The issues

1    Good-Enough Teaching: Much contemporary teaching is “good-enough” – but not better.

2    Communicative Dead-End The Communicative Approach has settled down into a safe, peaceful, dead-end.

3    Low Demand We demand far less from our students than they are capable of. Much contemporary teaching is unchallenging and has low expectations.

4    Excuses We use our students as our excuse: “I don’t think it’s fair to put them in the spotlight”. We have misintepreted “humanistic” and “facilitation” as a bland “being nice to students”.

5    Unassertive Classroom Management While teachers have become good at basics (instructions, group making etc) they are weak at more challenging classroom management (getting engagement from all learners, not letting the strong students dominate etc). There is a general fear of – and avoidance of – assertive, supportive intervention.

6    Hands-On Language Work We do not work hands-on, in-the-moment, with language. There is a taint of guilt to doing demanding focussed language work.

7    The Moves of Learning We have not studied the moves of learning. We teach at a distance from learning, rather than getting up-close to observe it happening and to influence and affect  it.

8    Unambitious Systems We have created systems (in schools, ministries, international bodies etc) that encourage, validate, reward and maintain unadventurous,  low-awareness teaching and learning.

9    Experience We have not defined well what we might expect of a genuinely experienced teacher. Training and inspections do not often take account of the  higher skillset of teaching.

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  1. Pingback: Following from afar | close up

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