Get so used to being the speakers that our ability to

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get so used to being the speakers that our ability to listen slowly atrophies! Since the argument of much of the content of this book is that effective teaching requires us to understand what the learner is thinking, it follows that a prerequisite for such teaching is a well-developed ability to li s ten with 'open cars'. PART 4: WRITING AND LEARNING In our everyday lives we write for many different reasons - to write a shopping a list or list of 'things to do', to send a text message or email, to express our thoughts and feelings on a greeting card, to make a record of something so we don't forget it. In our working lives we also write in other ways - a summary, a report, a persuasive argument, a fonnal letter. Some of us indulge in creative writing - poetry, stories, diary entries. 'School writing' ranges from banal to extremely powerful. The intelligent use of writing is essential in a constructivist classroom, and some of you may have already discovered that writing helps thinking. Indeed, many (most?) assessment tasks involve writing and presumably part of the rca son is to encourage student thinking. Tn the next section of Part 4, we argue that 'school writing' deserves your serious and creative attention; in the following sections we will suggest some ways in which writing can be encouraged and improved. 'Writing for learning' (Fisher & Frey, 2007) is important. 'School writing' So many purposes can be achieved through writing yet an examination of much school writing provides a very limited picture. In many classrooms writing is used either as a substitute photocopier - the widespread practice of taking down notes and blackboard summaries verbatim - or as a means of keeping students occupied. 'Projects' are still being completed in which pupils copy (or cut and paste) extracts from encyclopaedias, other books, CDs and websites, often accompanied by coloured- in tracings or printed illustrations from those same sources. There are, of course, classrooms in which the richness and power of writing are harnessed more imaginatively, but the recording of 'knowledge to be learned', and the displaying of the extent to which that learning has (or has nut) bt::en a.:quired, are still very much in evidence. To use Douglas Barnes's tenninology, most writing tends to be 'final draft'
Language in the classroom I and not 'exploratory' (Barnes, 1973, 1976). In easc your memory needs to be r ef reshed (f rom Chapter 2), Barnes co ntrasted two classroom comm uni ca ti on system s, each with its undt:rlying set of assumptions about what it means to know something. Onc communic at ion systcm is based on a rea li st vicw of knowledge as something that is ind ependent of the knower, the teache r' s task be in g (0 transmit that knowledgc and the studenl's ta sk being to show that it has been rece iv ed and 'store d' in as near to original state as possible, e.g. a le sson on the 'causcs of the French Revolution' followed by an 'essay' marked in due course on the degree of corr es pondcnce between th e tcacher's and thc pupil's li sts of causes. This scenario is well described below: Does mu ch of the written 1V0rk consist of the pupil, in 259 it s

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