Tony Gurr

Should we be TELLing or ASKing LEARNers…about “their” LEARNing? (Pt 01)

In Assessment, Classroom Teaching, Curriculum, Teacher Learning on 10/12/2012 at 1:04 pm

This one is for Gökhan

What were we thinking (TG ver)

…and any other TEACHer that wants to make a real difference to the lives of their LEARNersrather than just be a TESTUcator!


A while back I did a mini-series about how best we can help TEACHers LEARN more about how they are “doing business” in the classroom…when we do classroom observation.

There were 3 parts to the series…

…but there could have been 30!

And, “yes” Adam…still flogging the blog!


In a nutshell, this series highlighted the fact that if we want more TEACHer LEARNing…we need more ASKing from those whose job it is to “observe” (always hated that word) the classes of others.

And…a lot more LISTENing!


Isn’t this the same with LEARNers?

John Holt Quote

You’d THUNKwould you not?


Miracle (Einstein quote)


Sadly, most of us are so busyCOVERing the CURRICULUM” (and TELLing)…that we (sometimes) forget to ASK…and LISTEN…and DO “something” with what we HEAR.


OK heres the thing


Let’s try a really “wacky” idea!

Just for TODAYforget the CURRICULUM…and…throw those wonderful LESSON PLANS in the bin!


YES…I’m saying… “join” the…

Children Of The Revolution

…and ASK your “kids” a few “questions”!


Try this one first:

Gokhan 03

…turn it into an “activity” poster creation, mini-presentations, class debate – anything that gets them “off” their seats!

USE what you “HEAR”…tomorrow!


What about this:

Gokhan 05

You will be amazed what they come up with!

USE what you “HEAR”…tomorrow!


Now, “personalise” it…with questions like this:

Gokhan 02

Get them to tell “their stories”…hammer home the importance of that third question (and ASK them why THEY thunk you are ASKıng this one)!

USE what you “HEAR”…tomorrow!


Go on…now really push that envelope! ASK:

Gokhan 04

…by getting them “together” to record what they share (yes, I am saying iPhones are “good”)

USE what you “HEAR” (and “SEE”)…tomorrow!


Wrap it up with this one:

Gokhan 01

…and get them to “own” their promises to YOU and EACHOTHER!





You have too much to “do”…you have to “COVER” that curriculum of yours…you have “the test” at the end of the week?

The CLASSROOM - weapons of mass instruction



The EXPERIENCE eye (TG ver 4 blog)

THEIR future!


TOMORROW, tomorrow…I love ‘ya tomorrow
You’re ONLY a day away!

  1. Great piece! I agree, treating students like they know a bit is important. By letting us give our insights it will atleast make our learning a little more “ours”. But when I say let us make decisions, I don’t mean let us choose silly things like when the test will be, or what kind of review game we can play. I mean let us actually feel as if we can personalize our learning. Things like cell phone use in class, that doesn’t only happen because we feel we have to stay connected, it also happens because many of us feel that whatever is going on in class isn’t relevant and meaningful to us.

    • Thx Justin,

      I heard you about the “decision-making” – when teachers and students set up a more “collaborative learning environment” – the kind of worries many teachers have about students making decisions (kinda) go out of the window. This having been said there is often the need for a transition period – Istanbul was not built in a day!

      Thx for dropping in. Take care.


  2. Today I realized I knew so little about my students … why? Because I have been speaking all the time and I have hardly listened to them .

    Today they spoke and I learned a lot.

    Today it was a turning point and I will not go back.

    Here are some of the answers which touched me most:

    ‘To learn means to find the meaning of life because with knowledge we built our consciousness….’
    ‘If teaching becomes abstract and I see no benefit of it than my willingness to learn will decrease …’
    ‘ For me is important to set an aim in my studying and to keep expecting something from it’
    ‘Hardworking, intelligent and professional people motivates me.’
    ‘ If I have a goal to pursue nothing will diminish my motivation to achieve it…’
    ‘ My quiz first note was pretty low and for a while I stopped studying…… notes have different effects on students…’
    ‘Success?. It’s a state of mind’

    • Alessandra,

      TY so much for this – you made my day 🙂 You really did!

      I love it when people “share” reflections like this – keep up the great work 🙂


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