My friend and amazing teacher colleague Danika Barker maintains a blog here, and she gave me a heads up about her latest post, part of which is found below:
My grade 12s are currently working diligently away on preparing seminars for their classmates. We’ve been studying Danliterary criticism and now they are becoming the experts, preparing a short story to present to the class and explaining how analyzing the text from a particular lens reveals certain insight.
It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s totally worth it.
As I listen to the conversations happening all around me, I hear students puzzling through really challenging questions, and some of them ask me, “But can you tell me what it means?” A part of me really wants to. Not that I necessarily know the answer, but I’m very tempted to tell them what I think. Still, I resist that urge, because I remind myself that the second I tell them what I think something means, a part of their brains shut down and that’s the very part that I want them exercising. The steam coming out of those ears is good.
It can be torture for English teachers to listen to students come up with off-base or misguided conclusions, but we need to restrain the urge to give students “the answer” and instead ask them more questions.
Whether students arrive at what we consider to be a “right answer” is much less important than…”