|Peter Liljedahl’s Thinking Classrooms Research
On February 23rd, Peter Liljedahl gave the Margaret Sinclair Memorial Lecture, on his receipt of the award in her honour, at the Fields Institute at the University of Toronto.
Peter’s thinking classrooms research has been developed and refined over the last 15 years, and this lecture was a short review of things he has learned. Chances are, if you are reading this newsletter, you are aware of this research. For many teachers, particularly secondary, this research has changed practices, and changed lives.
Dave Lanovaz also presented on group testing: The simple, effective tweak he came to use was adding in a review day before the group test.
Thinking classrooms have now been presented 276 times, in 8 countries, and are used in subjects as disparate as Home Economics. Liljedahl described the “exponential growth” of thinking classrooms. Basically, they suddenly were talked about everywhere, after a lengthy quiet period, from 2012 to 2014. This quiet period coincided with research into the conditions that make thinking classrooms in hundreds of individual classrooms.
Vertical non-permanent surfaces are surely the most famous aspect of this research. Visibly random groupings is another.
Liljedahl has described his research as “mucking about”. The original paper he put out is here.
This research continues to evolve, and is, in my opinion, a model for good educational research-large scale, exploratory and open-minded, and thorough.
Written by Matthew Oldridge (@MatthewOldridge)