How Do I Apply This To My Classroom?

You might attend a course and hear about a great idea but the core problem is how to apply it to your classroom.

This involves some editing, refining and discarding in most cases. Bridging theory and practice is a skill and carefully constructed according to experience.

Teachers have to move between theory and practice all the time and going back and forth between the two is called cross-stepping.

Hill-Jackson, Hartlep and Stafford (2019) in their magnificent book ‘What Makes A Star Teacher’, say,

Star Teachers have the uncanny ability to move between theory and practice almost seamlessly using either a deductive or an inductive approach.

Effective teachers are good at cross-stepping. They can look at abstract concepts and then apply them into their classrooms. Moving from the the general to the specific is a deductive approach.

Effective teachers taking an inductive approach can shift from the specific to the general by distinguishing a practice first and then trying to make sense of it through theory.

Hill-Jackson et al (2019) cite Dr Martin Haberman and go on to say, “Without cross-stepping, rather than having 30 years experience at the end of their careers, teachers can be said to have had one year of experience 30 times.”

Without cross-stepping then we are just “keeping school“.

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