Friday, June 17, 2016

Do You Teach Like a Five Paragraph Essay?

In regards to effective lesson delivery, there is much to be said about strategies, structures, and seating arrangements - and such - being the road to quality.

The notion - a partially correct one - is that better instruction will yield better student results. While it is true - remember, I say it is partially correct - that being a better deliverer of content does help students grasp that content, I firmly believe that it is just the entrance to a vast corridor of potential knowledge, skills, and opportunities - for our students.

Let me offer up two examples to help illustrate my point:

1) My family physician is very good at analyzing my vitals and symptoms and then prescribing a medicine for me that will have positive effect. I correctly assume that he not only memorized medications and body parts & functions and flaring symptoms but that he also had extensive practice in applying that knowledge to my medical needs.

2) Chris EveryStudent sits in a classroom day after day and is exposed to the most engaging, vivid, and innovative instructional strategies available to mortal mankind. He watches videos and participates in Kahoot presentations and straps on his Google Cardboard everyday. Through VR devices, he is exposed to life outside of his city and into unknown parts of the world full of mystery and intrigue.

Then, at the end of it all, he is asked to write a five paragraph essay that details his experiences and learning. (I grant that this is a blanket statement, but, for the sake of my argument, work with me here.)

So my question is this: While innovative instruction is a vital part of every teacher's daily life, why are they all so quick to assess students in an environment largely devoid of STUDENT INNOVATION?

Few teachers would ever design instruction that is akin to a five paragraph essay. So why are we asking our students to "show what they know" is such ways?

Something to think about...

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @coachdarin22


  1. Uh, I have never thought about essays in such fashion, but I find them as the worst way to test student's knowledge anyway. In fact, many of lads with clever minds have many issue with expressing themselves on paper, so me have! But in my very case I not hesitate to ask for somebody's assistance: even now I prefer more not to do all these long boring lab reports, but to pay to the professionals to write them for me And I can barely say that there is anything wrong with the tenure of mine - I'm frequently doing speech reports, but the writing ones are just not my sort of thing..

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