I cannot watch this video without breaking into laughter filled with incredulity. (Is there a verb for that?) The surreptitously recorded video shows professional development in Chicago. The trainer is using direct instruction techniques on teachers. I’m sure she would say it’s so they can experience it as students would. But if this is what students experience, it’s no wonder they learn so little. You might argue that this is taken out of context, but I can’t imagine a context where such training would be useful.
Direct Instruction is an approach to teaching justified in very specific cases as an intervention to meet a small number of children’s learning needs. How would you feel if you were in a training and were expected to repeat such phrases mindlessly? If this is what the administration is expecting of teachers, why bother to even have them? Just turn on a computer program and let kids follow along.
Educational thinking has come a long way since the 19th century, but you wouldn’t know it from this. Organizations like the WISN and Ed Evolving offer trainings, conferences, and resources that focus on authentic instruction, 21st century skills, brain research, and social and emotional development. There’s so much out there, and trainings like this make a mockery of the honorable tradition of teaching. In particular, the WISN has an exciting conference coming up at the end of March, featuring Alfie Kohn and nearly 100 other presenters who have a deep understanding of teaching and learning. I’ll be there leading a pre-conference session on arts integration and a couple of other shorter sessions. Registration is still open, and as conferences go, it’s cheap.
[fancy_link link=”https://stuartstotts.com//”variation=”teal”]Stuart Stotts[/fancy_link]