For me, this really fits with an issue that has been touched on by several people, including Tom Farrell (in his plenary talk at IATEFL Brighton, 2011 https://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2011/session/plenary-tom-farrell [from 39:30]), Dylan Wiliam (Embedded Formative Assessment, 2011) and here Doug Lemov (Teach Like a Champion, 2010).

The issue is the importance of ‘wait time’.

Here’s an extract from a Guardian article: ‘The revolution that could change the way your child is taught’

At Lemov’s workshop, the teachers rehearsed asking questions and taking answers – not something I had imagined would require practice. A few minutes earlier, Lemov had cited research that found the average time a teacher leaves between question and answer is 1.5 seconds. That is not enough, he said. The teachers, all of whom had several years of experience, agreed. As they discussed why, I began to understand something about how absurdly difficult the job is, and the fundamental reason for its difficulty: thinking is invisible.
Imagine you’re a teacher, standing in front of your class. You ask a question: “What was the immediate cause of the first world war?” Three hands go up immediately. You decide which one to pick. “OK, Leon.” Leon gives the answer you taught last week: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Things are going well, aren’t they? But what if there is a child in the third row who was on her way to getting the answer right but gives up the moment she sees Leon raise his hand? What if there is another student, in the back row, who does not even bother thinking any more because he knows Leon always gets there first?

Lemov played a clip of a teacher called Maggie Johnson. Johnson asks her class: “What does Atticus say about mockingbirds?” After leaving a gap of several seconds, she takes an answer. Lemov played the clip again and this time, with the help of the teachers in the room, he dissected Johnson’s technique – showing how she used “wait time” to enact high expectations and make everyone in her class feel they might have an answer worth sharing. Before she has even finished asking the question, one boy has his hand up. Johnson waits. Two more hands go up. Johnson walks slowly across the front of the classroom, smiling, her gaze criss-crossing the class, as more and more hands spring up. Her movement, and her smile, dissipates any tension before it arises, either in herself or her students.

Lemov played the video [of Maggie Johnson] a third time, and paused it about two-thirds of the way through. He pointed to a girl in the front row, slight and bespectacled, with her hair in neat plaits. At a point when most of the class have their hands in the air, hers is still down. Her teacher waits. The girl stares intently at her notes. Her hand creeps up to her neck, and goes down again. Her teacher is still waiting. The girl puts her hand up, this time with conviction, and this time she holds it there.

For more info, see:
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/mar/11/revolution-changing-way-your-child-taught
and
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ry369 [from 05:40]

Like