1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Learning Pit

Discussion in 'Classroom' started by Internationalteacher, 10 Nov 2016.

  1. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    I was shown this today in my PD on 'Concept based learning'.
    How to promote challenge and inquiry with your students by James Nottingham. The learning challenge. Enjoy!

     
  2. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! What the duck ! Staff Member

    Joined:
    19 Oct 2011
    Messages:
    1,890
    Likes Received:
    461
    Interesting and watched a couple more YT vids by him. He makes some good points and worth a watch. Ty Intuuur.
     
    Internationalteacher likes this.
  3. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,431
    Likes Received:
    588
    Thanks for the video, interesting. Sadly for most Thai students it's at the coal face which is a more apt description. Thai students employed in routine tasks, rote learning preparing them perfectly for the Thai workplace. A workplace which requires little more than to follow the orders of the superior, ideas are viewed on with suspicion.

    Without meaning to open a Pandora's box, the employment of overseas staff in the main stream education system in Thailand may in fact be counter productive beyond language acquisition since the skills needed to succeed in the Kingdom and outside of it are not the same.

    Guess what I'm saying is that installing an ability to ask questions is sadly not done and not needed in the current state of education in Thailand
     
    marcusb likes this.
  4. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    ^If you have some leeway into how you teach, then I definitely think the teacher is partly responsible for how they teach. You don't have to teach the rote learning way. Try to get students to question what they are learning. Make your classroom more student focused.

    When I taught in the public system in Korea for three years, I often saw Korean teachers, teaching through the listen and repeat method (rote). I was allowed to teach my class the way I wanted to teach it.

    I often had my students questioning and looking at the meaning of of things, rather than just listening and repeating what they were taught. I was amazed at what my students' knew and thought once questioned and asked time and time again.
     
  5. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    I really disagree with this. I know quite a few good schools in Thailand where real learning is taking place. If all of you took this approach, then what does that say about why you are there?
     
    professeur and sirchai like this.
  6. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,431
    Likes Received:
    588
    Splitting hairs, sure there are some good schools swell as some great schools but in the main the assessment of learning is fact retrieval from rote learning. I'm talking about standard government schools not the schools of the controlling elite.

    Think you missed my point about the culture of not asking questions. Will stick my neck out and say that it is the norm to not ask 'why' of superiors in Thailand.

    My post was not about how I teach but rather how the majority of teachers do so.

    Perhaps a clearer explanation of the obstacles to creating a class room of enquiry is needed

    1) When the measure of success is so concentrated on multiple choice testing, opinions mean nothing
    2) Curriculums are so packed full of content that coverage is the only option
    3) The power divide between student and teacher is huge, the banking system is alive and well
    4) The banking system works well in Thailand and dovetails with the culture perfectly
    5) Schools are places where students go to learn there position in society

    Next class is coming up so must close but will continue in the evening.
     
  7. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    ^I get what you are saying and understand that the culture doesn't promote critical thinking, etc. I still think that you can't speak for all teachers as you said the majority of teachers.

    I believe that a teacher can make an impact, and if they have leeway in the system, to actually teach in a more open-ended, question oriented, student centered way. I'm sure there is some positive teaching and learning going on in Thailand. I understand you aren't talking about elite schools, but international schools in general teach in a more 'western' model.

    I related my Korean public school experience because I know what the system was like there. I believe quite similar to a Thai model. As there was only one native English speaker in the whole school, and I did not conform to a Korean system model of rote learning. I showed my Korean co-teachers a new way of teaching using student centered, questioning teaching. Once they saw the positive effects, they even started trying to teach this way. Children are not learning much if all they are asked to do is memorize and regurgitate.
     
  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,431
    Likes Received:
    588
    Perhaps you are correct, perhaps the students of Thailand are challenged to think, to question to reason why. I have only my experience, research and peer group to base my own opinions.

    and again I share your optimism that there is some great teaching going on, yet as repetitious as it sounds some is not the majority - although I envy the tint of your view.

    On this I can not comment since I have no experience of Korea.

    Your enthusiasm turns to naivety on this point.

    Picture the scene, teachers with 20-30 years of experience are told by the perennial outsider (let's call that person the farang for want of a better word) that what they have done, nay contributed to their country not to mention their own merit building is in fact wrong and that they should change everything. Please, let us lift ourselves from the fairy dust magic land of teaching to the equally dusty level of reality.

    On this point I agree, but if you think children are learning to learn rather than to get to the next level, to get better grades in Thailand then again you show your naive view.
     
  9. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    I'm certainly not naive and I never said what they were doing was wrong, but they opened up to new teaching methods and saw the benefits.


    I never said they are learning just to learn, but there are other ways to teach based on what I said and based on the learning pit. Perhaps you can learn a thing or two from it, instead of calling me naive.
     
  10. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,431
    Likes Received:
    588
    I was not talking about your Korean friends, and yet you show, if not naivety, a certain lack of reality with 40-60 year old Thai teachers and their ability to change.

    and hear we again agree and disagree within the same argument. As I said, the video you posted was inspiring to me as a teacher, and I again thank you, but to assume that others will see the error of their ways is fantasy at best. I return to the contexts which the students are in......

    Questioning in Thailand for students is futile.
     
  11. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2012
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    399

    New


    [​IMG] Internationalteacher said:

    I get what you are saying and understand that the culture doesn't promote critical thinking, etc. I still think that you can't speak for all teachers as you said the majority of teachers.

    Perhaps you are correct, perhaps the students of Thailand are challenged to think, to question to reason why. I have only my experience, research and peer group to base my own opinions.

    Excuse me, but the word “perhaps” might not be the accurate word using it an a very negative way it’s not even close to maybe. Her point is absolutely valid and we all should try to learn from each other, instead of opinions that don’t mean anything. It’s great that two opinions are discussed and nobody yet has the right to say that somebody might “perhaps” be right.

    [​IMG] Internationalteacher said:

    I'm sure there is some positive teaching and learning going on in Thailand

    and again I share your optimism that there is some great teaching going on, yet as repetitious as it sounds some is not the majority - although I envy the tint of your view.

    I’m quite confident that there are a lot of foreigners who do a superb job and finally help the students and Thai teachers to be better and finally open Pandora’s box and endorse critical thinking skills on both sides.

    [​IMG] Internationalteacher said:

    I related my Korean public school experience because I know what the system was like there. I believe quite similar to a Thai model.

    On this I can not comment since I have no experience of Korea.

    It’s an observation that could well work out for several other Asian, European, or other countries. Not really nessacary to have teaching experience in Korea to understand the point.

    [​IMG] Internationalteacher said:

    I showed my Korean co-teachers a new way of teaching using student centered, questioning teaching.

    Your enthusiasm turns to naivety on this point.

    Picture the scene, teachers with 20-30 years of experience are told by the perennial outsider (let's call that person the farang for want of a better word) that what they have done, nay contributed to their country not to mention their own merit building is in fact wrong and that they should change everything. Please, let us lift ourselves from the fairy dust magic land of teaching to the equally dusty level of reality.

    Enthusiasm is not very often seen in a negative way. Calling her naïve to a certain extent does make you look partly arrogant, or perhaps acting like you’ve got more experience or just the fact that you’re longer in this business, which automatically gives you all rights to criticize somebody with less experience. A good example I’ve experienced was my former Thai head teacher who wasted an hour per week teaching serious English grammar to fifth graders. She finally listened to me and followed my advice without losing face and changed her teaching style in a way that the students were more involved in learning English than just repeating words or sentences. But that was only possible because we respected each other.

    [​IMG] Internationalteacher said:

    Children are not learning much if all they are asked to do is memorize and regurgitate.

    On this point, I agree, but if you think children are learning to learn rather than to get to the next level, to get better grades in Thailand then again you show your naive view.


    I really deeply apologize for being so selfish and trying to read between the lines and do not agree with your statement that you only agree with her on this point. Doesn’t that mean that you basically disagree with all other points she made? Excuse me when I’m wrong. And I really apologize if I am.


    The last sentence is again a sign how insecure/stubborn you seem to be as a teacher accepting other peoples’ opinion. She’s absolutely right with her statement and I can’t agree more with her. I don’t want my students to memorize a speech or in a lesson, I want them to understand what they are, or what I was talking about.

    There might be one day, no idea if I still experience it, where all foreigners who left their countries to teach English, let’s just say in an Asian country realize that they all sit in the same boat, without having Noah’s Arche as a rescue tool. We're all different and that's not bad, we can learn from each other, rather than only criticizing each other.

    Instead of having an understandable argument that underlines your view all you do is calling her naïve. Why don’t we all realize that we’re basically trying to achieve the same goal no matter how we teach, what material we’re using and how important it is to listen and to respect each other.

    I would be very careful to call anybody I don’t really know naïve, just because his, or her view of teaching are completely different to mine. Thank you very much for your post and please feel free to criticize my post.
     
    Internationalteacher likes this.
  12. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,431
    Likes Received:
    588
    Who said it was negative? Debate is a wonderful thing where people can agree in part and disagree in part in equal measure.

    Naive

    goodness me, if we all said "good point", what a dull life we would lead. Why the aversion to disagreement?

    She is right because you agree and I am wrong since I take an alternative view on many of her points?

    There is the Eureka moment folks, although a debate is in progress please understand that views are are being formed, changed and developed through disagreement. Under no circumstances does it mean that just because I disagree with a post does it means that I have not been influenced by that very reasoning. International teacher's experience, views and reasoning for me are what makes this forum the best for Teaching in SE Asia.

    I have called her naive and she has has responded, with reason. Debate is healthy, agreement with lingering thoughts, left unvoiced, unhelpful nay useless

    Sirchai debate is healthy, passive agreement less so.

    International teacher's comments do not need my recognition, nor am I in any higher position to offer said praise, but her comments have and continue to sow seeds of betterment for my teaching practise
     
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2016
  13. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,431
    Likes Received:
    588
    As a side note Sirchai, go telling your co-workers that what they do is wrong tomorrow. Open those eyes, take a deep breath and smell those beans.
     
  14. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    I do not have much experience with Thai 40-60 year olds, but what I was saying is that I worked with Korean teachers that were 50 years and older who listened to the native teacher and saw their ways of teaching were different and saw the benefit of it. I did not ask him to change his ways, but he saw that the children actually were learning and opening up by questioning and thinking.


    I don't believe that questioning in Thailand for students is futile. What is futile is not trying to at least get them to think. Even if you reach one student and instill the joy of learning and questioning things, that is a feat.

    I realize the system and the culture does not instill questioning and challenging authority, but children are meant to question and learn things for themselves rather than being told what to do and think.
     
  15. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Superwoman

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    207
    I never said anywhere in my post that I told the Koreans what they were doing was wrong. I never did that. What I did do is work together with him and plan lessons. He taught 40 mins his way, and I taught 40 mins my way. He actually watched and listened to my lesson. At the end of the year, he complimented me on my ways. That was amazing!
     

Share This Page