Saturday, September 23, 2006

Learning is social

I'm just reading Jeffrey Wilhelm's new book (with Michael Smith) called Going with the Flow: How to engage boys and girls in their Literacy Learning. It's full of good ideas for learning that is authentic, social and inquiry based. Just thought I'd share this excerpt:

Principles for making it Social

  • Create a context of inquiry, whether for a lesson or a unit.
  • Ask a significant question or pose a real problem.
  • Connect the question/problem to the material, to student lives and to the world.
  • Pose questions or problems that must be addressed from a number of perspectives.
  • Foster debate; consider, read, and discuss these multiple points of view.
  • Create situations in which students can read, write, talk, role-play, and make things together that address various facets of the question or problem.
  • Provide time for exploration.

I try to do these things in my classroom already, as so many of us do, but it is good to be reminded. Even though it is not even the start of Term 4 (still another week of holidays!) there is a need to prepare for next year and the new curriculum opportunities that arise for us then, especially at our school where so many changes will be happening in 2007.


  1. Down under you're still enjoy holiday and in the US (at least my part) our first set of grades were due for the first six week grading period!

  2. I had the opportunity to hear Jeff Wilhelm speak a couple years ago. As you might expect, he didn't just talk to us about how to engage boys in literacy; he modeled some of the strategies that we can use in the classroom to accomplish that goal. I was just talking with someone today about him and that presentation. It made a big impression on all of us who were there.

    I haven't read this book yet. Guess I had better get on the ball! Thanks for writing about it!

  3. Anonymous7:22 am

    It is great to be reminded of these principles! As a first year teacher, I promised I would do most of these things...but as I get more and more overwhelmed by everything going on, I lose focus every now and then. It was refreshing to read your blog. :)