Stop saying “work”

When we use the word WORK, we need to think about the other words and phrases that we use around it.

Because it can have accidental and unintended consequences.

We should be talking about LEARNING instead.

Just listen to the way we use the word work.

-Start your work

-Do your work

-Get on with your work

-Have you finished your work?

When we use these phrases, what are we showing we value?

We accidentally and unintentionally show the following is important to us:

-We are focused on doing, not learning

-To be good, you have to be fast

-Getting started, getting on with it, and being finished is important to me

-Task completion is more important than learning gains made

Are these really the messages we want to transmit to children?

Work is something you DO. It’s something you get on with. It’s something you get on with. It comes from the world of grown ups. It isn’t grown from within and it isn’t intrinsic.

What about this as a whole school message?

>You work because you HAVE to - and you learn because you WANT to.

It isn’t simply about replacing the word “work” with “learning”. Otherwise you end up just saying “Finish your learning” or “Do your learning” which defeats the object entirely.

We have to change the words we use around “learning”. This changes our mindset and attitudes about learning.

Instead try:

-Let’s learn how to…

-Keep practicing to learn how…

-This is helping you learn to…

-If you try X, it will help you learn Y

-Can I see how well you’re learning to…?

-What’s your next step in learning?

A simple word shift leads to a wider vocabulary shift - which can lead to a huge attitudinal shift - and…

…stronger LEARNING gains made.


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