Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kim Frencken: Using call backs

Call backs have swept the education world and now are being used in classrooms across the U.S., if not the world. Walk down any hall and you will hear echoes of "Yes, Yes." Eager little high pitched voices eagerly call back to their teacher's voice and wait in breathless anticipation for the next instruction. If the instructions come quickly enough they actually hear them. If not. Well, the call back is used again. And, once again, the students answer their teacher and give her about 5 seconds of their time.

Let me just say that call backs may have their merits, but, in my opinion, they do not encourage listening. In fact, they do they opposite. Students who are trained to only listen when they hear the call back initiative will only listen when they 'have' to. Students should be expected to listen anytime they hear their teacher's voice. Anytime there is instruction. Anytime that learning is taking place.

Yes, students need to learn cooperative learning. And they need to explore and they need to solve problems. But, they can't accomplish these tasks or even begin if they do not have instruction and leadership. They need to know what the objective is. In the beginning, they need a model. In these instances call backs may be defeating the very purpose for which they were intended.

Call backs are considered to be an educational break-through. A revolutionary idea. The latest genius invention to bring our kids into the 21st century. We have taken time tested teaching methods and given them a new name (usually an acronym) and held numerous conferences and professional development sessions and tell the world that we're doing something new. Are these really improvements? Or just something new to make us feel like we're moving forward?

I wonder what the committee-that-creates-educational-trends will come up with to move us in to the 22nd century??

I'll be moving into 2018. See you next year! Have a very Merry Christmas!

(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and informational about her educational products, check out her blog, Chocolate For the Teacher.)

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