Ewan McIntosh: Allow for students to share their ‘Aha’ moments

One really amazing example Ewan shared was from upper primary students from Brixton in London. These students were being coached to always be able to answer 3 simple questions;

  1. Where have you been (in your learning)
  2. Where are you now
  3. Where are you going

This type of self-awareness scores highly on Hattie’s effect sizes. The beautiful thing about the example was however, that the students were keeping an online journal / diary of these reflections that was open to the other students in their class. Ewan saw some students looking at other students diaries, and so he asked them

“What are you guys doing?”

“We are just looking at learning” they replied. These students were attempting to work out how some of the other students were learning better than they were.

This was a real eye opener for me about the power of enabling students to share their ‘aha’ moments.


3 thoughts on “Ewan McIntosh: Allow for students to share their ‘Aha’ moments

  1. Pingback: On the shoulders of giants… | dialog

  2. We have to teach the students how to answer these questions. We have to be more specific in our questions otherwise they may not understand the depth of thought that we require from them.
    For example, as part of a series of lessons on Procedure, I demonstrated making a Vegemite sandwich. I emphasised the verbs, gave them a copy of the procedure to read and discussed it as I made the sandwich. Then we listed the verbs together and I took back the copy of the procedure . Next I gave them the cut-up procedure and they had to reconstruct it by looking at the verbs. I did this again, with the focus on the verbs, with a cheese sandwich (this took two consecutive lessons).
    Finally I asked them individually what they had learnt and each student said that they had leant to make a Vegemite/cheese sandwich. I had to ask what they had learnt about the procedure genre and verbs in a procedure before they thought in more depth about their learning.

    • I would hope that if your students were asked to then create their own instructional material on how to teach writing a procedure with a practical element, they would be able to do what you did – they learned both. Being clear about the type of response you are looking for or where you want the students to focus (is this Home Ec or is this English) should be made clear to the students as well, without devaluing what else they have learned along the way. Cheers for your input!

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