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Micro-teaching 3: 2 November 10

2 November 2010

Good to see most of you again this evening! Sorry! Good to see all of you whom I did see…

  • I’ve now booked three observations and discussed one more–if I’m down to see you and we haven’t started on arrangements please email me.
  • Sorry to hear my great SD card scheme has not worked out entirely as planned. I’ll revert to Standard Definition recording as from next week, but that will introduce a delay while I record onto the cards or DVD, as you prefer. If you haven’t already done so, please don’t splash out on an SDHC…
  • But if you can’t access the recording on your card, let me have it and I’ll get it back to you on DVD or the card as you prefer, for the following week.

Thanks to Rashid and Emily for tonight’s microteaching sessions.

Apart from the fascinating content–

  • The text of the main Trachtenberg book is available here
  • It was too big a topic for this discussion, but several of you touched on the why/how does it work issue. This is really tricky. It’s a big issue for me; I want to be able to reconstruct procedures from first principles. But that isn’t the case for everyone–particularly younger people who are hoovering up information because it “works”. Looking up the T.. system it appears I shall have to learn about eight different rules and their ranges of convenience. But unlike the multiplication tables I have no idea of why they work or apply only to a particular range of numbers. The rules work (I gather) as far as square roots. But are they self-limiting?

Alex contested the “keep it simple” principle we discussed, on the grounds that Ofsted look for the use of ICT whenever possible. I was reluctant to challenge the point, partly because it would have been a distraction from the main discussion, but also because I was not sure what the Ofsted guidance actually is. I’ve now spent some time checking that out, and there is nothing in their guidance to inspectors and observers making that point. Actually, I was rather surprised to find how little ICT (and associated terms) were referred to other than in the context of teaching it as a subject.

I think we have an “urban myth” here. But Alex is right: it is one believed all too readily by college managers and others who have lost sight of the primary task.

Emily constructed an exemplary session which took you from “I don’t even understand the title!” to “I can do this for myself.” in 20 minutes.

She had some very pertinent ideas about how she could have improved the session, often in small ways but ones which would have opened up the subject further. That was great to hear! That is the approach which develops the “craft skills” of teaching–and next year you will encounter it in the more grandiose disguise of “action research”.


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