A great teaching idea…until everyone does it?


I discussed this with a colleague today. Something was working really well with students and he joked that I shouldn’t do it with my students as they might get fed up with it.

This got me thinking. If we all use the same resources, the same techniques, across the school, do students get fed up or bored with these? Does it matter?

I’ve previously done lots of training on the sorts of teaching techniques that are supposed to be used across the school: TEEP, kagan,and a long time ago, thinking hats.*

Regardless of any questions about the research (or lack of research) on the effectiveness of these systems, do these sorts of whole school systems create a predictable, narrow, monotonous experience for students? Or does it provide a clear, known framework for students to build all their learning around that makes it easy for teachers to plan around?

If the impact is negative for the students, for which I’m not sure, should we bother sharing resources or teachniques with colleagues that we don’t actually want them to use as it may impact our subject and the efficacy of the technique?

Is variety the key to learning or do universal set structures have more benefits?
* Just because I’ve done training on these does not mean I’m advocating them. I’m listing the training I’ve had in my career as examples.


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