The Plastic Brain

Rewriting the didactic contract

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More brilliant advice on changing the culture of the Mathematics classroom from Dan Meyer.

They may even resist you. They signed their “didactic contract” years and years ago. They signed it. Their math teachers signed it. The agreement says that the teacher comes into class, tells them what they’re going to learn, and shows them three examples of it. In return, the students take what their teacher showed them and reproduce it twenty times before leaving class. Then they go home with an assignment to reproduce it twenty more times.

Then here you come, Ms. I-Just-Got-Back-From-A-Workshop, and you want to change the agreement? Yeah, you’ll hear from their attorney.

I love this concept of a “didactic contract”. We need be aware of what has been metaphorically signed, especially if we are attempting to rewrite.

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Author: Rogan Tinsley

Biology, science and maths teacher with a PhD in Neuroscience and passion for education.

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