Monday, July 8, 2013

It's not about the aha moment.

This was a realisation this week.  My teaching is no longer about the Aha! moment.  I've come to the realisation that my students now expect an aha! moment any time I teach.   What's more, experience gives you the ability to construct these moments at will.

Teaching has become more can I get past the aha! moment to ensure retention of concepts and develop depth in learning.  Most teaching points can be taught, creating the motivation required to learn for life, rather than learn for the moment is where my teaching is now going and is starting to drive my thinking.

It the idea of in the process of huh?->aha!->embedded->used to scaffold new learning, the embedding is more critical as experience in teaching grows.  This is where exam results improve.

I talked with my teaching group this week and was challenged as to why we have exams.  I sat down after the discussion and wrote for nearly an hour as to why I believed they were important.  Being part of the group that re-embedded them in the school I needed to revisit why I thought they were important.


  1. It is a part of the school year that provides inertia for the learning process: teach (learning) -> test (for understanding) -> exam (test for retention)
  2. It forms a part of the expected scholastic disciplines
  3. It prepares them for the pressures of performance
  4. It provides reason for rectifying understanding after initial testing
  5. It provides summative feedback on student performance
  6. It identifies if students can select the correct strategy across a broader range of strategies
  7. It is an opportunity for making consistent judgements across classes
  8. It is an opportunity to develop revision, calculator usage and note preparing practices in students
  9. It is how students are tested in the majority of upper school courses
  10. It identifies areas that require reteaching or more attention in future courses of work
I'm a bit sad because whilst students were sitting their exams I created a more exhaustive list, but in my wisdom failed to save it.  Can't win them all.

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