Schooling has a shape. That shape is multidimensional with various concavities formed slowly over time, like grooves in a canyon, to accommodate the many purposes we have imposed on schooling—cognitive development, social development, mental health, physical fitness, workforce training, nutrition, economic mobility, and so on and so on.
"SHE WRITES THAT WRONG ANSWER DOWN I STRESS AGAIN SHE WRITES THAT WRONG ANSWER DOWN. Her voice betrays nothing. Her hand betrays nothing. She knows the class will sort this one out and the class does and learns a great deal about math but an even greater deal about who holds mathematical truth in the world." This is freaking inspiring. Trying to do this myself initially felt wrong, and yet I'm getting better at it and it's starting to feel GOOD because what you say is true, and I'm realizing it is good teaching (through PD, through reading this substack and other articles). Thank you for sharing your observations of Gen Esmende and others' excellent teaching ongoingly. It's helping me be a better teacher.
I love the concept of the shape of school. For so long we have been trying to fit children who are not squares, circles or triangles into a school system that is a very particular shape. We have asked children to change instead of asking the school to change.
Are any businesses using AI to exclusively "teach" professionals, such as pilots, lawyers, pharmacists, firefighters, EMT, etc? How many of us would trust a professional who only learned from AI? At this point I know I will need to address this tech come Fall and the new school year. But I also recall how nervous we were when the TI-84 came out in the 1990's and we were encouraged to use it with ALL levels of students. Now, I can't imagine teaching without using DESMOS or Spreadsheets! We absolutely can't ignore this next step in tech, but we must be careful and always remember our best practices with our students. Now is the time to be proactive about what goes on in the classroom.☺️
Love this post! especially at the end electric bike vs vacuum. So good!!
On the one hand, you describe the shape of school as "... multidimensional with various concavities formed slowly over time, like grooves in a canyon." Then you go on to describe two discrete school activities and declare that Ai doesn't fit that shape. If might not fit that specific groove but school is MUCH more than teacher lead classroom teaching. Nor is all school age-graded and confined by bells. What if in the future, Ai allows for classes to be grouped by ability and open-ended? Instead of led by teachers, students concepts on their own or with small groups and the teacher is there as a facilitator to guide, not to be an expert at the board. You see this in problem-based learning curricula or Montessori classrooms.
As for rizzGPT, that has all sorts of uses, not just for dating. I see it as a wonderful communication tool to help language learners, people with social anxiety, cultural exchange, etc. While it wouldn't be too practical in real-world situations, it would be great for role-plays and practices. Imagine HS kids are learning about interview skills and instead of reading stilted dialogues, they could run through real practice interviews with the Ai helping them craft responses in their own style of communicating. Then the students could discuss why the Ai selected certain phrases or told them to do certain things and how to make those responses their own.
I continue to appreciate your thoughtful reflection on this.
One challenge that occurs to me -- if an AI is omniscient, and the teaching practices you describe work, won’t the AI do them? The teacher shows curiosity and hides their knowledge of the answer, couldn’t the AI do the same?
Current AI tech doesn’t do that, so isn’t as good as a teacher at creating learning interactions. But... what’s stopping a future AI?
Ooh, just thought of something. I wonder if we can adapt the lessons we called WebQuests to use AI? Or to help teachers create choice boards for math units?
Any other ideas . . .?