You know a topic is picking up heat in academia when it is given an acronym. Nobody got time to say the whole damn moniker each and every time it comes up! TTT and STT stand for Teacher Talk Time and Student Talk Time respectively. Research into how they each occupy the classroom is a big topic in educational research.
One of the most crucial, now widely-recognised findings is that TTT tends to hugely outcompete STT in traditional schooling models. This can be easily traced to the conception of education whereby a knowledgeable source (the teacher) transmits information to a less knowledgeable or possibly even ‘empty’ receptacle (the student). Now this conception sounds pretty bad – and it really can be – but it is also very, very prevalent. For example, even though it is definitely not the only model I make use of in my day-to-day teaching, I can’t deny that it comes up. Because there are times when I transmit new knowledge to my students and simply hope that they absorb it. TTT.
Buuuuut ‘simply hoping they absorb it’ is a catch. I can’t pin my teaching prowess on that kind of hope – I am accountable, largely, for what my students absorb during their time with me. And even though this sounds like serious pressure (which it is) there are ways to deal with it that don’t just fall back on more TTT.
In fact, another really important finding in TTT / STT research is that – surprise, surprise – increased STT is actually the talk time that really impacts student learning. Well who’dathunk?
In my next SQ post I’ll be comparing some practical approaches to decreasing TTT and increasing STT. More specifically I am going to compare traditional and mainstream approaches (which are still predicated on a hierarchical view of teacher vs students, teacher having total authority, children being subordinate) with more radical, alternative and anti-establishment approaches that recognise children’s agency and the huge need for educational reform – and even overhaul.
Go to The Snapshot. Go to the SQ. Go to Start.
A daunted but determined teacher irons out the fabric of her brain.