Sometimes it’s better to tell rather than ask

In his blog, Tom Sherrington unpacks the teacher myth “Always ask before you tell”. The kind of teaching exemplified in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This myth is influenced by the famous quotation: “Tell me and I’ll forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I will understand”. While this saying makes some sense in a passive bygone era classroom, it ignores certain other truths about teaching and learning. We do want children to be involved but we also want to model and explain things too. At the heart of this view is a type of constructivist ideology of teaching that believes everything can be discovered by the children, rather than constructed with the children. Paul Kirschner calls this ideology “the zombie that refuses to die“.


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