Clock-gate hit the headlines last week after a headteachers’ union said that children are struggling in exams due to the use of analogue over digital clocks. The idea prompted a bit of a furore, so we figured we’d use Teacher Tapp to see what teachers had to say (as opposed to angry people on radio phone-ins).
As so often, views were divided.
BUT, an intriguing thing: Teachers in school for less than a year – and so likely to be the youngest group on average – were actually the most likely set of primary teachers to deny the need for digital clocks. So much for millennials being digital-first, eh?
A discussion on social media about the clock issue highlighted two main viewpoints:
Some teachers felt it was unkind not to have digital clocks if children were struggling. ‘Why wouldn’t you help?’ was their main point.
Others felt it unnecessary to compel schools to have digital clocks. ‘Why can’t schools make their own decision?’ was their main point.
Both are logical points and don’t necessarily conflict. But they neatly show how questions that can seem simple – yes or no to requiring digital clocks – involves a series of assumptions and thought processes that are often quite distinct among respondents. Ultimately, there isn’t an easy way to balance these two legitimate responses – though more people went no, than yes. The analogue clock is safe for now.
Should teachers make lessons engaging? Several years ago Professor Rob Coe pointed out that some classroom behaviours associated with learning may not actually show that learning is happening. For example, students may be doing lots of written work. Or they may be sat in silence. This does not mean learning is happening in either cases.
One of the contentious points on Coe’s ‘poor proxies for learning’ list is around engagement – whether students appear interested and motivation.
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