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Konrad Glogowski: On Conversational Assesment

Today while reading reading our subscription I've found a quote from John Dewey on Pedagogical Theory, written precisely by the author of Blog of Proximal Development. After my attention was caught, I kept reading the post and enjoyed reading the experiences around Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl.

It's quite interesting how Glokowski describes his initiatives and experiences in the classroom and how he works to engage himself as a participant in such conversations. Students and teacher at the end, feel comfortable and happy working together and not concentrated in a lesson plan only. "..Their work emerged from meaningful conversations with each other and the teacher." concludes in its part I this post.

I am sad all schools belonging to my son's Board of Education are asking to read the same books on summer vacations, while in the Library we've discovered all 6th graders are supposed to read the very same books: Number of the Stars by Louis Lowry, The Islander by Cynthia Rylant, The Skirt by Gary Soto, Bigger by Patricia Calvert, Las aventuras de Sherlok Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (yes, in Spanish) and so on. Is it against what Glokowski says? "I wanted to create an avenue for a personal connection - not an easy task in a classroom setting where every text we study is likely to be perceived as a literary text first and a personal experience second."

Not easy to find educational blogs where teachers describe their experiences (and challenges) in the classroom. That's why we should pay close attention to this paragraph we selected to quote in its entirety:

"Of course, it is not easy to have meaningful and authentic conversations with students about a literary text that they’re reading. First of all, they know very well that I’m an expert - even if I don’t see myself as one. Therefore, they are absolutely convinced that they cannot contribute anything to the discussion that I don’t already know. No matter how much I try to show them that there are still many aspects of a given topic that I am not very familiar with, students persist in their belief that teachers are experts."

Anybody else writing on classroom laboratory? Please, we will appreciate you let us know in comments.

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