Snape’s Teaching Review

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Did Albus Dumbledore do reviews?

Here is what I think: in the public schools, Snape would be clobbered. His classes do not create an environment of respect and rapport, he uses dubious questioning and discussion techniques, allows limited student participation, and discourages discussion. Students are intellectually engaged only partially and assessment is often unkind and unexpected. He does not demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness to students. Response to student misbehavior is repressive, or disrespectful of student dignity. Classroom interactions are characterized by sarcasm, put-downs, or conflict.

I took those phrases from a framework for teaching rubric.

I’m certainly not recommending sarcasm, putting students on the spot, or repressive classroom atmospheres. Classrooms should be safe places to take intellectual risks. Snape was no model to be used by any aspiring teacher.

But I bet those Hogwart’s students all knew their potions at the end of the school year.

In the high school where I am teaching, I doubt most students would know their potions at year’s end. While a minority would have have mastered the material, and many would know a fair number of potions, a few would know almost nothing. They might be unable to tell a mandrake root from a Riddikulus Boggart. Almost everybody would pass anyway.

Food for thought.