Strategies for Reshaping Practice: The habits of the classroom #13

Change key words and metaphors

Highlighting a key focus or a change in emphasis can be followed through by a consistent use of language, emphasising key concepts and phrases and bringing what is important to learners’ attention. For example, teachers can consistently use the phrase ‘God’s world’ rather than ‘Our world’ in a topic on the environment. They can consistently emphasise a key concept such as sin or joy or peace.

  • Teachers can draw attention to an African painting in art by introducing it and consistently referring to it as a visitor from another country. The phrase ‘doing sorry’ can be used in history when looking at the repercussions of injustices of the past and how amends might be made.
  • A history unit could be planned around the concept of justice, mercy and humility using these concepts throughout the teaching and learning and bringing them to the learners' attention in connection with people and events.
Examples such as these show how a key emphasis can be worked out in language and concepts through the way teachers consistently use them.
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