Monday, 18 May 2009


Today two guests covered a lesson of mine. My first formers were to participate in scientific research in which their perception while gaming at the computer was questioned, in particular their awareness of advertisement pop-ups at the edge of the screen.

I have a lot of experience with trainees. Of course they lack experience, but mostly they are pupil oriented, communicative and aware of their task as a teacher.
However, these guests were a student of psychology and a computer expert. They were not trainees from a teacher training. I had my start routine, which in this case had to include amiable lambasting of some rumbustious boys and less friendly ticking off a latecomer, introduced the guests and let it go.
They managed to get their message through, more or less. Inviting thirteen year old students to play a computer game is not that difficult. Albeit, the psychologist said quizzically: "They listen better to you than they do to us."

What struck me was that I had to tell this young woman that she should explain to my students what the test had been about at the end of the period and how their participation would contribute to scientific progress at large. I take it she thought lollipops would be enough reward for my students. The lollipops were enjoyed by the pupils, but the sweets certainly did not meet my demands, so I had the lady explain the aim of the test and the first formers were given the opportunity to ask questions.

The event made me realize that the teacher's expertise is taken for granted, even by the teacher himself. I cannot assess the quality of the scientific experiment at hand but treating first formers as if they were guinea pigs definitely makes poor psychology.

No comments: