Should we critique or comment on other people’s lesson ideas?

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With Twitter and online teacher groups people share their lesson ideas all the time. For some it is a life saver, especially if you’re teaching out of your subject area. At events such as TeachMeets, people share their idea or lesson resource and the audience politely clap.

However at which point should you stop and make a comment if something is wrong or if you don’t agree with it? Or do we just leave it, either because of British ‘manners’ that dictate you  shouldn’t mention anything or you feel it might upset the person sharing?

Does it make a difference if it’s a typo or a SPAG error compared to a bigger issue such as they have something factually incorrect? I’ve been more interested in research recently, should this help to decide if a lesson idea is a valid or effective one?

When does a comment become a criticism?

Should these be taken personally?

More pertinent to RE, should we say if we feel that someone is teaching something in RE that may sit elsewhere in the curriculum? Who is ‘right’? Without a National Curriculum and a past history of AT2, it seems that any thing can be wedged into an RE lesson.

There are many many times where people have shared stuff and others have said how ‘amazing’ it is, and it isn’t amazing. I’ve sat on my hands and haven’t commented. The horrific long list of emails being ‘cheeky’ and asking for a copy of it makes me want to cry. I once sat in a teacher presentation on literacy where there were SPAG errors. No-one said a word.

Do our students deserve to have a certain quality of curriclulum or resource or does anything go? Who decides?

Or should we respect the fact that someone may have spent hours on this and ignore any issues?

Is there a best way to critique or should we all be open to people’s comments on work we make public?

Should we only comment if someone directly asks for feedback?

Do we have a moral responsibility to ensure that everything students see is of a high quality or do we keep quiet and clap everything and anything?

My concern is that if we shut down any sort of dialogue on these things that lots of dross is shared, but the other extreme is that people don’t feel comfortable to share anything. Is there a middle ground?

*Please do point out any SPAG errors in this and feel free to comment/critique/ feedback.

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5 thoughts on “Should we critique or comment on other people’s lesson ideas?

  1. “Is there a best way to critique or should be all be open to people’s comments on work we make public?”

    Typo…? 😉

    Very good post by the way (seriously – I’m not patronising you)!

  2. I think where someone’s offering an idea freely, it’s probably best to bite your tongue and not comment if you don’t like it. However, if you write for a living, it is part and parcel of the job. I’ve mostly found that the best way to respond to things I don’t like is to keep quiet about them. I hate to see a SPaG error in my own writing, but I try my hardest not to correct one in someone else’s (although I probably would if I saw it directly done in a classroom, hopefully in a subtle way). Interesting blog, Dawn. Thank you.

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