Sunday, 1 September 2013

Vicious and virtuous circles in teaching practice

I have been thinking about vicious and virtuous circles recently. Cause and effect rarely run in a simple linear fashion, whereby one thing leads to another and then to another without other factors, the environment and the complexity of life coming into play. the key question seems to me - where and how to intervene?

A simple example: A teacher wants to use ICT devices in their classroom. However, some of the students don't bring one. This causes the intended learning experience to flounder, which diminishes the teacher's willingness to try it again. As the teacher uses the devices less and less, more and more students don't bother to bring their device and there becomes less and less chance that an ICT-integrated lesson will work well.

How can this example of a vicious circle be remedied? At what point can an intervention be made that could help the vicious circle to become a virtuous circle? Is it in the teacher's resolute determination to persevere, despite the difficulties? Is it in the school mandating that students bring a device? Is it in the school's provision of resources such as additional 'at the shoulder' expertise to bolster the teacher's confidence?

What other vicious circles exist in schools?  

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