Each year, academic faculty are gathered together for a day of professional development prior to the school start up. This year we had a facilitator, Brian Pete from Chicago, an engaging and stimulating fellow educator who gave us some great ideas to inform our classroom practice.
Grounded in brain research, his ideas supported the view that we learn best by doing rather than simply listening or even being shown how to do something. His talk was peppered with exercises that teachers could use to have students think about the information and then voice their thoughts in pairs or small groups. He modelled the techniques with us as his classroom subjects. By processing information and articulating our thoughts (in response to very specific prompts) we move the ideas up to our frontal lobe and start creating the scaffold of knowledge we need to remember the facts in context and in ways that link them to other ideas.
“Who is Doing the Talking is Doing the Learning” was a workshop that left us aware of how we can hand more of the verbalizing that goes on in a classroom to students in highly productive ways.