PGDE Social Subjects - Newsletter 2

Challenging the Extrovert Ideal in the Classroom

Without proffering cliches and stereotypes, the introverts in your class will likely prefer to reflect and think deeply. In the classroom setting, this can mean having a preference to work independently. 

Introverts may prefer planning, enjoy brainstorming and considering all sides of something in their mind before taking the next step. They often prefer discussing things with one other person rather than in a large group. 

Constantly being told to “speak up” and work with others during can cause stress or anxiety. 

When you are designing tasks for your learners, remember that it may be focused, independent learning tasks in which some will shine brightest.

There are links to resources and some great prompts in this article to help you plan for the introverts in your lessons.

Here's Jamie Thom, author of  A Quiet Education: Challenging the extrovert ideal in our schools discussing both why and how we must better cater for introverts in our classrooms.

You can explore some similar themes in this Manifesto for Introversion in the workplace.

Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth

Visual images are powerful teaching and learning tools, providing windows into the past. We need to teach visual skills to young people, and that means treating pictures as sources of information. Pictures can be read as texts in their own right, not as mere illustrations. Although children are surrounded by visual images, particularly on television, they often cannot comment on or remember what they have seen - they have not engaged with the images, have not 'read' them. For that they need to look deeply, to enter imaginatively into the picture, to question, to hypothesise.


Geographers often make good use of Google Earth, but it is a tool we should be using in all our Social Subjects classrooms. 


Here are just a few suggestions for how you might use it: 

Cold Calling

An extract from a longer post by Tom Sherrington - former HT, author and education consultant

"Based on my experience working with hundreds of teachers in numerous contexts, I’d suggest that one of the strategies with the biggest impact on the overall effectiveness of lessons is the routine use of cold-call questioning".

What is the key to cold calling working so well? 

  • The spirit is inclusive and invitational; it’s never a ‘gotcha’.
  • Everyone’s contributions matter.
  • Accountability and inclusion go hand in hand
  • Everyone is made to think.
  • The responses are responsive

Tom’s worked example: 

Ask the question: Ok, everyone let’s see. What’s a good way to work out 12 x 17? 

Give thinking time: (No hands up, no calling out; scan the room as they think, keeping the focus) Select someone to respond: Right, so Kelly what were you thinking? (warm, invitational). “I think it’s 204.” 

Respond to the answers: Yes, that’s right. What was your method? “I did 10 x 17 and then 2 x 17 and added them up.” 

Select and another student: Great. What method did you use, Abdi? “I did 10 x 12 makes 120 7 x 12 is 84 and then add them for 204.” Well done – how does that compare to Kelly’s answer?


Read the full post on Tom's website.



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