Working with the TA Text: Conclusions

This is one part of the reflection on the lesson “Working with TA Text: Jonathan Seagull


After working with the system of task to text I have made the following conclusions/remarks.

  • I do not think that there was a lot of inventive thinking on my Text lessons but I think that the main outcome of working with the first system which I managed to achieve is the 3 essays written by students and the qualitative difference between them. I am not sure to what extent students saw it as an outcome but I saw the changes in the three texts and it made it clear for me what I should expect from my students.
  • I never introduced the whole system to students but was rather picking up the tasks myself. This was done intentionally due to several reasons, one of which being that I simply wanted to try out how it works without going into depths. I believe when working on the system properly, it should definitely be introduced as a whole.
  • I think I fail to introduce challenge to students, thus some of the tasks lose the sense for them. I do not know how to solve this problem with the students I have now. There are two possible reasons for my failures: (a) my current students are just tired of my experiments so are not happy about any ‘thinking’ task I offer; (b) I have very poor classroom management skills so do not see the ways of making the task meaningful and organising students work.
  • I think that I am very often stuck with the question - what do I do with the ENV (where does thinking appear)? While working on the system of text, I started thinking that I focus on the wrong thing; the result should not be focusing on/discussing the ENV but an algorithm for doing a certain task (e.g. writing a text) which is build with the help of the ENV. But I am still confused re how to organise the process in the way, which would lead to building the algorithm.



# Irina Buchinska 2013-03-03 17:00
Renata, I understand your concerns, I have similar ones. I am afraid we use ENV as an aim/objective of learning not as a tool for doing the task.

Would be good if Alexander joint here with explanation of the function of ENV, supposing that the students understand how the ENV model is built.
# Renata Jonina 2013-03-04 17:41
It nice to know that you have the same concern. In fact, I often feel stuck with this ENV, what do I do with it. Now when I think about algorithms as an important outcome of STEP 2 it makes more sense to me.
At the same time, when I look at many tasks from the system of tasks to text, it looks like there are a lot of tasks for simply practising finding features (e.g. finding the opposites). So, I feel lost.
# Alexander Sokol 2013-03-05 20:47
Renata, where exactly do you see the contradiction? When dealing with simple tasks (eg from parts 4 or 5), the algorithms students come up with a fairly simple. Basic understanding of the ENV model is enough for building them. In Part 6, however, algorithms are normally more complex and the ENV model as such would often not suffice for building them.

Irina, re the function of the ENV. The most general one is to help us produce descriptions that are easy to operate with when dealing with problems. The ENV model is the most fundamental one in the sense that everything else is described via ENV.
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