Thursday, September 22, 2011

Are You Afraid to Ask Your Students What They Are Learning?

When I ask my students simple questions like "What are you learning?" I often get answers I do not expect. One of the problems I have as a social person is that I tend to think everyone thinks the same way I do and at the same time. I don't seem to "get it" when I get an answer different than one I expect.

When I ask these questions below, I was expecting specific answers. At the very least I would assume the answers would be similar, but they are not. Typically my reaction is to immediately "correct" them so that they parrot back the information to me.

Is it really fair to tell students what they are learning? When we ask the question do we have the right to not like the answer? In this case, I don't think the questions are too difficult for them to understand. I do think that some of the students were trying to give me the answer they thought I wanted, but obviously not all did that. Should I try to give them the answer or at least lead them to what I want them to say?

I am not sure that me telling them what they learned will actually translate into what they actually learned. I am also not sure I have the right to discount what they are learning because it isn't what I want.