With Alexandra Chistyakova
Interview with John F. Fanselow, professor emeritus at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA, and a faculty member of the International Teacher Education Institute (iTDi).
John F. Fanselow (interviewee) – JF
Alexandra Chistyakova (interviewer) – AC
1 . Hello John! Thank you very much for finding time for the interview. For me, it’s a great honor and pleasure to be interviewing you
Hello Alexandra! My pleasure
2. John, let’s begin our interview with a question about how you started on your teaching career
JF When I was about 11 years old, I was a boy scout. And boy scouts teach each other skills like how to put up a tent, how to make a fire, take a canoe out of the water, so that’s how I got interested in teaching. In my first year at university I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher because I liked children. And then I started studying English literature and Spanish literature because my professor, when I was taking my first year English, said, “You seem to like English and writing, and you seem to enjoy literature.” He said, “If you are a kindergarten teacher, there is only one option for you at school and it is to teach kindergarten. But if you are an English teacher, you can teach primary school, junior high school, secondary school. And if you study Spanish and English, you can also teach Spanish and English at school. So, you will have many more options than if you are just going be a kindergarten teacher.” So, I changed. When I graduated, John Kennedy was President. He established an organization called the Peace Corps where he wanted to send young Americans to other countries to learn about other cultures and bring back this information to Americans because he thought that Americans were very narrow-minded and provincial. So, I said, “That’s a great idea: I can go to Latin America and improve my Spanish.” Well, there were no openings in Latin America when I applied. I was sent to Nigeria. So, bye-bye Spanish.
3 . How did you come up with an idea of small changes in teaching?
JF When I got to Nigeria, I was sent to a teacher training college because I had already practice taught. Most of the other volunteers in my group (there were 38 other people), they had never taught before. So, they went to secondary schools, but I went to the teacher training college, and part of my responsibilities was to supervise practice teachers for about one month every term. So that was three months per year when I supervised practice teachers. Well, I didn’t know anything about teaching in Nigeria in primary schools. I had practice taught in a junior high school in a small town in Illinois. So, teaching in a primary school in Nigeria was all new to me. And the teachers were teaching things that I didn’t know; they were teaching Nigerian history, Nigerian geography, the currency system, which was still pounds, shillings, pence and guineas. So, I was at a loss, I was supposed to help these teachers. There were two primary ones: two strands of each class. So, I would observe half of the class in arithmetic with one teacher and then I would go to another first year class in arithmetic taught by another teacher. I took copious notes during those classes and then after school I would say to the teachers, “Okon, today Benedict wrote the directions on the board, but you said the directions aloud. So, tomorrow, put them on the board and then see what happens and what the difference is.” And to another teacher I would suggest doing what the first teacher did. So that’s how I first got to the small changes because I had 12 practice teachers to supervise every day. And I couldn’t tell them too many things because there wasn’t time. So, I told each pair of teachers to make small changes about one or two things. That was one way I got to small changes: from my experience in Nigeria. But the other way was studying literature. When you study a poem you sometimes look at the first draft of the poem. And then you look at the second draft, and the third draft from the original author of the poem. Likewise, with a short story. You can see how Edgar Allan Poe crossed some things out in the original story, made some edits, small changes, and then he produced the final copy. So, both from literature and from working with teachers in Nigeria, I got to this idea of small changes. This is a kind of genesis, the beginning, of the small change idea.
4 . Why did you decide to continue with small change practice?
JFThe reason why I kept with small changes was when I heard teachers talk about their teaching. In a lesson there might be two or three hundred various communications. So, when we refer to a lesson as a whole, it’s too much to examine, too much to talk about. One problem with much reflective teaching, in my experience, is that a unit of analysis is the whole lesson rather than a smaller unit like some specific communication that a teacher or a student made during the lesson. So, when I returned to the United States, I was invited to train Peace Corps volunteers at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. They had a contract with Peace Corps to train volunteers who were to go to Nigeria. They invited me to join this training program. That was only part-time teaching, and we were paid a very small amount, but we got free tuition. So, I started taking courses at Teachers College at Columbia because they didn’t cost anything. And after a while, somebody said, “Why don’t you apply for a PhD program?” Well, I never had any intention of getting a PhD, I wanted to teach at high school in Chicago. But in fact, I did apply. And when I finished my PhD, they invited me to join the faculty, and I continued my exploration of how to work with teachers to get them to understand what they were doing and sometimes to change what they were doing. First teachers need to understand what they are doing, and then when they understood, they usually realize that they want to make some changes.
5. But why do you recommend teachers to make small not big changes in their practices?
JF It’s important to make changes because if you make big changes you don’t know what the effect is. For example, if you have a cold, and you sit in a hot tub of water, you take aspirins, you drink apple juice, you drink vodka, and you put a heating pad on your stomach and your cold gets better, you don’t know why it gets better because you did five different things. But if you do one different thing, you can see if it has any effect. So sometimes we tell the teacher to change ten things. It’s too many; you don’t know which change that you made had the effect. So that’s the reason for making small changes.
6. Earlier you mentioned reflective teaching, what does it mean to be a reflective teacher?
JF Since 1983 when Donald Schön started talking and writing about it, this term has become a kind of a fad. John Dewey at Teachers College in 1938 and before was talking about observing your teaching and looking at what you are doing, thinking about it and making changes. But the point is that not until 1983had it become a kind of a fad. In none of my articles and in none of my books have I used the word reflective teaching. And I think the reason I haven’t done this is because it means so many different things to so many different people. There is usually a list of things you should do to be a reflective teacher: you are supposed to keep a diary, think about what you do, ask your students to comment on what you do, do peer observations, write down what your remember you did in class, and record. But recording is only one of the dozens of things they think you should do as a reflective teacher. I personally think that writing in a diary and trying to remember what you did and write down why you did it and how you might change it is pretty much a waste of time because it is not based on data. And again, if a unit of analysis is a lesson, it’s too much to think about what you did, and in fact you can’t remember what you did. Two or three communications in class, how can you remember? [9:38] Which things that you did had what effect? It’s impossible to tell. It’s absolutely impossible. So that’s why I say: one sheet of A4 paper and 1-3 minutes of transcription – that’s all you need. And that’s should be the focus of reflecting on your teaching because it’s looking at what you actually did. And as we look, we begin to see how what we did, what we thought we did and want we wanted to do are often three different events. However, there is another difference between reflective teaching and my idea of how to understand your teaching and make changes. The tenets or kind of beliefs of those who advocate reflective teaching is that they think you should look for problems and try to solve the problems, then you should evaluate what you do and set new goals. But I don’t think you should look for problems. I think you just should look at random, see what you did and see what happens if you do this instead of that. For example, I ask students a question “What you did over the weekend?” and everybody stays silent for a long time and then somebody says “I shop friend” or “I visit friend”, but I don’t know what they are talking about. On the weekend you can do two hundred things. So, if I say, “What did you do on the weekend?”, which of the two hundred things a should a student select? Instead, I can say: “Please, write down two foods you ate on Saturday that you don’t usually eat. Write down one person you saw on Saturday who you usually don’t see.” These are very precise questions. So, you ask a precise question, the students write down the question, write the answer, and compare what other students wrote. So, go from a general question to a precise question, from asking a question aloud to having students write it. You can also make even a smaller change and say, “What did you do over the weekend? Please, write the question and then write the answer” and compare that with a specific one or just an oral one with a written one. And that’s what I mean by a very small change. And then you can see the result. And it doesn’t take a lot of planning.
7. Talking about the effects and the feedback we give to our students, how can we be sure that we correctly diagnose the language problems our students have and then give the right feedback to them?
JF First of all, there is no correct answer. You have to look at what you are doing. Let’s say you are asking your students questions about what they read, and they don’t answer the questions. Or the questions might be in your textbook that they can’t answer. So, one option is to ask the students to re-read the reading passage and in pencil put an X through words they don’t understand. And if they put an X in more than 10 words out of a hundred, it means that the passage is too difficult. So, there is no point in asking the questions because the passage is too difficult. So, then you simplify the passage by taking some of the words they put an X through, and either not use these words or substitute them with more common words. Alternatively, you can draw a sketch for the meaning of some of the words, or have them look up some of the words in a bilingual dictionary, and not write a mother-tongue word equivalent but only the meaning and then re-read the passage. The point is that there could be many reasons why students can’t answer the questions. One of the most common is that they don’t understand what they are reading because it’s too difficult. The other option is to ask them to write their own questions of different types. Ask each student to write one yes/no question about the first sentence in the reading passage. For example, “a boy hit the ball with a baseball bat.” See what question they write, starting with is or did. And that will give you a little hand about what they understand or what they don’t understand. It might not be just the vocabulary, but it might be some function words. For example, they might not know the expression “with a”. So, they might know “He went to the baseball park with a friend”. So, with a friend and with a bat may seem obvious if you understand English pretty well. But with a friend might mean to them together. But with a bat, does it mean walking with a bat? Maybe they don’t know it. Maybe they don’t know the relationship between hit and with a. Again, this is very important. So, don’t say, “Oh they just don’t understand the comprehension questions” or “The passage is too difficult”. You have to be much more precise and say what is difficult in the passage, what they didn’t understand and what they didn’t understand in the questions to the text.
A lot of so-called comprehension questions don’t check understanding, they check memory. So, let’s say the students read a passage on Monday, well, Tuesday is a long time from Monday: they have already had other classes. So, I would say that more than 50% of so-called comprehension questions are not comprehension questions. They are checking memory. So, “Please look at the reading passage, and as you look at the reading passage, the first question is “Who hit the ball?”. You can write it on the board, the students look at the first sentence, “Ah! The boy.” “Did the boy hit the ball or an apple?” A stupid question, but it tells you if they understand better than asking a question “What did the boy do?”, for example, a day after they read the sentence. So, you can change questions with question words to yes/no questions or either/or questions. That helps students to break down the meaning of a sentence. And you can ask five or six questions about the same sentence instead of one question about every other sentence. That’ll tell you much more about comprehension than so called comprehension questions. “Have you hit a ball with a baseball bat?”, “Do you have a baseball bat?”, “Do you have a ball?”, “Do you have a baseball?”, “Please draw a baseball bat”, “Please draw a baseball” – that shows comprehension if they can convert language into sketches. “Please, gesture hitting a baseball with a baseball bat” – so, the student stands up and makes the gesture. If they do that, they understand that. So, you can get at understanding and comprehension without students expressing one word but using gestures and sketches. So, it’s again a kind of microanalysis of a small bit of data. And the more they write the more you can see what they have written and how different it is from what you say.
8 . Can you give an example when such a comprehension check worked out?
JF In my online course with iTDi last January I gave an example of a classroom where the teacher said, “I like ice-cream” and asked the students to write it down. She said the phrase three times. She didn’t allow her students to make any erasing, they could make changes, but they couldn’t erase anything. There were 40 students in the class; this was the top school in a prefecture in Japan, the school that gets top scores in English. This was the third year in the secondary school. And ten students out of 40 wrote “I like ice-cream” correctly. Only 10. Well, the reason for this happening for many years was that the teachers never looked at what they were actually doing. Whenever they had transcribing or dictations, they allowed students to make corrections on their own. In the past, that teacher had them use an eraser. So, after a dictation, the teacher would write the passage on the board or handed out the passage, and all the students would correct their notes using an eraser and when the teacher would go around and see that 100% of notes had been edited. But many of the students would simply copy the sentences as they had no idea what they meant. They copied it. So, when she said a phrase, the students didn’t get it, she gave the correct answer, they copied it, and the teacher assumed they understood it. Or take multiple chose items in a textbook, for example. Students circle the right word and the teacher thinks they understand and have mastered the language. But you can understand something and forget it the next day. So, looking precisely what students actually do is as important as looking at what teachers actually do. And it’s a very big problem that we don’t do this. We give tests. But it’s a waste of time. You make the test, you administer the test, you correct the test, and the students often look just at the score. Sometimes they look at the corrections. But just because they look at the corrections, it doesn’t mean they suddenly are going to master the language, “Ah, now I know!” I mean, we have to process things at least 30 times. For example, “I hit the ball with my baseball bat” / “I hit the ball with a broom” / “I hit the ball with a tennis racket” / “I hit the ball with a book” etc. Students have to practice over and over and over to master the language. So even if they get the correct answer to the question “Who hit the baseball?” – “The boy” or “What did he hit the ball with?” – “The baseball bat”, it doesn’t mean they can say the sentence. These two totally different events.
9 . Absolutely. But what is the effective way to give feedback to our students?
JFWell, number one: never say “Very good” after they get it correct. Never say “Excellent” and so on because it limits stretching their minds. Every student that I’ve met (and other people who studied feedback say the same) wanted to be corrected. But let’s consider the following situation: you hold up a cup and ask, “What’s this?”, and the student says “Cup”. And then you say, “A cup”. And then you go to another student. Well, the first student didn’t hear “a” before “cup”. So, restating the correct form is a waste of time. So, if you hold up a cup and they say “cup”, one option is to draw a cup on the board and put a dot before the image of a cup. And then point at the dot and mouth “a”. This way you draw your students’ attention to what they usually don’t hear. Even a native speaker finds it difficult because it’s a very slight sound. But if students see this grammatical point in a different medium, other than speech, they see it with their eyes when you mouth it and when you draw a dot. Presenting visual feedback for all errors is very helpful. For a written error it’s also very helpful. So, you can write a dot for “a” in written errors too. I asked many students to graphically represent “is” because they often confuse “is” and “are”. So, they draw one equal sign for “is” (=) and two equal signs for “are” (==). So, you draw symbols on the board. Symbols require thinking and processing in a different part of the brain. So, one way to give feedback, a kind of general principle, is to give feedback in a different medium from the medium we are using. We may use speech, gestures, and symbols. So, the more ways you represent the same things, the better. The usual way to give feedback is to repeat the same thing in the same medium over and over again. But if the students didn’t hear it the first time, they are not necessarily going to hear it the second time, or the third time.
10 . That’s right. Speaking about teaching in general, what do you think the teacher’s job is?
JF Well, to get out of the way and simply be there to give tasks and give feedback. One way to get out of the way is to be at the back of the room sometimes so that the students are attending to what they can hear and then have students go to the front of the board and write things on the board. So, the students are the center of attention and not the teacher. All the commercial videos that I have seen and that have been produced by the main publishers, for example DVDs of lessons, focus on the teacher. And then they give a quick shot of the class. So, you cannot hear what the students are saying unless one student talks. And then they might focus on one student for a few seconds and then go back to the teacher or the whole class. But the focus should be on the students not the teacher. And that’s what I mean by “get out of the way”. You give tasks, you give feedback. Obviously, if you are going to use gestures to give feedback, students have to see you. But they can turn around and look at the back of the class. Or you can go to the front of the class for a brief period of time, give the students visual feedback. But even in giving a visual feedback the focus should be on what the students do after the feedback. And if they don’t change, you use another medium to give them the feedback again. So, the focus is on what the student does after you gave them feedback. Not on you. I have watched a lot of videos on reflective teaching, everyone shows somebody talking to the audience with no examples. The audience is doing nothing. So, the students should be constantly doing the tasks, you give the feedback, they change the performance that they gave until it’s correct.
11 . Could you please give an example of how it works?
JF Well, for example, when I’m teaching the construction “I like to do something / to do sports / to play games”( “I like to swim” or “I like to play football” etc.), I draw a table on the board: in the first column I draw a sketch of an eye for “I”; in the second column I draw a heart for “like” (or two hearts for “love”); in the third column, I write number 2; in the fourth column, I draw a play sign like on a DVD-player for “play” or a sketch of piece of paper with a to-do list with and a pencil to represent “do” for sports like judo or karate. And for nothing I draw a no sign, a diagonal line across a circle. And in the fifth column, you can draw somebody dancing, swimming, or you can draw a baseball bat or a soccer ball. When the columns are completed with other sketches and drawings, a student comes up to the board, points to symbols in the columns one by one and says, “I like to play baseball.” When other students have practiced it and written it, then the student taps on all the sketches without saying anything, waits for five seconds, then points to the last picture in a line (for example, judo) and has to say the whole sentence “I like to do judo.” But the teacher is in the background. The students draw the sketches, the students point to the sketches. The teacher directs students on what they are supposed to do and gives feedback. So sometimes you go to some classrooms with teachers I work with, it’s difficult initially to find where the teacher is. They might be sitting in the back row, and the students are pointing to the board and to other students, and the teacher might be giving feedback from the back of the room. Giving students time to do something is important. It’s another small detail but you can ask a question and then tell the students to write immediately but you can ask a question and wait for 10 seconds, and then say, “Now write”. See what difference it makes to give students no time, a little time or a lot of time.
12. How can the practice of making small changes be incorporated into teaching practice?
JF Another advantage of small changes is that it doesn’t take any time to plan. You learn a few little techniques and add them to your repertoire. You practice them, and then they come off the top of your head, spontaneously. Most teaching is out of consciousness, it’s out of what they talk and reflect on. They say, “Think about what you did and why you did it.” I mean after the fact you can say “This is what I did but I have no idea why I did it.” At that time, you can’t think enough. A lot of old people and some young people, when they are crossing the street, there is a symbol of a person in red which means “Don’t walk”. And when it changes to green, you can walk. But when it starts blinking, it means “Don’t walk now” even when it’s not red, but it says, “The red is coming”. Old people start running across the street even if they have a cane. Why do they do that? They don’t know why they do that. They don’t even know that they are doing that. You say “Why did you cross the street during the red light? Why did you start running when you saw the blinking light?” They don’t know why they do that, they just unconsciously do it. So why do the teachers say, “Ok, now” when they change the topic? I’ve never seen a lesson plan with “Ok, now”. But every teacher in the world says “Ok, now”. “Very good” is not on the lesson plan either. If you ask them why they do that, they say, “I need to give positive feedback.” But when we ask the students to transcribe “very good”, few students transcribe it; they say that the teacher uses this phrase all the time so it’s meaningless to us. So many of the things are out of consciousness. So, when you ask after the fact, “Think back what you did” you don’t know why you did it. So, I think that asking why is not productive. But don’t believe anything I say. The point of my lifetime work is to present options for teacher to explore and evaluate the extent to which they reached the effect that they wanted. And the effect that teachers usually want is of correct use of language so that students could listen, read, write and speak the language fluently. And fluently obviously means correctly. Also, to enjoy the language, to relish the development of language. Much of what teachers are doing is automatic. It’s the same with piano playing, dancing. Lots of things that we do have to be automatic, we can’t think about them all the time, they have to be part of what we do. 45:55
13. Another question I’ve got for you might not be easy to answer, but still, whenever we do an activity in class, how do we measure the effectiveness of the activity? How can we be sure that the activity was effective for the students?
JFWell, if you practice the expressions I like to play football / I like to do judo / I like to swim, for example, on Monday you do these pictures and sketches when your students point to the pictures and write questions like “Do you like to…”. The next day you might write on the board upper case D, low case Y, low case L, low case T, low case P, and low case B, then you point to those letters and then point to a student and ask the student to say the question. And if the student can say the question by initially saying the first letter of each word and then not seeing the letters but still saying the question, then you think that he has maybe got the question. And then on Wednesday you say, “Do, baseball” and point to the students for them to say, “Do you like to play baseball?” If they can say these questions correctly using very small cues, they have probably mastered the question. So, you can’t know if the task was efficient the same day, it has to be the next day, a week later. Every time you go again, you give them a cue and see how much they can say correctly. Over and over, intermediately. On the day of the activity, you cannot tell what effect is, you have to do it on a different day and with different cues which give students only partial information.
14 . In one place in your book “Small Changes in Teaching, Big results in Learning”, you used the word playfulness, what is playfulness in language learning?
JF Well, for example, you show letters with your fingers, and everybody around the world enjoys that. When you mouth the words or draw sketches, and also you personalize language: Do you like to play baseball? – I hate to play baseball. When you don’t like things, it’s playful too because it’s honest. So, part of playfulness, when kids play they are very honest. It’s honest to share things emotionally, that’s part of playfulness. And the other is when you manipulate language, it’s playing with language. So, if you point to these various sketches and then you put in “MJ”, and some students think that it’s Michael Jordan, and some students think it’s Michael Jackson. These are things that people associate playfulness with. You use words in different ways. A lot of songs, even sad songs, are playful because they use language in original ways. Anything that is a little original becomes playful. You do things slightly differently and they become playful. You can wear different colored shirts or blouses; you can wear a strange hat one day and it creates an open atmosphere in the classroom. I know that in some schools they have to wear a uniform, a shirt and a tie, and in a way that decreases the idea of playfulness. So, some students like to put on their glasses upside down for fun, and the teacher says, “Put them on right!” Well, let them put on their glasses the way they want to play with their clothing. So, playfulness is not easy to define, and it’s different in different schools with different teachers. But being joyful about using the language instead of always saying that’s wrong, study harder, do it again. So not being stern and rigid is in itself a little playful. But when a teacher shouts, it kills playfulness.
Curiosity is playfulness. People wonder about things. If you look at children, sometimes in McDonald’s or any place where there are straws, some children, when they see straws for the first time, put one end of the straw in the cup and the other in their nose to see what happens. So, parents say, “Don’t do that, that’s dirty”, and other parents just say, “Look, John’s put a straw in his nose. How does it feel? Put it in your mouth. Which do you like better?” It’s playful instead of “Do this! Don’t do that!”
So, to me, rules are the opposite of playfulness. One of my books is Breaking Rules, because I think that rules are detrimental to learning. I think that rules kill playfulness and curiosity. Rules, regulations, following the same procedure every day are damping curiosity. That means it’s not playful in the class. Learning should be figuring things out not being told. Figuring things out on their own. So, when you draw those sketches, they are figuring out on their own what the pattern is. And then they go back to life asking and answering questions: Do you like to play baseball? – I hate to play baseball / Michael Jordan loved to play basketball, but he hated to dance. And again, you may get ridiculous sentences, for example, instead of He hated to play baseball you can have He hated to do six different sports. This is more fun because you are not just practicing the language, you are creating something. Creating things is joyful and this is another way of playing with the language. So, play with your teaching. To me, learning is predicting, doing and using language. And learning is reminding people of what they already know—as I said tapping the natural curiosity of learners. We are wired to learn is what Freire said in The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
15. What ideas would you like teachers to take away from your book “Small Changes in Teaching, Big Results in Learning”?
JF Number one is always be skeptical. Question everything, especially what I and others who prepare teachers suggest. I want teachers to try alternatives I point out or we discover together. But I do not want teachers to continue to try alternatives because I suggest them, or we generate them together. I want teachers to analyze the consequences. But And number two is that students can always do it. We underestimate students. So, in one of the videos shows a student taking a cuff link off of my shirt. It turns out that the cuff link was broken, which made the task more difficult. So, I said, “Take this out.” He said, “How?” I smiled. So, he continued to work with it. Very few people use cuff links these days, especially young people I know. So, for the students it was some sort of ridiculous activity, the one he had never done before. And he just wanted to see if he could do it. So finally, he did it. And he said, “I did it.” And I said to him, “You can always do it.” So that’s the second message in my book. If they can’t do it, either the task is too difficult, or you didn’t give them enough time. If the task is of appropriate level and you give them enough time, your students can always do it. The more we show and tell, the less our students learn. So, John Dewey from Teachers College in Columbia University in 1938 said: We learn by doing. So, you have to use language, you have to do activities, that’s what I mean by “Teachers, get out of the way” because your students can always do it. If they cannot, as I already said, it’s something wrong with the task: either it’s too difficult, or the instructions are not clear enough, or we don’t give enough time. And sometimes we do too much when we give the task and immediately do it for them. So, I was visiting a friend’s house and he gave me the key and he was standing behind me. But for some reason he gave me the key. So, I put the key in the keyhole and I turned it to the right, and it didn’t open. And as I was just turning the key to the left, my friend said, “Turn it to the left.” Well, I was already doing that. As soon as you turn it to the right and it doesn’t work, you turn it to the left and you don’t need somebody to say, “Turn it to the left.” So, we tell students too much, we don’t let them figure out, we want them to do the task right away. Learning something takes time. So, give your students time, get out of the way. As I said, teaching is reminding people of what they already know.
16. I remember one episode from the videos that accompany your book on Small Changes that shows a girl who was trying to figure out the meaning of the word “dismounted” and how genuinely happy she was when she did it on her own.
JK In fact, it was the first time I saw the students we recorded on the videos. I had never seen those students before. Never. Some people say that students act stiff or they don’t act spontaneously but the students were very genuine. In that “dismounted” video there was the teacher who was teaching the students, there were two video cameras, one held by a man, there were three other teachers who were in the background asking questions, so there were six adults and two video cameras, but the students it was like no one was there, totally oblivious, she was totally focused on the task. That’s what I mean by “get out of the way”. I think that if the people look at a few of those videos they will see how powerfully the videos introduce my ideas because they see ideas in action.
17. Yes, that’s true. I liked those videos very much. John, thank very much for your ideas and the time you found for the interview. It was pleasure learning from you! Thank you!
JF Thank you! I think it was even more of a pleasure for me since you drew out of me some comments that I have never before said in my life. In conversations with teachers, I ask questions as well as the teachers. We engage in joint explorations. But since our conversation was an interview, it was made up of your questions and my answers. However, I still consider our conversation an example of teaching as discovery because as I just said I said many things that I had not said before. I made discoveries.