No Opt Out
This case study was written by James Tomlinson, a Geography teacher at MEA Central. As you read this case study, consider how the teacher uses this technique in their classroom. Take some time to reflect on what the teacher does, how they do it, what they might do differently and how this might influence your own practice. Throughout your career you will undoubtedly experience a student opt out and respond to questions with “I don’t know” or a shrug of the shoulders. Often it is because the student fears getting it wrong or not getting it at all. Earlier in my career I found it tempting to accept it and ask another student to keep the pace of the lesson. Now, when a student is unwilling to answer a question, I use No Opt Out (Lemov D 2015) and persist so that the end result is the student providing a correct or valid answer. A simple yet effective technique, no opt out promotes a culture of participation and success whilst keeping the expectation that it is not acceptable to not
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