A short film “The hole” is the stimulus for a thinking lesson we have recently used. The reasoning patterns Intention and consequences are the target of the class discussions launched by this stimulus. In a recent lesson a grade 5 student put forward the analogy “If the photocopy machine had printed the class mathematics test, what would you do?” As a TOK teacher I jumped in with questions that explored this analogy and in what ways it was the same as the message in the film and how it may be crucially different. I was also tempted to explore more general features of reasoning by analogy with the students. This rich learning moment made me think very hard about the differences and commonalities between direct instruction and mediation. I now have several unanswered questions.
How far should we push students with questions about their reasoning towards our own understanding of the forms of reasoning ? Should we just take the reasoning patterns students express in as the starting point? How much do we add to these forming notions? Do we stop mediating when we directly and explicitly point out reasoning patterns? Can we successfully move between direct instruction and mediator of thinking?