From the forums

22nd November 2013 at 00:00

Is `chalk and talk' due a revival?

I watched Brian Cox's The Science of Doctor Who on BBC Two the other night. It was predominantly an old-fashioned lecture with a couple of experiments and a blackboard. I found it both fascinating and informative. This proves that you can teach anybody anything if you have a) knowledge of the subject and b) an enthusiasm for communication. All the technology in the world won't make a bad communicator into a good teacher.

I haven't had a blackboard for years.

Chalk and talk is my preferred learning style and method of delivery. Shame the great and good of pedagogy frown on it.

We are told we must talk for no more than four minutes. Our headteacher would have slated Professor Cox. I thought he was fab.

Where were the professor's mini plenaries? He never checked if his audience had made progress. Bloody useless!

I've not been teaching long but I find the endless PowerPoints and touchy- pointy interactivey-whiteboardy stuff a bit pointless. Give `em information in an engaging way, make `em process that information and demonstrate they've processed it. Job done.

I have the only blackboard left in my school. This means I also have the entire school supply of chalks. Younger teachers really enjoy using my blackboard. One of them is now trying to find one for their classroom (I'm not sharing the chalks, though).

I taught an all-singing, all-dancing observed lesson where kids wandered around tables and put Post-it notes on the wall. The person observing me loved it and gave it a 1. Tried to do a recap. Kids couldn't remember a word of it. Did the same topic with my other group chalk-and-talk style. Would have got a 4 on an observation. Kids could remember the key ideas and build on them.


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