Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching all day?

From a comment:

One of the comments that I mentioned on my blog as well is that the WBT videos are used to display WBT techniques. They do not show an entire class. Since the video is used to highlight a specific technique, other aspects of classroom life are edited out for timing purposes.

Right, I've seen this argument before. I say, "How can you stand to spend the day doing this tedious, loud, pre-scripted nonsense?" and the reply is, "Oh, we don't do this all day."

It reminds me of a saucy English postcard I found somewhere on the internet, showing a young couple canoodling on the couch.

Young Lovely: "No, Bert! I won't trade an hour of pleasure for a lifetime of shame!"

Bert (hopefully): "It won't take an hour."

I have two responses to the "we don't do it all day" argument:

1.) Really? I'd like to see a video showing a WBT teacher engaging in some other kind of activity, like actual classroom discussion where kids make un-scripted remarks. Considering that there's about 8 billion hours of WBT videos on youtube, there ought to be at least a few that show something besides the standard call-and-response-with-gestures.

2.) So what? I wouldn't want my kids spending 30 seconds vowing to "keep their dear teacher happy." I wouldn't want my kids being told to say "Oh sweet mama, I want some free time!" as Chris Biffle has them do, or being told to groan because a classmate wasn't paying attention. This isn't education, it's just control freakery.

9 comments:

  1. Please do not mention me in your blog posts. I understand your opinion on the WBT strategy and I understand and appreciate your point of view. However, please realize that I am an education student and by being included in a post where you are critiquing the strategy it is seen by myself, and others, as a critique of me as well.
    I appreciate your understanding in this matter.

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  2. Miss L, this is the internet. If you post a comment on my blog, I might post a rebuttal. That's how it works. If you post a comment, you've become part of a public discussion.

    I'll take "Miss L" out of the post, if that makes you feel better.

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  3. I guess I should clarify my policy on quoting.

    I follow what you might call the academic model. Once something is part of the public domain, it's fair game for me to quote, whether I agree or disagree. I make it clear that I didn't write the material by citing the author, and, when possible, provide a link so that anyone who's interested can look at the entire context. I make an effort not to quote anyone out of context or twist their words to make it sound like they said something they really didn't.

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  4. Here's an appalling Whole Brain video (if you haven't seen enough):

    Power Teaching: 6th Grade Math

    This is supposed to be a review session, but the kids don't have the faintest understanding of what they're doing.

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  5. Is it just me, or does anyone else find "oh sweet Mama" creepy?

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  6. I find these WBT videos so upsetting. I keep wondering when the students get any mental privacy. When can they think? They're so tightly scripted, and constantly buffeted by the demands to make those inane rote responses.

    WBT is being discussed on my blog right now, here - in case you want to stop by.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. How is this crap not a cult? It makes pavlov dogs look like slackers


    Young Lovely: "No, Bert! I won't trade an hour of pleasure for a lifetime of shame!"

    Bert (hopefully): "It won't take an hour."



    All the more reason to say no, Young Lovely. Hold out for the 60 min man is my advice

    ReplyDelete