10 Teaching Pitfalls

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Excellent article on teaching pitfalls…

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This is a companion to 10 Teaching Essentials.  
In addition to trying to deliver on the 10 Essentials, I’m suggesting that teachers should seek to avoid these pitfalls.  To some extent, the two lists mirror each other – positive and negative ways of expressing the same ideas – but, not entirely.   Most feedback I give teachers about how to improve their practice includes something from this list:
1. Questioning ineffectively:
Weak questioning might include some or all of the following:
  • Only asking one student a question: ‘John, what’s the answer’ – as opposed to asking everyone and then, after some thinking time, ‘Ok, John, what do you think?’
  • Asking the whole class a question but extrapolating from this one answer a sense that everyone else also understands and then moving on.
  • Taking ‘hands up’ responses from the same few students and never asking the ‘hands down’ majority to contribute.

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