“There is a shift in many organisations from only sharing what people know to sharing what people don’t know. Huge productivity increases! Esko Kilpi
Discourse related to ‘problems of practice’ has been circulating among administrators for some time. Approaching classroom teaching as a problem of practice to be shared with students can be equally powerful. Esko Kilpi’s observation caused me to recall how Knowledge Building Circles were evolving in my classroom before I went on secondment.
The language would go something like this, “About half the class understands how to fully explain the evidence they’ve selected to support their ideas, but not everyone is there yet. What I’m struggling with is how to help those who aren’t there yet.” And then we’d talk about it in the circle. It was simple and effective. Rather than one person working on the problem, suddenly there were 26, including those who needed to learn how to explain evidence. Often students were better at articulating how to explain evidence in language their peers understood than I was. Students who were struggling with explaining evidence could now choose from many explanations, not just mine. It brings home what one of my colleagues, Brenda Sherry, pointed out a few weeks ago about why providing opportunities for students to engage in meta-cognitive discourse is so important. Meaning is constructed as we talk. Whoever is doing the talking is doing the learning.