Author Archives: cpaterso

About cpaterso

I love teaching, but recognise that schools often do not support what we know about learning. I believe that confusion is good, grades are overemphasised, and exams are anachronistic. Currently working in a learning and teaching leadership role in a Sydney school.

Helping Students Become Better Thinkers

If “children grow into the intellectual life around them” (Vygotsky, 1978, p.88), then what kind of intellectual life are we presenting to the students in our classrooms? Teachers all over the world have had to accept the compromise of focusing … Continue reading

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Questioning

I want to really listen for, value, and try to understand learners’ thoughts, experiences and insights, and then use them as a starting point and ongoing iterative counterpoint. I need to be curious about what sense a learner is making and how … Continue reading

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Follow Their Thinking

I have been thinking about the relational and affective aspects of inquiry learning. How important is it to be present and enthusiastic, and work really hard to find out what a learner’s thoughts and feelings are? What is my role … Continue reading

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Trust the Content and Trust Their Minds

Everything that I do either supports or diminishes my students’ reliance on their ability to think. It is only by thinking that people get better at thinking. My role is not to simplify subject matter for students, but to keep them engaged … Continue reading

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Empty Shadows

We don’t want to cover a subject, we want to uncover it. Simply telling students information does not allow them to develop their understanding. I have come to realise that my role is to design learning experiences that engage learners … Continue reading

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Is Teaching an Art or a Science?

When a pedagogy of ‘teaching by mentioning’ rewards formulaic learners, it can be easy to ignore that teaching is contextual and situational. When I teach I am often unaware of the value of my own experiential knowledge and, due to … Continue reading

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Resistance to change

I have some questions. Why are schools so resistant to change? Is it because of the entrenched patterns of institutionalised social relationships in schools? Is it due to the separate culture that grows within a school, binding personalities together and … Continue reading

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