Peter Greene: What Is “Whole Brain Teaching?”

Brain-dead Blurting? Creepy Chorus? Test-Taking Tomfoolery?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday I posted a clip of students at Nashville Prep chanting the answers to questions. I should have mentioned that chanting the answers to questions was a common practice in mid-nineteenth century schools. Students would chant their geography lessons, for example, singing out the names of continents or mountains or oceans. They did not necessarily knew where to find them on a map, but they knew the words to the chant.

Peter Greene reports that this chanting is today called “whole brain teaching,” and is associated with someone named Chris Biffle.

Greene says that WBT has a website, and its goal is to put “organized fun” into the classroom.

But he takes a dim view of this chanting:

“Some of the groupiness aspects are recognizable to anyone who was ever in band, choir, or the armed forces. And I have to tell you– given the youtube and on-line testimonials…

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