Thought starters

  1. How do students influence the questions that Mr. Barlowe asks?
  2. Consider how valuing student voice increases investment in discussions. How can you ensure that your students feel heard?
  3. How does Mr. Barlowe encourage both personal and analytical responses to texts?
12 Comments
I am not sure how one's lesson and direction can be accomplished if the students drive the lesson. It is neat, and I sure would have liked it, but how does the teacher accomplish his objectives?
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Great point in this video! If you let the students develop their own ideas they are that much more engaged in the lesson. In this case I think the objective is to get the students to analyse and discuss the text.
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good idea for inspiring the students
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excellent method
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I can agree with what Cathy Stanz said below... it's neat, but how do you prepare for a lesson like this? Don't you need to have some pre-determined questions you want them to answer? It looks so easy in the video for the teacher to simply come up with questions for the students to discuss based on what they say. It seems to me that this works well in small motivated classes, but am curious to see if it works in classes of 30+ students of varying abilities. Forgive me if I seem skeptical, I am a student teacher in a highly diverse school.
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Transcripts

  • WNET / UCH Urban Academy
    “Exploring Powerful Ideas Inquiry-Based Teaching: Discussing a Teachers Role”
    ENCOURAGING STUDENT VOICE

    STUDENT:
    So what happens

    WNET / UCH Urban Academy
    “Exploring Powerful Ideas Inquiry-Based Teaching: Discussing a Teachers Role”
    ENCOURAGING STUDENT VOICE

    STUDENT:
    So what happens with people who commit treason? Right now.

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    Right now?

    STUDENT:
    Yeah right now.

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    Today?

    STUDENT:
    Yeah.

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    What happens with people who are convicted of treason?

    STUDENT:
    Like, do they get sentenced how long? It’s a felony, right?

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    It’s more than a felony. Tr-treason, treason you could be executed for treason.

    STUDENT:
    Oh, okay. So and I feel, um, that all these people committed treason so why couldn’t they just be executed?

    (in roundtable)
    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    The thing we see about student voice in all these clips are what the kids say drives the lessons. Right? Your questions are nothing if the kids don’t say things so that their comments and the framing of their comments and comparing of their comments, their response to each other comments- it’s, you know, that’s what drives the discussion as much as anything the teacher does. They’re reacting to the text based on things that they know, things that they’ve learned, um, things that they think. But they’re also analyzing at the same time and that’s the voice we want. We want the voice that, that is deeply personal but is also analytical.

    (in class)
    STUDENT:
    We can say, “We think, we think, we think” but even when they were in the war and they were taking the black hostages in the South, nothing was done when they were being killed and put back into slavery so what makes us think that they’d do anything against these, um, racist attitudes in the country. Like, we’re not even saying that they emancipated the slaves because that’s what they wanted to do but as a, like a, as a war tactic or whatever. So, I don’t think its as important as we’re making it seem to everyone else.

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    There’s two questions. Would it have been a good idea, in theory, to kill all of these people and the second question is would it have gotten any support in 1865?

    (in roundtable)

    ADAM GRUMBACH:
    The way you framed the question is you took Saloul’s question and made it two questions-

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    Yes.

    ADAM GRUMBACH:
    One: would it have made sense to execute everybody? And two: would it have been politically possible with some support for that kind of thing?

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    I, you know, sometimes you can over do this but I wanted kids to sort of remember the first question even as she’s begging a second question.

    ADAM GRUMBACH:
    I also think it’s a – you differentiated the lesson in that moment. The first question, anybody can respond to. Is it morally right? Is it okay to kill everybody? And Ezra was mostly responding to that. And then the second ones were bringing around like what can you show, what can you use to show what wouldn’t have made sense or wouldn’t have been politically feasible.

    AVRAM BARLOWE:
    But again you know, what’s interesting is that my questions come from the kids co- We’re working together there. I think people, I think, you know, it’s a false notion to conceive of… teachers work is, you want, you know whats in their that you want to extract out and your quest is to just go in there and pull out what you want.

    *** TAPE END ***
    *** TRANSCRIPT END ***

School Details

Urban Academy Laboratory High School
317 East 67th Street
New York NY 10065
Population: 154

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Sheila Kosoff
Avram Barlowe
Terry Weber
Adam Grumbach

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Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

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