Worksheets don’t grow dendrites

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An Annotation by Laurie Walsh

People need to talk because we’re highly social organisms! Students should not be expected to sit silently and do their work.

The author states,

“discussion has many advantages, not the least of which is that simply opening the mouth to speak sends oxygen to the brain and facilitates dendratic growth”.

The author uses statistics from research to prove the value of discussion:

  • “students learn 90% of what they say or discuss,”
  • “better quality questions result in more challenge to the thought processes of the brain,”
  • “students who discuss how they and others think become better learners,”
  • “small-group discussion reinforces classroom learning, assists the brain in recalling the information, and allows students to solve problems collaboratively,” and
  • “it is unrealistic for teachers to formulate questions for students” because it’s not that way in real life.

The article also includes sample classroom activities.  Finally, it includes stems for questioning according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. These should be shared with students so they can form their own questions.

Tate, M. (2003).  Brainstorming and discussion.  Worksheets don’t grow dendrites.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

One Comment

  1. Actually, this is a common misconception arisen from false citations. 90% of what we teach is a made up percentage. See http://www.willatworklearning.com/2006/05/people_remember.html.

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