IATEFL 2015 – Opening Plenary – Donald Freeman

Excellent summary of Freeman’s opening plenary: Are we frozen in our ideas?

Lizzie Pinard

Frozen in thought? How we think about what we do in ELT

How we use ideas to explain and justify, make sense out of what we do as teachers.

Reasoning has two sides to it. We can reason about something – reason as a verb – and we can give reasons for something – reason as a noun. To reason about something focuses internally, you making sense of something, whereas giving reasons addresses other people. So reasoning has both internal and external dimensions.

Reasons can be seen as ‘myths’ –  they connect us and help us justify what we do. The ‘myths’ we use are anchored in experience. They aren’t right or wrong. They have a grain of truth in them, there are elements of usefulness but also those that are misleading.

In this talk, Donald will look at a set of myths that organise our work.

  • The myth of…

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