a quiet HSE class

Hello colleagues, After class this morning, one of my colleagues who had been subbing for a high school equivalency (HSE) class commented that the students in the class were super quiet. This morning's conversation got me thinking about the role of talk in learning, 

Sarah Michaels and Cathy O’Connor, the authors of a useful online resource, explain that recent National Research Council reports emphasize the importance of learners communicating about the academic content they are learning.

Michaels and O'Connor highlight 5 reasons why talk is important in classrooms.

  1. "Talk provides a window into student thinking, revealing understanding and misunderstanding.
  2. Talk supports robust learning by boosting memory, providing richer associations, and supporting language development.
  3. Talk supports deeper reasoning and encourages students to reason with evidence. 
  4. Talk apprentices students into the social and intellectual practices of [an academic discipline].
  5. Talk supports the development of social skills and encourages risk-taking with huge payoffs for learning."

How can we best support learners in an HSE class to engage in productive discussions? 

For tips, check out the resource Talk Science Primer. While the content is science --and this resource includes excellent examples for ways to support productive discussions about science-- the principles apply to any academic discipline. 

You are invited to join this "productive discussion" here on LINCS!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP