A long time ago, near the beginning of my EFL journey I attended a postgrad course in Education. The very first day was going OK until a teacher gave a 10 minute talk on theories of learning and then said “OK, you have 2 weeks to write a 5,000 word essay comparing the main theorists such as Piaget, Bruner and Vygotsky”. The silence lasted about a minute and then all hell broke loose.
Years later I’ve realised that it was all upside down. For example, most unis have a marking scheme like this:
Bad student: Copies
Average student: Summarises
Good student: Compares
V Good student: Is critical
Excellent student: Presents and supports his own ideas
This is also the development many of us follow in our teaching life. So, why not start with the Excellent bit FIRST?
The teacher could have used unplugged ideas and:
1)Asked students how they think students
2)Compared and debated different ideas
3)Given each group 1 theorist and asked them to compare it to the class ideas
4)Discussed all of them as a class
5)Asked each group to write up a text of critical comparisons followed by their own ideas.
This goes straight into the EXCELLENT category and produces a creative teacher. So, going unplugged seems to work at even the highest levels and could really make an impact, it seems???