Examining Current Teaching Practices

Posted by The Committed Sardine on

“These YouTube videos featured in this post by Nicky Mohan encourage us to shift our thinking in current teaching methodology by comparing two different instruction styles—one we know very well, and the other we are getting to know better all the time. I urge you to take the time to watch both of them if you can ... very informative and thought-provoking.”


Here are a couple of interesting YouTube videos from the ITCPublications user channel that show two different approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment. The first video shows a traditional teacher-centered approach, and the second video shows how you can use progressive withdrawal to gradually shift the burden of responsibility for the learning from the teacher, where it traditionally is, to the student where it belongs. The second video is a classic demonstration of how you can teach required content and 21st-century higher order thinking skills (in this case, Bloom’s Taxonomy) at the same time, as outlined in our book Literacy Is Not Enough.




  1. Colin McLaughlin

    I’m afraid this is like a late-night infomercial! You know – when the woman using the “traditional” iron gets tangled up in the wires, wipes her brow and gasps! Then the “new and improved” IronPal2000 moves like a dream and life is wonderful! Birds singing! Flowers in bloom!

    This is the way to get “traditional” teachers to disengage from this essential discussion. Bad student-teacher discussion is bad student-teacher discussion. I don’t care if it’s teacher-centred or not. We’re comparing the dry accumulation of terms (delivered poorly – with purpose!) with the discussion of a weekend (perhaps a week?) students just spent together socializing. Curriculum expectations require discussion of these dry topics. We need discussion on how to move Bloom into the picture for that discussion. After all, if you’re teaching geography, science or math, where does a discussion like the one in the “progressive withdrawal” example fit within any of these curricula?

    This discussion is so very important! Please! Let’s not derail it with hyperbole. This type of comparison is a bit disingenuous. Y’know?

  2. judith morais

    I agree Colin that the choice of topics to illustrate the point was rather unfortunate. The first video is a gross overgeneralisation (although I have seen such teachers at work – not many fortunately) and left me feeling rather irritated. The point really is that the weather is a topic that could easily be taught using the strategies used in the second video and the second video would have been that much more valuable as a teaching tool if it could demonstrate to teachers more comfortable with “traditional” methods that it is possible to develop a more valuable learning experience for students learning about the weather.

  3. Ian Jukes

    I’m sincerely sorry you took the videos seriously – but they did what was intended – go you to respond – and if truth be know, it was posted in honour of Ben Stein’s classic scene from Ferris Buehler’s Day Off…Now Class….which I watched this past weekend. Thanks for writing….

    • Colin McLaughlin

      Despite my misgivings about the vids, I did like that 3:2:1-R:I:Q activity. Just tried it with an activity/lesson today. Magic!

  4. Ian Jukes

    Thanks for sharing this Colin – really happy to hear this – we are working on a handbook in support of Literacy Is Not Enough that will have several dozen of similar tools your students can use in the classroom and in life. Thanks again!!!!

  5. Pamela King

    I really enjoyed both video examples. However, I wish the second video would have used the positive approach to teaching the weather in such an engaging way. The instructional strategies were very helpful.

What do you think?