Why Fads and Gimmicks Should be Resisted in the Classroom

It’s not bad as a teacher to know the world of your pupils, but education is all about broadening their world. Being concrete is important, connecting to their prior knowledge in any kind of instrumental way.
We could also look at it in another way: education could also be regarded as a kind of time-off from their world too.

chronotope

One of the perpetual cycles in education is harnessing of whatever is popular in youth culture at the time in order to ‘engage’ students. The current gimmick de jour is with Pokemon Go, a virtual reality mobile phone game that has taken the world by storm. Several ‘hints and tips’ websites offer ways of using this technology in the classroom. For example, in order to engage students in History you could “Create a timeline that shows the history of Pokemon and the other Pokemon games.” Last year English teachers were treated to a series of books on how to use emoticons to teach Shakespeare. Titles included Srsly Hamlet,’ ‘Yolo Juliet’ and  ‘Macbeth #Killingit.’  

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One of the main justifications for these kinds of approaches is the notion that kids will be engaged in subjects they would otherwise not be, and it’s a way to “get them involved.” Apart…

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