Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Teaching and Student Response

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: Teaching and Student Response

Title: “That Which Is Taught, That Which Is Learned.” Andrew R. Ratner. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (April 2008), 533-537.

Summary: A phone call from a student the author had had in his class sixteen years ago reminds the author that the ideas he and the class discussed had sometimes very different responses by individuals in the class and that he as a teacher will never really know what students have learned from what he taught.

[Comment: Which reminds me of an experience I had at one of my graduations when I was a young teacher. A student came up to me and said, “Mr. Stopper, I never forgot something that you taught me.” I was young and na├»ve and I fell for it. “What was that?” I asked, thinking that I must have said something profound. “Never chew gum in an argument,” he said, referring to the technique I had used to help him remember how to spell the word “argument” that is usually misspelled “arguement.” It was only much later that I read an article warning teachers, NEVER, NEVER EVER respond to a question like, "Do you know what I remember about your class?"

I have just inserted a little levity into an idea that is really quite profound: we never do know what our students have learned from what we have taught. RayS.]

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