Monday, 17 September 2018

Cynthia Greenleaf

Last week I went to the  Collaborative Reasoning PLG with Cynthia Greenleaf.

There were several similarities between her programme and DMIC: The establishment of group norms was important to help create an environment where all children felt they had a voice seemed to be the main one. Having a task where children have to think was another crossover.

In the seminar we were asked to do an activity in groups where we had to look at a picture of an 18th century crime scene, read the accompanying article about it and draw conclusions about what had happened. The most interesting thing highlighted for me was how important it was to have a scenario that was didn't emphasise a single dominant interpretation to help promote discussion, and develop the skill of supporting your views with evidence.

This made me wonder about some of the reasons I have been finding it very difficult establishing group norms in DMIC. The establishment of group norms has felt very teacher-led and forced for me. It hasn't seemed a natural process at all. Now I am wondering if particularly at our level when the problems are fairly simple, that there just isn't the need for discussion. It is trying to force something to happened when the reality there isn't enough depth to allow it to happen.

So my main take-away from this PLG was to try and establish these group norms in a different context, rather than trying to establish them in DMIC. Create some group discussions where children will have ideas to add. Where there are different interpretations so they can learn how to listen to others ideas and share their own but be able to help develop the skill of backing up their views. Then having learnt these skills in more natural and less contrived situations they can transfer these skills into the DMIC lessons.

My next to-do is to come up with some activities to help develop this.

I found the same activity online here.

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