Questioning ‘Time’: A Visible Thinking Cultural Force


What is meant by ‘time’?

When I googled ‘define time’, the first response returned two definitions. The first was for time as a noun and defines it as, “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole”. The latter’s definition of time as a verb is to “Plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done”.

When teachers state that they don’t have enough time, are they talking about the noun or the verb? I would suggest they are referring to the verb. How do teachers fit in everything they need to do with everything that is expected to be done in the available time?

Here is a list of some of the things that teachers need to do within their available time:

  • Curriculum development that covers the core subjects/content and skills required whilst integrating school values, community values and topical issues.
  • Lesson planning
  • Lesson preparation
  • Assessment and marking
  • Yard duty/s
  • Staff briefings
  • Level meetings
  • Professional development
  • Parent/student/teacher conferences and interviews
  • Report writing
  • Pastoral care
  • Availability and access by students for extra assistance during non-teaching times

What is meant by ‘time’ in terms of the visible thinking cultural force?

What it means is allocating time for thinking by providing time for exploring topics more in depth as well as time to formulate thoughtful responses.

How does this impact on having sufficient time to get through the rest of the curriculum and tasks listed above? How much in-class time should be devoted to ‘thinking’?

Teachers need to prioritise whether it’s about disseminating the information, having students demonstrate their knowledge via application of the information or transferring this knowledge into different contexts to show their understanding of the information.

With this in mind, is ‘time’ the greatest challenge for today’s educators?

 

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