Why should I create challenge?

In Chapter 1 we proposed that creating a certain amount of puzzlement in children was one of the main ways to help them to develop their thinking. You might well ask: ‘Why would I want to create challenge for my pupils? Why make life difficult for them? I want them to get the right answer so that they succeed and feel good about themselves.’ When teachers first encounter cognitive acceleration they often feel that they should make activities easy in order to boost children’s self-esteem. The notion that children need to struggle a little to increase their thinking ability can be a stumbling block until you get the programme underway.

However, when you begin to see the benefits — pupils’ increased ability to engage in solving problems through describing and explaining the problem, proposing possible suggestions and an increase in their social skills — you may become inspired to learn more about this way of teaching. It is understandable that this pedagogy takes some time and practice to master since it can be very different from normal practice, especially if ‘normal’ means teachers informing children by imparting knowledge and then children practising or regurgitating the knowledge.

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Lets Think Handbook Copyright © by Alex Black. All Rights Reserved.

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