Count the tropes, Dept.

With respect to the poster below, questions abound.

Why is scaffolding only for “diverse learners”? And what IS a diverse learner? And must classroom routines be co-created? Why is teacher authority a bad thing?

Why are students now called “learners”? There really is no need to invent a whole new vocabulary. It may make you think you’re important, but most people see through it. And in the schools I’ve taught, we talk about the students or kids.

And what is with “learner agency”? It used to be “ownership” which was bad enough–now we have “agency”. Of course it pertains to “self-directed learning”. Nothing wrong with students doing things on their own but they do have to receive instruction somewhere along the line. Novices are not experts–but the chart makes no allowance for where a student (or learner) might be on that spectrum.

Finally there’s “productive struggle”. Yes, students should have to stretch beyond initial worked examples. But if they’re struggling, give them some help. Though the chart makers would cringe at this, sometimes students are ready to absorb a direct answer to a question. If so, then just tell them!Edugraphic


One thought on “Count the tropes, Dept.

  1. Good questions!
    Let’s have “productive struggle” when students have experienced sufficient practice with a particular topic. Easing students into a particular unit, say Quadratics, works best one manageable step at a time while corresponding procedural fluency with contextual applications either along the way or in due time. On the other hand, struggling at the outset is likely to bring about misunderstanding, frustration and a growing lack of confidence. This is hardly what I would call efficient learning.


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