Whole Brain Teaching is a set of teaching and classroom management methods that has grown in popularity over the past 10 years. One of WBT’s foundational techniques is Teach-OK , a peer teaching strategy that begins with the teacher spending a few minutes introducing a concept to the class. Next, the teacher says Teach! , the class responds with Okay! , and pairs of students take turns re-teaching the concept to each other. It’s a bit like think-pair-share, but it’s faster-paced, it focuses more on re-teaching than general sharing, and students are encouraged to use gestures to animate their discussion. Although WBT is most popular in elementary schools, this featured video shows the creator of WBT, Chris Biffle, using it quite successfully with college students. I have also used Teach-OK with college students, and most of my students said they were happy for a change from the sit-and-listen they were used to in college classrooms.
Learning is inherently social, yet teachers often work in isolation as they seek to grow in their practice. Genuine growth results from taking risks and withstanding failure: stepping outside our comfort zone and confronting our insecurities. Introducing innovation into our teaching practice can be scary for these reasons, and a supportive community can make all the difference. Communities of practice can help instruction librarians ensure ongoing professional development through the dialogic process of colleagues in conversation. But, this model can be a risky endeavor because the organic, non-hierarchical, and informal tone contrasts with traditional professional development modes. In this interactive workshop, participants will engage in directed activities such as reflective writing about professional learning experiences and practicing community-building exercises. Facilitators will guide participants through outlining a plan for a professional development event at their library that leverages social learning and respects differences in organizational climates. Participants will reflect on, select, and apply components of a community of practice that work for those who teach in their libraries, and will return to their institutions with strategies for engaging colleagues in informal learning, building trust through inclusiveness, and laying the groundwork for learning about teaching in their organizations.
As an example, consider determining whether a suitcase contains some radioactive material. Placed under a Geiger counter , it produces 10 counts per minute. The null hypothesis is that no radioactive material is in the suitcase and that all measured counts are due to ambient radioactivity typical of the surrounding air and harmless objects. We can then calculate how likely it is that we would observe 10 counts per minute if the null hypothesis were true. If the null hypothesis predicts (say) on average 9 counts per minute, then according to the Poisson distribution typical for radioactive decay there is about 41% chance of recording 10 or more counts. Thus we can say that the suitcase is compatible with the null hypothesis (this does not guarantee that there is no radioactive material, just that we don't have enough evidence to suggest there is). On the other hand, if the null hypothesis predicts 3 counts per minute (for which the Poisson distribution predicts only % chance of recording 10 or more counts) then the suitcase is not compatible with the null hypothesis, and there are likely other factors responsible to produce the measurements.