Why am I (and Therefore my Students) so Dumb?

What is preventing my students from being smart? What is holding them back and allowing them to be dumb? I’m sad to say that the answer might be me.


James Paul Gee in his book The Anti-Education Era states that there are five conditions for smart human action (p. 15). The conditions are:

  1. Initial mentorship (or scaffolding)
  2. Prior experiences
  3. Clear goals
  4. Something at stake
  5. The opportunity to act

Gee calls this the circuit of reflective action. Unfortunately, while some of these conditions are partly met through my teaching, I have a long way to go if I am going to help my students get smart. Click HERE to read more about Gee’s circuit of reflective action and how it can (and should) play out in my classroom.

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