Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Most Learning Is Invisible: You Can't Plan for That

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Most Learning Is Invisible: You Can't Plan for That

Article excerpt

I went round to a friend's house the other night to drink wine and dissect The Archers, only to find her lesson planning.

"It's OK," she told me. "I can chat and do this at the same time. The teaching part's done; this is just the learning stuff."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I've planned out what I'm going to teach in the lesson but now I have to show what the learning will be."

She showed me her school's planning pro forma (which was busier than Clapham Junction at rush hour). She was working on the final part where you had to complete the statements "I have made good progress today and I can now.../ My next step will be to..." for three levels of differentiated work.

"What does this actually do?" I asked her. "You've already determined how much progress they can possibly make by giving them that level of work, and do children who are made to copy next-step statements off the board once a lesson really pay any attention to them? If you've planned a decent lesson and you teach it well, then surely the learning will follow. Also, it's 20 minutes of your life you're never getting back."

Seeing this kind of planning makes me appreciate my school (where the general rule is that you should write something down only if it directly impacts on a child's progress). I've taught in schools (and know of many more) where the crusade to bottle "learning" is all-consuming and no avenue is left unexplored. In these schools, you know that when you step into the classroom you are there to facilitate learning. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.