Teaching-Learning Teams

Students and the teacher come together to share feedback and ideas related to what's happening in the classroom.

Photo of Samantha Wette
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At Teaching-Learning Team (TLT) is a low-stakes way for students to have a strong voice in their science classroom. TLTs are based on the premise that regardless of one's status as a teacher or student, everyone is both a learner and a teacher in the science classroom.

A small group of students representing diverse social and academic realms join the teacher for a (twice-?)monthly lunch to discuss issues related to that teacher's class. The meeting is non-hierarchical; the teacher is an equal participant and not the authority on how the meeting is run. Both students and the teacher share their thoughts and concerns about issues that have been arising in class--whether they are related to class climate or academics.

The TLT also comes together to plan units and lessons. This is aimed to make science content more relevant, accessible, and interesting to students. Teachers spend hours trying to brainstorm what students want - why not ask the students themselves? Further, why not ask students to help make it themselves?

Ultimately, the TLT promotes both a dialogue between students and teachers. At its core is a creation-feedback cycle where students both have voice in what they are learning and are also responsible for helping to implement the changes they want to see.

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Photo of Alysha English
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Samantha, this is great!! How are the student representatives selected? I love that there's also some leadership built into this idea and that it becomes an opportunity for dialogue between students and teachers.

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