When I visit classrooms I sometimes see teachers hand out pieces of paper that they have prepared for their students. When I visit the same class a few days later I often ask a few students to show me the handouts they had gotten during my last visit. In some classes, students have folders they store the handouts in. But in many classes the students no longer have the handouts.

When I started teaching in Nigeria 50 years ago, we did not have copy machines. We had a mineograph machine but paper was very expensive and it took time to type up the information on a stencil. And in elementary schools there were no such machines. Each student had a notebook and each student wrote what the teacher had written on the board or what the teacher said. They treasured their notebooks since they contained their own writing, corrected by the teacher.

I am attaching some reflections from me and others on the pros and cons of handouts and other teacher prepared materials in contrast to student prepared materials.



PS I will be doing a live on line seminar on the 20th of October sponsored by iTDi. You can find details if you type in iTDI in your search engine. Then click Breaking Rules on the site.