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joycetheriot's picture



There will always be "experts" both in the classroom and the world in general. Our opinions of the experts will vary but generally these are the people who go the extra mile to gather and organize information that is often new.

The ecologist, White, who spends 30 years in the desert collecting lizard tails conducts research that adds new information to our understanding of the behavior and biology of this species. Not a job I’d enjoy but I recognize his contribution to our spectrum of science information.

The women who have lived within the gorilla and chimp environment made wonderful contributions with their observations. Yes, they had their own POV that some scientists did not recognize as the objective view needed for a scientist but their humanity and sacrifice had a great impact on the hearts and minds of many people and advanced the protection of these species.

The students in our classroom who go the extra mile to study, research and ask questions will become the recognized “experts” in our classrooms. We are after all a model of the society in general, so why not develop experts who can help others. Within the culture of the classroom, teachers can orchestrate a symphony of cooperative learning based on what each member can contribute. We always need to be watchful that the flow of information does not veer toward misunderstandings so constant checks and balances are required. We need to apply tests (does the circuit work?) and have open discussions as well as individual journaling. The teacher keeps the topic open and available for questioning and testing.





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