Higher Order Thinking · Techniques & Methodology

Levels of Understanding

I’ve spent a lot a time talking about Bloom’s Cognitive Domains lately. This is largely because I’ve been invited to speak at a number of institutions about Critical Thinking, and in every instance so far, the teachers have informed me that, in one way or another, their institutions encourage them to “use Bloom’s Taxonomy”. When… Continue reading Levels of Understanding

Thoughts

On Competition in the Global Era

Competition in the classroom: perhaps one of the longest enduring debates on teaching methodology to date. Through the training programmes I have conducted both for local teachers here in Indonesia and for teachers from around the world, I continue to see a fairly even split between those who say competition in the classroom is a… Continue reading On Competition in the Global Era

Techniques & Methodology

A Functional Approach to Lesson Planning

I have discussed in several posts my approach to lesson planning. In particular, I have described my three-part structure for learning objectives and asserted the importance of application in all lessons. In this post, I will take a practical look at how we decide what we are going to teach in our ESL lessons from… Continue reading A Functional Approach to Lesson Planning

Thoughts

On Solving the Problem of Large Classes

I live and teach in Indonesia, where classes in formal schools are often above 30 students, increasing to as large as 40–50 students for government schools outside major cities. While I haven’t taught there, I’ve heard plenty about China and India, for example, where a class can have more than 60 students. As a trainer,… Continue reading On Solving the Problem of Large Classes

Learner Autonomy · Student-centred Learning · Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

Make the Most of Your Classroom Situation

Leveraging Mixed Abilities to Reinforce Learning Here in Indonesia—and in many other parts of the world too, I am sure—a major challenge that faces almost all teachers in almost all schools is the mixed ability class. To a certain extent, this is an entirely universal teaching scenario, but it is certainly more pronounced in some… Continue reading Make the Most of Your Classroom Situation

Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

Your Students Will Forget What You Teach Them

And It’s Not a Bad Thing Occasionally, we can teach a lesson and come back to it later only to find that the students have forgotten it entirely. You might have felt that the initial lesson was a diamond—everything went well, the students were engaged, interest and participation were high, everybody left happy and wiser—and… Continue reading Your Students Will Forget What You Teach Them

Classroom Culture · Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

On Establishing Classroom Dynamics

Classroom Culture, Pt. II At the recent TeacherTalkTime event, an important point was raised that spanned several of the topics discussed. It’s important because it is apparently a fairly universal problem and one that can seem insurmountable to many teachers. The solution, I am confident, falls under the banner of classroom culture, which I first… Continue reading On Establishing Classroom Dynamics