Monday, February 9, 2015

Encouraging dissonance in students

School, or should I say the culture of school, encourages agreement. The teacher is always right! Right? What we learn is always right? Yes? If everyone else thinks that then it must be right? Right? You getting where I'm going here? Yes?

Dissonance, or the ability to think differently and challenge ones thoughts is a skill that needs to be taught because it doesn't come naturally - especially in a traditional school context.

Dissonance can be uncomfortable at first. It is rather risky and requires a high level of thinking. Usually it means going against the status quo and potentially being wrong. But is there such a thing as a wrong answer? (I say no!)

I really like to get my students involved with current affairs. Students do have an opinion. I have also found that these 7 and 8 year olds also have a good sense of social justice.

This morning's headline screamed for a class discussion: