Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Breadcrumbs

Question: When a student encounters a novel problem, whose voice does she hear in her head?




Possible sources of discussion: This post by Grace and comment by Brian. This teaching video and article sent to me by @mpershan. Google giving my district two million dollars for Explicit Direct Instruction. Chapter 4 in the book Jenny and I are reading. Khan Academy.

8 comments:

  1. These are great breadcrumbs. I love the notions of aboutitis/elementitis.

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    1. I'm in love with David Perkins.

      Re: Breadcrumbs - Two meanings here. The second alluding to your comment on Grace's post. Can a student follow the breadcrumbs back through construction of a line of argument? Is this possible if they hear someone else's voice in their head? And like my comment below, what's the difference between thinking about what someone would say and remembering what someone actually said?

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  2. Thanks. I commented over at Grace's about a story I use in pre-calc.

    I'd like to address your question here. Whose voice should the student hear? Their own sometimes, but I like when I hear the voice of someone I've learned from. In our work together on Playing With Math, Maria Droujkova and I have hashed out the wording on a few emails to authors. Sometimes I have her voice in my head now, and I find that very useful. (I argue with her voice, and get to a result I like.)

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    1. I've been thinking about this for awhile. It was some random comment I read online of a student saying something about taking a test and he heard Sal Khan's voice explaining to him how to solve it. I think there's a difference between thinking about what someone would say and remembering what someone actually said. In the latter case, I wonder if you believe you're the one actually solving the problem.

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    2. Hmm, I always talk back to the voices in my head, so it never occurred to me that someone might think they hadn't done something themselves, just because there was a voice helping out.

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  3. this is so in line with my research - they typically hear the voice of anxiety tied to 'who is holding me accountable for showing I know this' - they need to be explicitly guided to hear a voice of their own that helps them use the tools they have to work through something. Being explicit about these inner-voice discourse practices and how they tie to productive classroom discourse practices is a fascinating area of research - and totally changes the way we talk to our students!

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    1. Do you have anything you can point me to?

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  4. I wonder whether early-stages learners might hear someone else's voice-- a teacher, a friend explaining it, a textbook-reading robot--and then, as they become more and more familiar with the content and begin to attach it to other ideas/nodes/concepts in their brains, start to hear their own?

    This trail of links is leading me to make connections between content-explanation stories, which is what I was focused on in my post, and stories about self (and self-as-learner), which Brian referenced in that first comment but also, Jenny described in her post. I'm thinking we want students to become fluent storytellers in both realms?

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