Nov 23, 2010
Comments Off on Revision.


I was prepared. I had some great activities for them to do. They were going to be up and working together. They were going to be using technology. I was set. I was excited. They were disengaged.

“What is going on today, folks, you all seem half dead.”

“Actually Mr. Kemp, I think this question (which is the basis of our inquiry) sucks. Who cares?”

“Okay, but it is one of the questions we formed and chose to explore at the beginning of the class. You guys came up with it.”

“Yeah, but that was before we really knew what we were going to do with it.”

“Fair enough. What would you all like to do instead?”

Very few suggestions. A few folks said that we should continue on with this. Even more said it was time to change it up.

My plans, exciting and engaging, weren’t relevant. I could have forced through, delivered my classroom activities and had a pretty good class. Most of them would have come around, they would have done it, because that is what they are supposed to do. Instead, we spent most of the period talking about what was an interesting inquiry, how to frame the right questions, following little tangents of thought, small discussions and debates.

A few years ago, I might have felt dejected. I probably would have went on with my plans. As we didn’t really accomplish anything. But then again, it’s not about me. Instead, we engaged into a rich conversation of choices, an exploration of learning, before the learning is done. We talked about group dynamics, how to get everyone to agree.

Yeah, we didn’t get anything done today. But we did learn about revision.

Am I alone in this, did I waste the period? Your thoughts are very welcome.

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