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Traditional Teaching Style Role Play

When the children in Room 10 and 11 arrived at school on Monday (day three of school), they noticed that their classroom had been set up with rows and rows of desks. When the bell rang, Katie arrived wearing a long kilt and and Clive was wearing an old grey suit. The children were seated in their allocated a desk and the day began. First the roll, followed by the National anthem, handwriting, dictionary skills, reciting Shakespeare, chanting basic facts and even marching on the quad and organised play groups at morning tea time.  Clive and Katie taught the whole block using a whole-class teacher-directed approach.  This meant the children worked independently, silently unless asked to speak and of course they were all doing the same thing at the same time. 

Clive and Katie wanted to roleplay a traditional teaching style with the children as an emotional hook prior to co-constructing their managing self literacy block with the children. The children had started to plan how they were going to arrange the furniture at the end of Week One but they had not considered what learning looking might look like and sound like in their space.

Following the role play, Katie and Clive unpacked this experience with the children. The children responded to a range of statements and questions as part of a chalk talk. For example: Who is responsible for making sure we learn? As a result of this experience and the follow-up conversations, the children were able to explain how they manage themselves during lunch times and in different ways at home. Clive and Katie co-constructed with the children what the literacy learning would look in their space.

The children all wrote a recount about this experience. It was clear to see from their writing that they did not enjoy learning this way!

“The teachers wanted to make the point that we could manage our own learning.”
Year Six child.

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