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Talk-LessTeaching

Select:PastIssues

I
sabellaWallaceanswersOsirisquestionsaboutTalk-Less
Teachinghernewcourse,andprovidesyouwithsome
practicalexercisestotryoutinyourclassroomtoday.

Whatinspiredyoutowritethiscourse?
WasitaresponsetothescaryrumourscirculatingaboutOfsted?
YoumustmeantherumoursaboutOfsted
inspectorswhohaveallegedlybeentoldthatanylessonwhereateachertalksat
theclassforlongerthan10minutesshouldbedeemedinadequate.

Itsactuallyaboutmuchmorethanthat.Mostteachershaveexperiencedthat
uttersenseofexhaustionthatcandescendattheendofabusydayinthe
classroom;thatmomentwhenthelastpupilexitstheroomandwesinkdejectedly
intoourdesk-chair,nursingasorethroat.Itsamomentthatshouldbefilledwith
awarmfeelingofsatisfactionforajobwelldone,butoftentheover-riding
thoughtthatcreepsnagginglyintoourbrainis:Holdon,didIjustdoalmostALL
oftheworkbackthere?DidIjustbustagutforawholehouronlytogetmy
pupilstodoatinybitofwork?

WhydoyouthinkthatOfstedaresoaversetohearingteacher
talk?

Researchhasshownthatlisteningtosomeonespeakistheleasteffectivewayto
learnandsubsequentlyrecallinformation!Andwaitdisturbingly,researchalso
revealsthatonaverage,teacherstalkfor80%of
lessontime!

Inthelightofthisandtheresearchwhichshowsthatauditorylearningis
usuallytheleasteffectivemethodoflearningOfstedhaverecentlylauncheda
significantfocusonIndependentLearningandteachinginawaywhich
encourageslearningthroughactivediscussionandcollaboration.

Ofcourse,mostteachersacknowledgethatdidactic,lecture-styleteachingfosters
acultureofpassivityinpupils,wherepupilshavecometoexpecttohavelearning
fedtothemtobetoldtheanswers,ratherthanbetaughttheskillstodiscover
theanswersthemselves,orevenconsiderthepossibilityofalternativeanswers.

ThecommonlyexperiencedLectureLaryngitisisntnecessarilyasignofan
uninspiringteacherwhodoesntcareaboutmakinglearningengagingand
exciting;infactitisfarmorelikely,Ibelieve,asymptomofthatunderstandable
fearthatifwetalklessinlessons,itwillbeimpossibletogetacrossallthevital
informationneededbypupilstosucceed.

Inyouropinionwhydoyouthinkteachersfeeltheneedtotalktoo
much?

Itisawidelyacceptednotionthatthesuccessofpupilscanbemeasuredbytheir
performanceinstandardisedtestsandexams,andsobyextension,the
competenceoftheirteacherscanbesimilarlyassessed.Whenthereisawholelot
ofcrucialcontenttocover,ourdefaultmethodforconveyinginformationand
skillstoourpupilsistotalk,talkandtalk.

Itsanaturalhumaninstinct:whatdomostofusdowhenwereanxiousorunder
pressure?Wetalktentothedozen.Andletsfaceit:weteachersareunderhuge
amountsofpressuremostofthetime.
Ihavetaughtfor16years,andincreasinglyIhearmyinspirationalandinnovative
colleagueslamentthefactthattheysimplydonothavetimetousecreativeor
engagingteachingstrategiesanymorebecausetherejustisntroominthe
syllabustostopandhavefun.Thereisapervasivenotionthatthevastamounts
oftest-relatedinformationmustbetransferredoruploadedfromteacherto
pupil,andthatthebestwaytoeffectthistransferisthroughthepoweroftalk.Any
alternativemethodwouldbestoppingandwastingtimeinanalready-tight
schedule.

However,despiteactive,independentlearningbeinganunarguablyworthy
conceptinitself,thenewfocushasleftmanyteachersfeelingthattheyarestuck
inanimpossiblecontradictionbetweenbuildingindependentlearningskillsand
crammingthecontentnecessarytogettheresultsthatOfstedultimatelyjudges
uson.

Whatistheeffectofthisteaching
paradox?

Wearestillallowinglessonstobedominatedbythesoundofourownvoices.
WhatweneednowistofeelconfidentintheTRUTHthatwecanimproveprogress
andperformanceyes,inexamstoobyusingteachingtechniqueswhichallow
learningtogofardeeperthanitdoeswhenitismostlyadministeredaurally!
Talk-Lessteachingisallaboutprovidingteacherswithrealistic,practicalwaysto
helppupilsunderstanddifficultconceptsandlearnnewskillswithoutmakingthe
poordearslistenincessantlytothesoundofourvoices;toraiseattainment
withoutresortingtoformulaic,mind-numbing,teaching-to-the-test.Itsnosecret
thathumanbeingslearnandembedtheirlearningmostsuccessfullybydoing
andbeingactivelyinvolvedintheirlearning.

Wehaveonlytotaketheexampleoflearningtocook.Ifwehadnevercooked
beforeandsomeoneweretositandtellushowtoprepareaSundayRoastitwould
beverydifficulttogetupandreplicatewhatwehadjustheardabout;evenharder
torememberitthenextday!

However,ifwewereenabledtoexperiment,discoverforourselveswhatworked
andwhatdidnt,discussthingsaswewentalong,collaborate,watchanddo,then
wearelikelytobeabletoproduceincreasinglytastyroastdinnersforyearsto
come!

InmyTalk-Lessteachingseminarswithclassroompractitioners,welookathow
pupilsareoftenfrustratedteachersthemselvestheycandeviseingenious
learningactivitiesfortheirpeerswhengivenhalfthechance.

Theycanbeencouragedtocreatehowtorevisionvideos,givepresentations,
teacheachother,discussthings,getactivelyinvolvedandgenuinelythinkfor
themselvesifweexpectitofthem,believeinthemandpersevere.

SonexttimethosepupilslookatyouasiftosayTalktotheblankstare,costhe
brainaintlistening,takeadeepbreath,remindyourselfthatthereisanother
betterway;andgetthepupilstoworkharderthanyou,thinkharderthanyou,
andtalkharderthanyou.

Onelastquestion,isiteverappropriateforteacher-talkto
dominate?

Ifweretalkingaboutateacherusingteachertalkasthedefaultwaytoteach
thenno!Weknowthatlisteningtoinformationisthehardestwaytotakeitinand
retainit.

However,thereisapowerfultypeofteacher-talkandthatsthemeaningful
dialoguethathappensonaone-to-onebasis.SR

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Writtenby
IsabellaWallace

Isabellaistheco-authorofthehugelypopularteachingguidesTalk-LessTeachingandPimpYourLesson!.
Shehasexperienceonbothsidesoftheobservationprocess,asassessorandassessed.Isabellaknowsexactly
whats needed to make teaching Outstanding, and shares it through her unique brand of fresh, thoroughly
modern,highlypracticaltraining.

Talk-LessTeaching
JoinIsabellaandLeahontheirhighlypopularandengagingcourse.Keeppupilsengaged,activeandmaking
progresswithnewwaystomonitorprogressandcheckunderstanding.Takeawayhighlyinteractivestrategies
to:supportindependentlearning,ensurenopassengers,encouragecollaborativelearning,andreducelesson
planning.

Calltobooknow
08081605160
Clickhereto

Bookonline(http://bit.ly/TLTcourse)

OsirisEducationalistheUKsleadingindependent
trainingproviderforteachers.
Clickheretofindoutmore(http://bit.ly/11YBUvl)

2017OsirisEducational
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