The Moment of Instruction

Recently, I was sucked into an argument after making a statement in passing about a particular theory of instruction which I’m not willing to die over. Someone corrected me about this theory of instruction by informing me that a person who doesn’t teach wants teachers to implement this specific theory in every classroom. In a nutshell, the theory is that every class must teach every student at grade level. I don’t care one way or the other what we theoretically say ought to happen in the classroom. What matters most to me is what actually happens in the classroom. I’m not interested in the theory of anything at the moment of instruction. I’m interested in whether or not what I’m doing during the moment of instruction works. I’m not interested in research alone; the final driving factor for me to implement a particular practice in the classroom is whether or not that particular theory or practice works at the moment of instruction in the classroom. During instruction, I keep in mind research, I keep in mind my past experience, and I keep in mind experiences that I’ve observed from other high level teachers. But, when it comes down to it what matters most in the classroom is practically how that instructional practices work in that particular space. What matters for the classroom teacher is what happens in the moment of instruction. Period.

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