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STAFF DEVELOPMENT

SERIES

Dr. M.P.Chhaya
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Dear Reader,

This CD – Staff Development Series – contains the following five books:


1. Book 1 - Effective Strategies
2. Book 2 - Curriculum Development and Classroom Management
3. Book 3 – Measurement and Evaluation
4. Book 4 – Fundamentals of Guidance and Counselling
5. Book 5 – Innovative School

For the comforts of the reader, light classical instrumental music is introduced while you
are reading (of course, it is optional). By clicking on the “Music” folder and then clicking
twice on the music file, you can start the music and adjust the volume as you desire.

This CD can be read on Microsoft Word 98 / 2000 on Normal view and for getting /
retrieving the figures, it may be read on Print view.

There are many advantages of these electronic books such as:


• Your hands remain free while reading and can take notes
• You can copy the pages / passages as per your requirements
• Material from this book can be displayed on a large screen using a projector
• Very handy and useful for staff-development and in-service programmes
• You can mix and match the topics from any of these books
• You can view these books according to your personal preferences (e.g. font, text
size, colour, full screen mode, etc.)
• The use of a Compact Disc allows for easy portability, accessibility and storage in
comparison to five printed books

REQUEST
You are morally obliged not to copy
this CD for any other institution but
for the use of your own staff
development.
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Book 1

EFFECTIVE TEACHER

EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM

(Effective Strategies of Teaching)

Dr. M.P.CHHAYA
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This book is dedicated to

Teachers who act as real “Gurus”


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Preface

This book is introduced for use by students learning to be teachers, beginning


teachers, and more experienced teachers all of whom may wish to improve their
techniques through professional institutes, work-shops, and in-service and on the job
training programmes. It is predicated on the belief that teaching is an art involving certain
learned skills and that, with the knowledge of these skills, creative imagination, and
talent, an individual can motivate others to learn.
The major thrusts of the book, then, are the identification and illustration of the
techniques and procedures that a teacher can use to increase his/her effectiveness and to
help make the learning experience dynamic, meaningful, and relevant to today’s student.
The practical “how to” approach is always used; real, workable methods are provided for
actual classroom situations. Because each learning experience – based, as it is, on the
interactions of individuals – is unique, teaching techniques must be modified to fit each
situation.
When a teacher is concerned with the improvement of his own institution, he
organises his time, thoughts and efforts very differently from the conventional teacher.
Instead of spending great blocks of time organising lesson plans, lectures, and similar
significant aspects of teaching, he concentrates on his own instructional behaviours. He
thinks about himself as a person, how he will relate to the children, which instructional
design he should follow, and the strategies he should use to facilitate learning. It is for
certain that for schools to change, the teacher must change.
This book does not deal with every possible instructional skill and sub-skill,
which should be in the repertoire of a teacher. No single book could possibly accomplish
such a task. A number of important skills have been treated, suggesting the range of
competencies to be sought by the reader. This book will serve well as the base for a
continuing progress of professional improvement. It can help in getting knowledge, but
for it to be of any value it must be practised in the classroom until maximum utilisation of
different strategies in different situations becomes second nature.
The effective teaching practices have been described in a friendly manner. The
language of classrooms is informal and there is no reason why a book about teachers in
classrooms should not use the same language. Therefore, this book talks straight;
avoiding complicated phrases, rambling discussions, or pseudo scholarly language. The
idea is to get the point across quickly in a friendly and readable style. This book describes
what real teachers can do in real classrooms and which teaching practices are and are not
effective in those classrooms. The research-based effective teaching practices, presented
in a simple style, are practical and realistic.
Many individuals and professionals, whose studies of classroom life have
contributed to the effective teaching, have been described in this book. The work of these
professionals has made possible integration and synthesis of effective teaching practices.
I also wish to acknowledge those teachers of Rajkumar College Rajkot, Bharatiya Vidya
Bhavan New Delhi, Schools of Chinmaya Mission and Navodaya Vidyalayas, who, over
the years, have shared their insights about the teaching process with me.
M.P.Chhaya
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Table of Contents

Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………………iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................VI

..........................................................................................................................................................................1

CHAPTER 1....................................................................................................................................................1

INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................................1
What is method?.......................................................................................................................................2
What factors determine one’s methods in teaching?...............................................................................3
Five Key Behaviours Contributing To Effective Teaching.......................................................................4
Some Helping Behaviours Related To Effective Teaching.......................................................................4
Some important teacher effectiveness indicators:....................................................................................5
..........................................................................................................................................................................6

CHAPTER 2....................................................................................................................................................6

DESIGNING EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION..............................................................................................6


Consider the context of your teaching......................................................................................................6
Consider the content of your teaching.....................................................................................................7
Consider the learners to be taught...........................................................................................................7
Consider yourself.....................................................................................................................................7
Elements of instructional design..............................................................................................................8
................................................................................................................................................................10

CHAPTER 3..................................................................................................................................................10

STRATEGIES FOR INDIVIDUALISATION...........................................................................................10


Individualised Learning.........................................................................................................................10
Behavioural modification.......................................................................................................................12
Contracting.............................................................................................................................................14
Independent study...................................................................................................................................15
Learning packets....................................................................................................................................16
Programmed learning (Instruction).......................................................................................................17
Student tutorial.......................................................................................................................................18
........................................................................................................................................................................19

CHAPTER 4..................................................................................................................................................19

STRATEGIES FOR SMALL GROUPS....................................................................................................19


Case study..............................................................................................................................................19
Community resources.............................................................................................................................21
Field study (trip).....................................................................................................................................22
Interest centres (Subject learning centres).............................................................................................23
Project....................................................................................................................................................24
Problem solving......................................................................................................................................25
Student research.....................................................................................................................................26
........................................................................................................................................................................27

CHAPTER 5..................................................................................................................................................27
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STRATEGIES FOR LARGER GROUPS..................................................................................................27


Observation............................................................................................................................................27
Demonstration........................................................................................................................................29
Discussion..............................................................................................................................................30
Lecture....................................................................................................................................................32
Questioning............................................................................................................................................34
Role-playing...........................................................................................................................................37
Simulation gaming..................................................................................................................................39
Team teaching........................................................................................................................................41
CHAPTER 6 .................................................................................................................................................43

STRATEGIES FOR SPECIAL USE..........................................................................................................43


Discovery ...............................................................................................................................................43
Interview.................................................................................................................................................46
Laboratory..............................................................................................................................................47
Socratic...................................................................................................................................................49
CHAPTER 7..................................................................................................................................................50

SUB-STRATEGIES FOR GENERAL USE...............................................................................................50


Creative thinking....................................................................................................................................50
Co-operative learning............................................................................................................................53
Inquiry....................................................................................................................................................54
Modelling...............................................................................................................................................55
Decision-making ................................................................................................................56
Homework/Assignment...........................................................................................................................58
Brainstorming.........................................................................................................................................59
Summary.................................................................................................................................................60
Audio-visual aids...................................................................................................................................61
Overhead projector................................................................................................................................61
Slide projector........................................................................................................................................62
Television...............................................................................................................................................63
Records and audiotapes.........................................................................................................................64
Films and videotapes..............................................................................................................................65
Chalkboards...........................................................................................................................................66
Bulletin boards.......................................................................................................................................67
Computers..............................................................................................................................................68
CHAPTER 8..................................................................................................................................................70

STRATEGIES FOR SPECIAL LEARNERS............................................................................................70


The slow learner.....................................................................................................................................70
The gifted and/or talented learners........................................................................................................72
The bilingual learner..............................................................................................................................74
CHAPTER 9..................................................................................................................................................77

EFFECTIVE TEACHING IN A CLASSROOM.......................................................................................77


Effective teaching...................................................................................................................................77
Defects in teaching.................................................................................................................................78
Active participation of students: ...........................................................................................................79
The type of questions relate to effective teaching:.................................................................................80
CHAPTER 10................................................................................................................................................81

ROLE OF THE TEACHER........................................................................................................................81


REFERENCES.......................................................................................................................................87
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Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

Can you imagine a technician repairing a machine with only one tool? Obviously
not, he needs and must utilise different tools in different situations. Similarly, teachers
need to vary their teaching strategies in different classroom situations, but a vast majority
competently utilise only a few and many times only one. As with the single-tool
technician, this severely limits the teachers’ overall effectiveness. When a teacher relies
upon a single approach (such as a drill or lecture) as a learning strategy, students’
boredom can easily create learning and/or discipline problems. A lack of methodological
fluidity usually indicates a lack of knowledge of students’ needs, interests, and individual
optimum learning conditions. Therefore, it is a near mandate that teachers be competent
to the utilisation of a number of teaching strategies.
There are at least four valid reasons for a teacher being proficiently prepared in a
wide assortment of strategies.
1. Different pupils learn best in different ways at different times.
2. Some subject matter is best served by use of a particular strategy or
combination of strategies.
3. Diverse objectives call for diverse approaches to meet those objectives.
4. Environmental factors (money, supplies, facilities, time, etc.) often dictate
which strategies will be most effective.
The mastery of instructional strategies is only one dimension of the skills,
attitudes, and knowledge needed by the competent teacher. For examples, no amount of
strategies can make up for lack of knowledge in subject matter. The converse is also true.
The greater the teacher’s knowledge of the subject, the more freedom he has to apply a
variety of instructional approaches. The teacher should also have a basic understanding of
philosophies of education, learning theory, and human development to act as a guide in
the proper application of each strategy. The teacher must answer such questions as: What
is a student? What are his needs, wants, and interests? Any teaching strategy, which is
inconsistent with the student’s desire for peer acceptance and approval, is likely to meet
with strong resistance. Even the most careful planning cannot produce beneficial results
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unless the student personally feels the need for learning. This requires consideration of
the associated problem of providing adequately for individual differences. It is a rare
student who will create a disturbance (internally, if not externally) when class
expectations are too high or too low for his capabilities.
After practice with a given strategy has provided confidence in its utilisation in
the classroom, a number of strategies should be combined and blended into new creative
patterns by the teacher. The knowledge, accuracy, and rapidity with which a teacher can
apply strategies to a particular learning situation are some of the differences between the
teacher as a technician and the teacher as a professional. Both stages are necessary, but
one is a rung on the ladder to becoming the other. Too often as teachers we tend to use
that strategy which gives us a feeling of security. Consequently there is a hesitancy to
employ more appropriate methods. By understanding how different strategies can best be
utilised, we can better benefit the student and ourselves.
If sub-strategies are properly used they can often enhance and extend the
effectiveness of the strategy employed. For example: Interest centres/subject centres
could include appropriate film strips, tape recordings, and films; drill is enhanced by
charts of content or activities to be performed; and lectures are more meaningful if main
points or key ideas are displayed by means of overhead projections or use of the
chalkboard. Strategies and sub-strategies are not content in themselves, but are, rather,
catalytic agents causing a reaction but not becoming a part of the result. A more graphic
analogy is as follows:
You can offer individuals raw potatoes (knowledge) for eating (learning) but many would
not eat. A pressure cooker (strategy) prepares the potatoes more properly for
consumption and increases the chances of them being eaten. Putting the potatoes on a
table with a colourful table setting (sub-strategy) improves the chances for consumption
even more.

What is method?
Method refers to the formal structure of the sequence of acts commonly denoted
by instruction. The term covers both the strategy and tactics of teaching and involves the
choice of what is to be taught, and the order in which it is to be taught. Method is a
systematic way of doing things under the guidance of certain previously established
principles. The manner in which method in teaching is followed varies with the subjects
presented, the teachers who teach, and the children who learn.
In reality there seem to be only two generalised methods of teaching; namely, the
inductive method and the deductive method. The specific methods by which these two
schemes are carried out are also called techniques, strategies, procedures, devices and the
like at times.
The inductive method: The inductive method is the real method of discovery. It
moves from objects or several keynote examples to the development of ideas. There are
many decided merits of the inductive method of teaching, among which the following are
of the most importance. 1) Children who gain knowledge in this way have been able to
retain it for longer periods of time. 2) It increases the perspective powers of the pupil
since he is encouraged to be more self-reliant upon his thinking. 3) The conclusions made
for the most part are formed first in the mind of the pupil with the teacher becoming a
checkpoint for inaccuracies and wrong perceptions.
The main disadvantages of the inductive method stem from the fact that not all
subjects can be taught inductively. For example, some of the abstract ideas in arithmetic
cannot be effectively presented through inductive procedures. Moreover, induction is a
slow process and requires many materials some of it may be most expensive. There are
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limitations but it is absolutely necessary that if clearness of thought is to be encouraged


and real knowledge preserved, the inductive method should be used to introduce many
new subjects and to give aid in the exposition of difficult ones.
The deductive method: Generally one is teaching deductively when he gives the
rules, principle or generalisation first and from them the descent is made to the specific
factors or ideas making up such generalisations. When this method is used, pupils are
asked to accept the reasoning of someone else, to profit from what others have concluded.
With increasing age children become more highly skilled in deductive reasoning,
therefore, the deductive method should simultaneously increase in importance. The best
method of teaching comes about when the teacher combines the two in such ways that
one method reinforces the other to assist the perceptions of the pupils in the learning
situation.

What factors determine one’s methods in teaching?


1. The age and disposition of pupils must be considered by the teacher in the selection
of a method to teach a given content.
2. The child’s likes and dislikes should be known by the classroom teacher. Often
children quit school because their dislikes are not known.
3. Until a teacher meets and studies his group, he will not know the specific method that
should be employed for their instruction. However, he will know several methods
from which he might select the more appropriate for purposes of application.
4. Children are curious persons. Method and content should encourage such curiosity.
5. Children are collections of materials. They should also be collection of ideas. A good
teacher uses the method that helps the child to collect additional materials and ideas.
6. The more freedom a method allows the pupil, the more he will follow his native
tendencies to be free. If the child is not compressed into confirming ways, the longer
may be his school life.
7. The method selected for the purposes of instruction should not inhibit the child’s
natural instincts to imitate, construct, work and play particularly at the primary levels.
Probably the child learns more during his first six years than during all of the next
twelve years. The method of teaching at the primary levels should allow the child to
enlarge upon certain natural instincts.
8. In society at large children are expected to grow up too quickly. The teacher should
use methods that incorporate play into the education process. At the elementary
school level, schoolwork should often be not far removed from play techniques.
9. Since children like to construct, all pupils at the elementary levels should do some
constructive work as a part of their daily schedule.
10. At certain age levels, there is more rivalry than at others. The teacher should seek to
guide rivalry into its many constructive channels.
11. The elder the child, the more likely he will be able to maintain a longer attention span
and to retain the line of thought. The methods should be such that the child is
discouraged from jumping too rapidly from one thought to another.
12. Teachers sometimes try to teach a pupil without knowing what the child knows. Such
teachings would be guesswork. As the teacher studies the child’s thinking, he sees the
problem as the child sees it. By putting himself in the pupil’s place, a more
appropriate method of teaching him might be found.

Teachers like the learners they serve, are unique personalities. It makes sense for
them to take advantage of their own special interests, skills, and competencies as they
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plan for instruction. Individual strengths of teachers can be utilised most effectively when
a logical framework is employed to organise the instructional skills selected for a specific
programme. Such a framework can suggest how instructional skills might best be
organised to promote a logical, systematic instructional programme for learners.
As a framework to guide teacher’ instructional practices, a model of instruction is
proposed here that relates actions of teachers to achievement of learners. According to
this model, major emphases are placed not specifically on what teachers do, but on what
learners derive from instruction.
This model of instruction rests on a clear formulation of the teaching process.
Teaching can be thought of as a series of events requiring decisions made by the teachers.
Logically, these decisions can be organised into separate categories. These decision
categories have been grouped under five general headings. Collectively, these five
headings comprise all of the basic instructional skills. These skills are:
• Skill one: specifying performance objective
• Skill two: diagnosing learners
• Skill three: selecting instructional strategies
• Skill four: interacting with learners
• Skill five: evaluating the effectiveness of instruction
Each of these five instructional skills can be thought of as an element in a
comprehensive model of instruction. This model provides a useful framework for
teachers as they plan for classroom instruction.
This model encourages the development of individual teaching styles.
Individualised styles are encouraged because evaluation of instruction is based on
learner’s achievement of the performance objectives. Given this criterion, teachers are
free to choose procedures from their own repertoires that they believe will result in high
levels of learner achievement.
Teacher responsibility is well served by this model. This responsibility comes not
in teachers’ rigid adherence to a set of “ideal role behaviours” but rather in adapting
instructional practices, as necessary, to help learners achieve performance objectives that
have been selected.

Five Key Behaviours Contributing To Effective Teaching


Approximately 10 teacher behaviours show promising relationships to desirable
student performance, primarily as measured by achievement on classroom and
standardised tests. Five of these behaviours have been consistently supported by research
studies over the past two decades. Another five have had some support and appear
logically related to effective teaching. The first five we will call key behaviours, because
they are considered essential for effective teaching. The second five we will call helping
behaviours that can be used in combinations to implement the key behaviours. The five
key behaviours, referred, are:
• Lesson clarity
• Instructional variety
• Task orientation
• Engagement in the learning process
• Student success

Some Helping Behaviours Related To Effective Teaching


To fill out our picture of an effective teacher, more than five general keys to
effective teaching are needed. You also need behaviours to help you implement the five
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key behaviours in your classroom. Let’s consider some additional behaviours that can be
thought of as catalytic or helping behaviours for performing the five key behaviours.
Research findings for helping behaviours, although promising, are not as strong
and consistent as those that identified the five key behaviours. There is general agreement
on the importance of these helping behaviours, but the research has not been so
accommodating as to identify explicitly how these behaviours should be used. Nor has it
linked these behaviours to student achievement as strongly as the key five. This is why it
is suspected that helping behaviours need to be employed in the context of other
behaviours to be effective, making them catalysts rather than agents unto themselves.
These catalytic behaviours include:
1. Using student ideas and contributions
2. Structuring
3. Questioning
4. Probing
5. Teacher affect

Some important teacher effectiveness indicators:

The effective teacher


• Takes personal responsibility for students’ learning and has positive
expectations for every learner,
• Matches the difficult of the lesson with the ability level of the students and
varies the difficulty when necessary to attain moderate-to-higher success
rates,
• Gives students the opportunity to practice newly learned concepts and to
receive timely feedback on their performance,
• Maximises instructional time to increase content coverage and to give
students the greatest opportunity to learn,
• Provides direction and control of student learning through questioning,
structuring and probing,
• Uses a variety instructional materials and verbal and visual aids to foster
use of student ideas and engagement in the learning process,
• Elicits responses from students each time a question is asked before
moving to the next student or question.
• Present material in small steps with opportunities for practice.
• Encourages students to reason out and elaborate upon the correct answer.
• Encourages students in verbal questions and answers.
• Uses naturally occurring classroom dialogue to get students elaborate,
extend, and comment on the content being learned.
• Gradually shifts some of the responsibility for learning to the students –
encouraging independent thinking, problem solving, and decision making.
• Provides learners with mental strategies for organising and learning the
content being taught.
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Chapter 2

Designing Effective Instruction

Planning and designing instruction are opposite sides of the same coin. Planning
is a mental process--the visualising that takes place before teaching. During the planning
process, we may try to match the needs of the learner with specific content for our
particular context. Designing is the process of putting our mental plans into a blue print.
When we design instruction, we note specific elements of our planning. Developing a
blueprint for teaching provides a focus for instruction and promotes systematic and
efficient planning. When you plan for instruction, you must consider the context of your
teaching, the content you intend to teach, and the learners who will be taught. You must
also consider yourself. You must modify your design as you gain teaching experience.

Consider the context of your teaching


To help you decide on a format for your design, ask yourself questions about the
context in which you will be teaching:
• Is the setting formal or informal (rows of desks or clusters of tables and
chairs)?
• Is it the beginning, middle, or end of the school year? The school day? The
class period?
• Is this a group of 8, 12, 20, 30 or bigger?
• What kind of management routines is established?

Your context concerns must include elements within and outside your classroom.
Consider noise levels, potential behaviour problems, and movement that affect your
teaching and teaching of those near by. Note other schedules such as library period,
lunch break, and recess, which may follow or precede your instruction. Remember, too,
that there are often administrative pressures imposed on your design process. You may
be required to submit teaching plans to administrators, to use a particular format, or to
follow a particular schedule.
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Consider the content of your teaching


Again, to help you decide on a format for your design, ask yourself questions
about the content you will teach.
• Is there a textbook?
• Is the curriculum unstructured and open-ended (e.g. curriculum for
creative writing)?
• Is there a big idea or concept to be understood (e.g. relationship between
societal discontent and politics)?
• Are there skills to be practised (e.g. map reading)?
• Are there attitudes to be experienced (appreciation of masterpieces of art)?
• Are there school district objectives to be met?

Content is a major focus for most teachers when designing instruction. In addition
to curriculum guides, textbooks, and teacher manuals, teachers’ individual interests and
areas of expertise become important sources of content.

Consider the learners to be taught


These questions will guide your discussion about a format for your instructional
design. Ask yourself questions about your learners.

• What kind of learning activities have they experienced? What kind of life
experiences? Travel experience? Activities outside of school?
• Do these learners work well in-groups? Do they know how to work in-
groups?
• What strategies/activities are developmentally appropriate for these
learners (e.g. young children require need manipulative for understanding
math concepts)?
• Can these learners work independently?
• Have the learners shown interest in the topics? What is their motivation
level?
• Is the content relevant to their lives?
• What are the needs of the learners?

Teachers describe the ability level of their students as the most important
consideration when designing instruction. You will need to be sensitive to the social
interactions of your learners and the pattern of the class participation, which could affect
many of the teaching strategies and learning activities you might plan.

Consider yourself
In a research study, teachers reported that planning relieved anxiety and
uncertainty for them, and that they felt mentally and physically better prepared for
teaching. You need to ask yourself; “How can my planning help my readiness for
teaching?” Or may you need a detailed instructional design to build confidence.
If you are a person who plans in great detail for a trip, and is most comfortable
with details written down, you will probably use a similar format to design your teaching.
If you are a person who plans with a major item and who processes details in your head,
you will probably design your teaching with a similar focus. Stop and consider how you
plan for the other things you do, so that you consider yourself before designing
instruction.
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Once you have considered the context and content of your teaching, the learners
to be taught, and yourself, think about the basic parts or elements of design that you will
need for your teaching.

Elements of instructional design


There are some universal elements you will find in most lesson designs, whether
they are written in a detailed format or in mental form. They are goals, objectives,
teaching and learning strategies, materials, feedback and assessment. A description of
each will assist your understanding of the design models.

Goals
Educational goals provide overall direction for teaching and learning in broad
terms. On a universal level, a goal may be: All students will develop a love of learning.
On a district level, a goal may be: Students will become problem solvers. On a class
level, a goal may be: Students become successful in math computation or will become
literary critics. Notice the broad, general quality of the outcomes, and the need for the
long-range development.

Objectives
Educational objectives specify the learning outcomes in measurable or observable
terms. To develop objectives, you must analyse your goals into behaviours that indicate
that students are reaching the goal. You must also specify the minimum level of
performance necessary for each student that would indicate that the objective and part of
the goal are being reached. To be specific, an objective for the goal of math computation
might be: Students will add 10 sets of 3-digit numbers and get 80 percent of them correct.
Objectives for the goal of literary critics could be: Students identify the main characters,
plot and setting of five literary selections, or students describe the literary strategies used
by authors to build suspense, create a setting, and divert attention.

Teaching and learning strategies


Teaching and learning strategies provide the vehicle or means by which facts,
ideas, concepts, skills, and attitudes transfer to the thinking and action of the learner.
Depending on the strategy in use, this transfer may occur through a variety of media,
including the teacher, other students, textbooks, videos, or computers. The question of
how to transfer learning may be answered with teacher-directed strategies of lecture,
questioning, and demonstration, or with student-directed strategies of co-operative
grouping, discovery and role-play. They are the “how” of your instructional design.

Materials
This is a broad category of tools, equipment, and resources, including anything
used by you or your learner in the teaching and the learning process. Materials can be
simply pencils and pens, paper and textbooks, or more involved audio-visual stimuli such
as films and transparencies. Including materials in your design for teaching contributes to
your preparedness.

Feedback
All of us need feedback that recognises our work, our efforts, our progress and so
on. You may provide feedback to students through individual comments on their papers
or through verbal responses to their discussions. Students may provide feedback to each
other through peer critiques, checking each other’s work, and reading to each other.
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Students may also provide feedback to themselves by checking an answer sheet, or


critiquing work with a set of criteria, or through journal writing.

Assessment
This is the means of determining whether students have met the objectives. You
can assess as an ongoing process all through the lesson, as well as at the end of the
lesson. You may also use assessment at the beginning of the lesson to see what students
already know, before you teach. Short-term assessment includes questions, quizzes, and
observations of student work. Long-term assessment includes exams, projects, and
research papers. Assessment provides information that will be useful for your next lesson
design.
Goals, objectives, teaching and learning strategies, materials, feedback, and
assessment are threads that run through the most widely used design models. Other
models of instruction elaborate from the universal framework.
Finally, it is encouraging to personalise whatever design format you use to meet
your needs and priorities, to incorporate your beliefs, and to be efficient. You might
begin with a model, and as you gain experience personalise it.
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Chapter 3

STRATEGIES FOR INDIVIDUALISATION

Individualised Learning

Individualised learning is a broad, almost philosophical approach to the teaching-


learning process. It involves an assessment of student needs and interests, a tailoring of
subject matter and teaching strategies to those needs and interests, and a constant
monitoring and guidance of student progress. A teacher using this approach would
employ a number of strategies, as the concept of individualised learning is too universal
to be applicable as a specific strategy. The universality is one of the reasons why the
approach is not as wide spread as everyone agrees it should be. In this amorphous state it
is as difficult to understand as the concepts of patriotism, truth, and brotherly love. As
with these concepts, individualised learning is understandable only through its displayed
components – individualised learning resources such as learning packets, independent
study, contracting, student research, programmed instruction, interest centres, interview,
projects, Socratic, case study and student tutorial strategies.
The processes used in individualised learning are not new. The good teacher has
been aware of and utilised them on a regular basis. The differences being that they have
been directed at the entire class. Thus, the strategy has not been exploited in its fullest
potential.
Although time consuming at the outset, the rewards tend to far exceed the energy
expended. Students involved in individualised programme are encouraged to exceed
minimal standards. They are further prompted to expand on lessons assigned to areas of
their personal and intellectual interests. Consequently, learning becomes an exciting
adventure and not a necessary obligation to complete the same daily activities that are
performed to the typical classroom. It is truly a challenge to the intellectually inclined
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student without penalising those students who need to maintain a slower pace
accomplishes the minimal requirements.
When coupled with other strategies such as interest centres, student research, and
independent laboratory experiences, a programme in individualised learning is a
challenge to the student and boon to the busy teacher.

Advantages
• Each student moves at his own pace through a level of subject matter utilising a
teaching/learning strategy that is selected to promote optimal progress.
• Students are not penalised for being out of school for illness or family matters. Upon
return each student returns to the point where he was temporarily halted.
• Students are not in false competition with peers. They are only in competition with
themselves.
• Retention of learning is improved over non-individualised instruction.
• The teacher has more opportunity to pinpoint and assist individual student problems.
• Students learn to take more responsibility for their own instructional activities.
• Students have the opportunity to see their personal progress as it occurs and tend to
extend their knowledge rather than stopping at minimal accomplishment.

Disadvantages
• Time and effort must be expended in developing materials and matching strategies to
a given student.
• Pre-assessment of student academic status takes time and special skill.
• Students must be trained to handle individualised learning strategies—a time
consuming activity.
• Record keeping can be lengthy and involved.
• In the beginning, individualised learning takes more teacher-monitoring time.
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Behavioural modification

Behavioural modification is the term assigned to the application of the laboratory-


derived principles of learning to behaviour problem, which may be academic, social or
emotional in nature. Behaviour modification may also be known as behaviour therapy or
behaviour management. It has been researched mostly with atypical children.
Essentially certain behaviours are established as desirable for students. Students
who exhibit such behaviours, or who move to the direction of the prescribed behaviours,
are rewarded, hopefully increasing the likelihood that the behaviour will continue. The
reward may be of a verbal nature, such as the teacher saying, “Good job, well done”,
material rewards, or an increase in student privileges.
A programme in behavioural modification should not be used as a panacea for all
ills. It is a tool to be used selectively by the teacher. Indiscriminate use may bring about
undesirable characteristics and/or neutralise the benefits later when the technique would
have a role in changing the pupil’s behaviour.
The use of this strategy in conjunction with observation skills, behavioural
objectives, individualised instruction; case study and programmed learning can stimulate
the students toward the desired behaviour changes. It has also been used with a large
degree of success in role-playing and simulation activities.
Behaviour modification will not accomplish psychologically or academically
impossible tasks. The behaviour must be observable, measurable and controllable. This
strategy must be understood and accepted by peers and parents. The teacher must
understand both the limitations and potential of the strategy. After the child learns a new
behaviour, reinforcement should be tapered off and provided less frequently but
occasional reward is necessary to maintain the behaviour. Continue to practice this
strategy in numerous settings. Introduce the changes slowly. Teach the child to manage
his own behaviour. A learning environment must be created that will cause the child to
engage in the desired behaviours. The objectives for each child must be realistic. The
teacher should demonstrate those behaviours that are desired and not to assume that the
child knows what to do.

Advantages
• The effects of behaviour modification have been scientifically demonstrated in
classroom situations.
• It is based upon tested principles of learning rather than theory.
• Since behaviour modification is concerned with observable, measurable behaviour,
both the student and teacher are aware of the amount of progress being made.
• It is applicable to cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning.
• This approach leads to co-operation between the teacher, school and the mental health
professional.
• Since the emphasis is upon success, a positive atmosphere prevails.
• The academic behaviours specified can be individualised very easily.

Disadvantages
• Not all behaviours to be learned can be measured.
• Behaviour modification tends to limitation where long term retention is desirable.
• A change in the student may not be based on desired learning but upon the rewards
attached.
• Care must be taken not to reward undesirable behaviours.
13

• Some techniques within the behaviour modification strategy are extremely timed
consuming.
14

Contracting

Contracting is a device in which a student and teacher write together exactly what
is to be accomplished, in what period of time, and for what grade. The objectives are
clearly specified, the work objectives outlined, and both teacher and student sign the
written agreement (contract). Two copies are prepared so that the teacher and pupil can
keep each one for reference and records. The contract itself is a written set of varied
learning situations. Some are common to the entire class while others are individualised
to meet the needs of the individual student.
The contracting strategy is a stepping-stone into the individualised learning
processes. The level of acceptable achievement must be based on more than the general
expectation of the class. Consideration must include the maturity of the students’
previous experiences in contracting; the ability to carryout tasks on an individual bases
and yet be challenging to both the teacher and the student.
Contracting is not a strategy that once assigned; the teacher is free from all daily
planning and teaching. Quite the contrary, it requires the teacher to constantly monitor
progress through individual conferences, assist students in finding the needed resources
and regular record keeping of attendance, progress and testing.
The contract can be an elaborate document or a simple written statement of
agreement between the student and the teacher. The important part of the strategy is in
giving the opportunity to students to learn while doing a project that the students have
selected with teacher approval. It is a chance for the student to experience success and
failure, yet have the opportunity to try again without the feeling of complete failure.

Advantages
• The emphasis is on learning and success rather than testing and failure.
• Students have a self-controlled opportunity for independence in their learning
activities.
• Cheating and duty shirking are reduced.
• Communication is optimised as student and teacher must meet in regular individual
conferences.
• The learning objectives are clear to everyone.
• Students have choices, exercise decision making abilities, and learn to organise and
manage time.

Disadvantages
• It is more work for the teacher than the straight “lecture method”.
• More record monitoring is necessary to insure the students are keeping up with their
schedules and are not having difficulties.
• The contract requires both in-school and out-of-school resources, which may be
difficult to locate.
• Not all students are mature enough to fulfil the contract responsibilities and self-
motivation required for this strategy.
• ‘Quantity’ may tend to replace ‘Quality’ as criteria.
15

Independent study

Independent study is an arrangement whereby the school explores in depth an area


of interest not normally studied by the entire class. The topic to be explored can be
assigned by the teacher or selected by the student with approval from the teacher. The
aim is to provide a unique learning experience for the student.
Independent study requires the teacher to allow the student to become the teacher.
The teacher becomes a ‘guide on the side’ as opposed to a ‘sage on the stage’. It is a job
of equal importance, but of a different angle requiring different functions. The teacher is
an explainer of direction rather than a lecturer, an encourager rather than a demander, and
a clarifier rather than a seeing-eye dog. It is not a time for rest and relaxation. If anything,
the teacher must be more vigilant and more available for help than ever. Constant
assessment of progress by conferring with the learner and by viewing his work is
extremely important.
Do not permit too many students to work on the same type of project. Clearly
specified objectives should be stated at the outset of the project. Determine the
availability of resources before beginning this strategy. Allow sufficient time to complete
the project, but do not allow the project to continue on endlessly. Do not permit students
to embark on studies, which are not appropriate to class instruction. Permitting the
students to share the results of their study with the rest of the class can add a dimension to
the activity.

Advantages
• Individual students can work in an area of need, for example, brighter students can
extend their learning while slower students can focus on an area of deficiency.
• Students are more motivated when they are studying something they have selected
and in which they have a special interest.
• Individual students assume more responsibility for learning and the presenting of
their projects or reports assist the slower students to gain new insights into the study
topic.
• Students gain insights into ‘how’ to learn.
• Independent study fosters self-learning skills and attitudes.

Disadvantages
• There is usually a lack of flexible schedules necessary to permit students and teachers
to do true independent study.
• A shortage of related materials or other resources necessary to carry out the study
may restrict independent work.
• The lack of research skills on the part of student and the teacher may hinder
completion of the project strategy.
• The teacher must maintain a constant check of student progress where independent
study programmes are in operation.
• Large amounts of time may be needed by the teacher to help each student to
individualise a programme.
• Evaluation is more difficult.
16

Learning packets

Learning packets are sets of self-contained learning materials assembled for the
purpose of teaching a single concept or idea. They are generally structured for individual
use and are most effectively used in schools with flexible curricula, although they are not
limited to these settings.
The unit packet consists of a series of sequential learning activities leading to the
achievement of desired outcomes by the learners. Components of the learning packets
may include teacher directions, student instructions, pre-test, major and sub-concepts,
behavioural objectives, assorted strategies and content, student self-assessment, post-test,
research activities, independent resources and study materials.
The learning packet is designed to help students achieve at their own best learning
rate. The teacher is a resource person available to offer assistance as the student pursues
the learning content of the instructional package.
Because the unit is designed for individual use, a series of units may be developed
on a single topic area. Each may be of increasing difficulty requiring the learner to device
new skills, techniques and greater knowledge.
Encouragement and positive reinforcement are important to the success of this
strategy. Take the time to work through the unit prior to classroom use to be sure it is
complete and accurate. Plan well in advance to see that all necessary materials and
resources are available. Follow the directions for teachers within the learning packets.
Establish a definite time period for the completion of the unit of learning. Relate the
learning packet to the curriculum. Do not allow it to become isolated from learning goals.

Advantages
• Students are able to pursue special interest areas yet work within the confines of the
total curriculum.
• Learning takes place in a sequential order.
• Materials in learning packets can be developed for all levels of learning.
• Any discipline can be the subject of learning packet.
• Learning packets may be exchanged both within the school and with other schools.
• The learning packet is well planned from start to finish.
• Using the pre-test and post-test, the teacher is able to immediately evaluate the
amount of learning that has taken place.
• Teachers are placed in the role of facilitators of learning rather than directors of
learning.

Disadvantages
• Unit packets are time consuming to develop.
• The learning packet requires an abundance of resource materials in order to complete
the total project.
• Students may tend get bored with lengthy learning units.
• Students may not have the maturity to work independently.
17

Programmed learning (Instruction)

Auto-instruction and automated teaching are synonyms for programmed


instruction. Machine teaching is one type of programmed instruction. One method of
programming I variously termed linear, fixed sequence, straight line or extrinsic. In such
an approach, the units of content are designed in small sequential steps, which must be
completed in the pre-arranged order.
The other basic method of programming is called non-linear, branching, or
intrinsic. In this approach, the student responds to a presented step, or frame. The next
frame the student faces depends upon his response. If correct, the student goes on to a
new exercise. If incorrect, the student may be referred to remedial exercises.
A course with programmed instruction as the sole method of learning can be
boring and tedious, but properly used on a once in a while basis it can be fun and
provides variety. It is especially useful in science and mathematics and materials can be
found or constructed for all learner levels whether slow, average, or gifted.
Materials can be bought, teacher-made, student-made, borrowed or copied. They
can be reused (if separate answer sheets are dittoed) year after year and rarely need
updating as they usually cover basic concepts. Begin utilising programme for a unit of
content, then evaluate the experience to decide upon further use. Programmed instruction
is usually most effective when used ‘some of the time’ rather than ‘all of the time’.

Advantages
• Programmed learning saves the teacher a considerable amount of time.
• The time saved can be applied to individuals or groups as either remedial or higher
intellectual learning.
• It is effective for remedial teaching, drill and practice, as well as enrichment.
• The learner is actively responding at all times to the programme.
• The student progresses at his own rate and level of achievement.
• The success and reinforcement provides motivation to the learner.
• Students can study on their own and that too effectively.
• The student, through immediate feedback, is aware of the degree of progress being
made.

Disadvantage
• Good programmes are hard to identify.
• Writing programmes is a very difficult process which causes teachers generally rely
on commercial programmes.
• Programmed instruction is very applicable to affective or psychomotor learning.
• The cost of the materials can be prohibitive.
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Student tutorial

The student tutorial approach utilises pupils as monitors (tutors) who first learn
from a teacher and then teach small groups or individual fellow students (tutees).
Traditionally the approach has been concerned only with the learning of the tutees.
However, the approach also offers a unique learning experience for the student tutors and
should be considered as a vital portion of the approach.
The use of students tutoring other students has proven to be a valuable tool for
teachers in a countless number of situations. It enables the teacher to provide additional
instruction to those pupils having difficulty while continuing to maintain an ongoing
programme with other students in the classroom.
It may be considered a form of behavioural modification due to the selection
process used to designate tutors and tutees. The good student is rewarded by being
assigned or appointed as a tutor. The tutee is rewarded by being selected for additional
assistance on the basis of need, acceptable behaviour, and a proven desire to additional
help.
Other sub-strategies can play an important part in the student tutorial programme. They
may have only a minor role when used by the tutors but nevertheless are valid points to
consider. Discussion, demonstration, drill, questioning and problem solving are a few of
the strategies that enter into the student tutorial method. The mere fact that a peer is
aiding the slow student may make the difference to the success or failure of the tutee in
gaining knowledge and assurance that he can do acceptable schoolwork, which will
enable him to be a part of the total classroom activities.

Advantages
• The tutor learns more since teaching is an excellent learning situation.
• Since the tutor is nearer the age, skill and achievement level of the tutee than is the
teacher, the tutor can better understand the tutee’s problems.
• The student tutorial system spreads the talents and knowledge of the teacher.
• The use of tutors assures all students of individual attention.
• The student tutorial approach provides an economic use of time.
• The tutor can develop responsible behaviour as well as gain leadership experience.
• The student tutorial provides a challenging learning experience for the faster students
in class.
• Advanced students can many times be paired up with remedial students and aid in
eliminating troublesome ‘learning gaps’.

Disadvantages
• Since tutors and tutees are classmates, tutees often resent being taught by their peers.
• The tutor is not a teacher and is very limited in instructional skills.
• Since the tutor usually lacks the teacher’s depth of knowledge, the use of tutors may
lead to memorisation transmission only.
• The use of student tutors removes the teacher from the actual instruction of most of
the students.
• The only feedback the teacher receives is through the tutor and may be distorted.
• Since the teacher is not present in all the tutorial sessions, behaviour problems are apt
to arise.
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Chapter 4

STRATEGIES FOR SMALL GROUPS

Case study
The case study strategy (or case method) is a teaching approach, which requires
the student to participate actively in problem situations, which may be hypothetical or
real. He receives a case, a report containing pertinent data, analyses the data, evaluates
the nature of the problem, decides upon applicable principles, and finally recommends a
solution or a course of action.
The case study method is another approach to individualising the learning
situation. Through the use of hypothetical or real situations, the student has the
opportunity to use problem-solving approaches that are meaningful and understandable.
It requires the student to collect the data, analyse it and make suggestions or
recommendations for decision-making. The project may be simple in the beginning and
lead to the more complex as the student gains experiences to these learning processes.
Using the case study strategy can, if properly directed, assist in the solving of
school or community problems. The community sees the student working on topics that
are of wide interest in the community and thus have greater respect for the educational
programmes at the local school. It further provides an opportunity to narrow the generous
gap.
It is not a strategy to be used indiscriminately. It requires careful planning,
specific objectives, clearly specified guidelines and a precise means of evaluation. The
teacher can and must expect to be available for individual assistance and ensure that
materials, equipment and resources are readily available to the students.
Cases should be explicitly and unambiguously written. They should fit the level
of the students in terms of maturity and problem solving skills. Students should be
presented with similar cases prior to permitting the students to select their own cases. A
check must be made to insure that materials and resources dealing with the case are
available. Periodically check on students to insure they are progressing in a desirable
20

direction. Attempt to include other strategies such as role-playing, simulation, interview


and questioning within the structure of the case study.
Advantages
• The case study approach can provide for individual differences among students.
• Because the student is involved in a problem situation, interest and motivation are
generally high.
• Active student involvement insures better retention of content.
• The case study approach develops responsibility on the part of the learner.
• Students are invited to develop problem-solving skills in order to arrive at a
conclusion to the case.
• Students deal with content on a high cognitive level.
• Materials and resources other than the textbook are used in considering the case.
Disadvantages
• The case study approach can be time consuming.
• Good case studies are difficult fir the teacher to develop in a manageable procedure
for the normal size class.
• Resources and materials needed to successfully pursue the case study are often not
available.
• The teacher must be well prepared for the topic of the study.
• Cases developed by the students are often controversial and difficult for the teacher to
manage.
21

Community resources

Basically, community resources include any activity outside the school, which has
educational use. The teacher can use people, places and things found in the community to
facilitate learning. The resource, although located outside the school building, may be
brought to the school or the class may go to the site to carry out a planned activity. Often
an elder citizen of the community can enhance the study of history or biology, art, folk
dancing and literature.
Normally a community resource is considered to be to be something away from
the school to visit, but in many instances it means bringing a person or exhibit to the
school. It is a tool that can provide new learning experiences to the class and assist the
teacher in making lessons more meaningful with lasting effects.
Community resources, like all other teaching strategies, require advance consideration,
study and preparation before it can become a meaningful tool. Begin early to note places
of interest that will enhance the lesson. Make notes regarding the cost, time to tour or
complete the activity. Note down the names of key individuals for contacts and
scheduling. Be knowledgeable of the procedures and requirements within the school for
making use of community resources. Have the objectives for using the resource firmly in
mind to make the lesson meaningful.

Advantages
• The use of community resources can bring the school and community closer together.
• It facilitates more practical learning and better retention of learning.
• Interaction between the school and community enables the student to develop a
broader understanding of the community.
• The use of the community resources adds excitement to the subject, thus increasing
motivation for learning.
• Community resources are applicable to all types of learning: cognitive, affective and
psychomotor.
• Students can develop social skills.
• Students can assist in the selection of community resources as a decision making
experience.
• These activities are inexpensive and within the budget of most schools.

Disadvantages
• Specific community resources, which are available, are sometime difficult to locate
and schedule.
• Teachers have to obtain prior administrative and parental approval.
• People used as community resources often do not know how to transfer their
knowledge and information to students.
• Field trips are often over looked due to factors such as student safety, control,
expense and teacher liability.
• Since the teacher is dependent on agents of the community, last minute cancellations
often occur leaving the teacher stranded.
22

Field study (trip)

Your regular classroom may not be the best area available to you for a particular
activity on study. You and the class must move outside the confines of that room to the
school grounds, the immediate community, or some other reachable place, and do your
investigations at this site. This extra-class session is known as a field trip, and is a most
valuable activity to consider for your programme. The field study is a trip arranged by the
school and undertaken for educational purposes, in which students go to places where the
materials of instruction may be observed and studied directly to their functional settings.
A sub-strategy of the community resources strategy, field studies are generally
made to points of instructional interest such as factories, public utilities, museums,
libraries, art galleries, or government institutions. One of the longstanding major
criticisms of education has been its sponsorship of cloistered, unrealistic learning of
irrelevant facts. Field study is a means of overcoming this criticism in part. It provides
opportunity for students to see the ‘real world’ in action, and, thereby, widens their
attitudinal, social, and academic horizons.
Careful planning and pre-visitation to the site by the teacher is essential if the
experience is to be useful and valuable to students. Students should receive some definite
‘coaching’ in observation skills and an outline of objectives and purposes prior to the
field trip. Follow up activities including discussion, writing short essays, drawing
pictures, or model making will ensure that retention of the objectives is accomplished.
Field study, properly carried out, is a major source of enrichment for learners.
Make sure the field trip is of educational value in that it relates directly to what is
being taught in the classroom. Plan the trip by visiting the site and talking with the
people. Prepare the by relating the trip to what is being studied and what they might
observe. At the site provide for adequate supervision. Upon return to the classroom,
review and summarise what was learned at the field trip. Develop a means of evaluation
for pupils as well as the place visited in order to assist in planning future trips.

Advantages
• Field studies provide the student with interesting, first hand experiences.
• A common experience is provided for students, which can serve as a basis for other
learning activities.
• Students become more aware of their environment.
• Field studies can add greatly to school-community relationships.
• What is learned should have great impact due to the multi-sensory nature of the
experience.
• Field studies extend classroom learning through reality.

Disadvantages
• Discipline can easily become a problem.
• Administrative procedures to organise field trips are often so complicated that they
discourage taking them.
• Transportation arrangements are often difficulty or costly.
• When a teacher has students for only one period a day, it is difficult to make
arrangements in order to prevent conflicts with other classes.
23

Interest centres (Subject learning centres)

Establishing an interest centred classroom involves actual separation of the


physical space into stations of various academic areas. In an elementary and middle
school classroom, one might have a science centre, a language centre, a math centre, a
social science centre, an art centre, etc. Each centre has abundant materials and
equipment pertaining to that particular subject.
Interest centre teaching can be a good blessing. It individualising learning, makes
students more responsible for their own time, encourages communication and eliminates
many motivational problems. It also makes progress reporting easier and meaningful.
With proper introduction and monitoring the teacher will find interest centre teaching
may be the panacea for which she has been searching.
The teacher must secure an abundance of materials and some equipment pertinent
to each centre well in advance of the beginning of the year. The type and quantity of
materials depends on the objectives for each centre. On request, you may acquire from
business houses, factories, government institutions, museums, zoos, art galleries,
hospitals and individuals.
Resource people are a valuable asset to an interest centred classroom. Just as with
materials, it is amazing how many experts are eager to donate their time and energy to
work with students. Do not fail to utilise some students’ parents and acquaintances as
valuable resources. Administration and parents should be kept aware and consulted
during the planning and programme operation.
Each student should have a folder kept in a central file where he logs his activities
and achievements. Care should be taken that accurate and detailed records are kept,
otherwise evaluation becomes impossible. Another possibility for evaluation is to require
each student to exhibit some level of individual proficiency on small quizzes or written
exercises prepared over the material.
Many other strategies and sub-strategies can operate effectively within the interest
centred classroom – projects, independent study, research, student tutorial, fieldtrips,
learning packets, etc.

Advantages
• Interest centres provide for individualised learning within constraints of subject
matter requirements.
• Interest centres allow students to devote more time to the subjects, which are
personally interesting.
• The teacher is free to move about from centre to centre assisting students,
• Students have the opportunity to bring their own materials with which to work.
• Resource people in each interest area can be brought in easily to work with a small
group of students.
• Students are more responsible for their own learning activities.

Disadvantages
• The need for varied materials to each centre may be a constraint.
• A great deal of preparation of environment, materials, and students is required.
• Record keeping of student achievement is difficult.
• Students may be lacking in self-motivation, especially if they have not had prior
independent work.
• The teacher needs a good command of all subject matter.
24

Project

The project method is a teaching in which students individually or in-groups


accept an assignment to gather and integrate data relative to some problem and are then
free to fulfil the requirements independently of the teacher, who furnishes help only when
necessary. The project approach may be referred to as self-directed study.
This method requires teaching by units rather than by pages. The decision as to the nature
of the project can be assigned by the teacher, or it can evolve from class discussions.
Projects are usually done by individuals and many times take the form of a model
or presentation as the final product. If the project involves in-depth work, it becomes
research. Well-known examples of projects are seen at science fairs. Sometimes projects
are creative, and, many times, are a duplicate of something already done. Projects give
students the opportunity to work independently and to gain in-depth knowledge of a
specific area.
Some projects sometimes take the form of a large-scale city map, play production,
jury trial, large model construction, etc. The advantages of the group projects are that
students must agree on division of labour, learn to lead or follow, and give and take
criticism among themselves, as well as learn together about specific subject matter.
Great care must be taken to the selection of the project. Students should be helped
in finding projects, which have meaning for them but which are also meaningful in terms
of the goals of the subject. Be sure the subject is specifically defined and understood by
the students involved. Provide enough supervision to ensure maximum progress, but not
so much as to rob students of meaningful learning experiences. Provide an opportunity to
utilise community resources.

Advantages
• The project approach covers all levels of the cognitive and affective domains.
• Pupils can be involved in planning the project that increases interest and motivation.
• Emphasis is placed upon doing by the student.
• The project method develops student responsibility and initiative.
• The student develops greater understanding of ‘how’ to learn.

Disadvantages
• Projects are very time consuming.
• Students, due to academic immaturity, often make many errors.
• Often the materials and resources needed to do an effective project are not available.
• Students often get sidetracked or go off on a tangent.
• Helpful teacher feedback usually is not possible until it is too late.
25

Problem solving

The name problem solving is assigned to learning approaches built upon the
scientific method of inquiry. These approaches are built upon John Dewey’s five steps of
general problem solving. These steps are: (1) defining the problem, (2) formulating
tentative hypotheses, (3) collecting, evaluating, organising and interpreting data, (4)
reaching conclusions, and (5) testing these conclusions.
For example, a social studies class might become concerned about what will
happen to the dictatorship when a dictator dies? The class members discuss various
alternatives and then finally state their hypothesis: When a dictator dies, the dictatorship
ends. Next, they would select, evaluate, organise and interpret data. They would study
dictators throughout history and what happened to the dictatorship upon the death of the
dictator. The data could either support or deny the hypothesis. Next a conclusion would
be reached regarding what happens to the dictatorship when the dictator dies. The degree
to which the hypothesis is supported or denied by the evidence determines the
conclusion.
Expose the student to a number of similar problems. The problems presented must
fit the maturation and skill levels of the student. Assist pupils in defining and delimiting
the problem to be studied. Check for sufficient resources and materials to be available for
student use. Provide direction and guidance when necessary, taking care not to overdo it.
Problem solving moves the mind to some of its highest cognitive functions:
analysing, generalising, and synthesising. This alone justifies it as one of the most
valuable of all strategies. An added benefit in utilising this strategy is that students
become adept at digging up information and cross checking its validity with other
resources.

Advantages
• Because the student has been actively involved, comprehension and retention should
be of longer duration.
• Problem solving provides the student with a model to apply to problem that may be
faced in the future.
• Problem solving involves cognitive and affective learning.
• Problem solving develops responsibility in the learner.
• Interest in learning and motivation are increased with the use of problem solving.
• Students learn how to think independently in reaching conclusions.
• Problem solving provides the opportunity for students to learn from failure without
severe hardships.

Disadvantages
• Materials and resources needed for problem solving often are not available to the
students.
• Problem solving is time consuming.
• Students are often too immature to really recognise problem of social significance.
• Evaluation of learning is difficult.
26

Student research

The research approach in teaching is defined as ‘an instructional procedure, the


desired outcomes of which are achieved by setting up situations in such a form that the
student gathers and organises information, draws his own conclusions on the basis of
data, and compares his results with those obtained by other investigators’.
The student may conduct this research in a laboratory situation or a non-
laboratory situation or a combination of both. The non-laboratory research is usually
some type of library resource. The classroom focus of student research can be either upon
the knowledge gained, upon the research skills and processes involved, or both.
Research is highly interesting to some students, and a total bore for others.
Certain students thrive on the independence, the logicality and definity of this type of
individual study. But it is not for everyone. A teacher must spend adequate preparatory
time with the student in the foundations of research: (1) defining the problem, (2)
gathering and compiling data, and (3) posing tentative solutions, etc.
A student doing research needs input, and the flexibility to make contacts
necessary for such input. This might be library time or first-hand gathering of information
from local and state agencies. The rewards of properly supervised and earnest carrying
out of student research can be great: thought organisation, investment, increased
motivation, activism, in-depth knowledge of a specific area, and feeling of
accomplishment.
Decide beforehand whether the purpose of the research is the knowledge learned
or the research process or both, and so informed the students. Base the type of research
upon the students’ level of research sophistication. Be sure the necessary materials,
facilities and equipment for research are available. Make certain the topics to be
researched are well defined and understood by the student. Build in checks or student
progress reports to ensure the direction of the research. Spend time preparing students by
helping them develop research skills before embarking upon a research project. Provide
students with opportunities to share their findings with peers.

Advantages
• Student research lets the student understand how a researcher in a particular field
works.
• Research by students prepares the students to direct their own learning in the future
when faced with a new problem.
• Research can provide motivation as the student actively seeks answers.
• In using research, students must make judgements, reach conclusions, and report the
findings.
• By conducting research, student not only learns content but also develops various
research skills, and a sense of responsibility.

Disadvantages
• Research can be very time consuming.
• Research may require more materials and equipment than are available.
• Students, although initially motivated, may lose interest if the research leads up blind
alleys (topic too difficult, boring, or the lengthy).
• Due to immaturity or limited subject matter comprehension, students may often have
difficulty judging the importance of data acquired through research.
27

Chapter 5

STRATEGIES FOR LARGER GROUPS

Observation

Observation is probably more of a teacher skill than a strategy. However, its


importance is so crucial to effective utilisation of other strategies and it is so intricately
intertwined with all of them, that it becomes almost imperative to treat it as a ‘pure form’
strategy.
An ‘observer’ is usually thought of as an unobtrusive person sitting in the corner
passively watching students. It is a rare teacher who has the luxurious opportunity to
observe his own students performed. Therefore, we shall define observation as ‘astute
perception by the teacher of the multiply–faceted student behaviour, attitudes, and
learning problems while in the midst of a dynamic classroom situation.’ In other words,
the teacher should be aware of ‘what is happening ‘. To be constantly cognisant of what
is transpiring through out the class is not an easy task. It is especially difficult for those
teachers who are in the habit of seeing ‘the group’ rather than individual that composes
the group. It is of utmost importance to be ‘omnisciently observant’, as it is the major and
only immediate way to learn of student reactions to the general environment and
particular learning segments.
Observation is perception. Accurate perception is invaluable to the proficient
teacher. It might be the fundamental strategy underlying effective utilisation of all other
strategies. How else is a teacher to judge when and how to plug indifferent strategies if he
is not gaining accurate input on student needs and desires?
Most of us are fairly poor observers. The teacher is supposed to reinforce students
towards progress, which motivates the teacher to improve. Usually not principals or pay
checks. It is purely on the teacher’s shoulders to be mature and professional enough to
take a step and enjoy the feeling of ‘doing better’. Observation, if practised can be one of
the most rewarding steps ever taken.
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The teacher should plan on the necessary self-training in observation skills. A


daily skill goal should be established and carried out in all contacts with students.
Practice at looking for particular traits or behaviours eventually sharpen the teacher’s
observation powers beyond belief. The teacher’s eye becomes so discerning that a
mountain of information can be compiled with a few glances around the classroom.
Observations should be as objective as possible. Until we have the ability to enter
other peoples’ minds to see actually why they do the things they do, we must restrict our
descriptions to observable behaviour. Never neglect your built-in ‘environmental
thermostat’. Despite looking for particular behaviours, you must constantly attune art of
your observation powers to the classroom atmosphere.

Advantages
• Through observation much can be learned concerning student physiological problems
(hearing, vision, speech, co-ordination, bodily defects, etc.) and needs (diet
supplements, hygiene care, clothing, etc.).
• Observation yields a great deal of information about the learner’s socio-emotional
development.
• Observation provides immediate information and feedback; where as, testing or
diagnostics lesson the effect of problem-attention due to the time-delay. Many
potential learning problems can be eliminated by prompt action ultimately saving a
great deal of energy and discomfort on the part of both teacher and student.
• Keen observations eliminate many discipline problems before they occur.
• As the teacher becomes increasingly aware of the effects of various strategies in
different situations (and alters teaching approaches on the basis of that information)
he becomes a constantly self-improving professional always seeking a better way.

Disadvantages
• It is difficult to become a sharp observer. It requires determined practise of separating
oneself into two people—a person ‘teaching’ (demonstrating, lecturing, utilising AV
material, passing out papers, etc.) and a person ‘observing’ (alert to physiological,
socio-emotional, learning, and behavioural aspects).
• There is a tendency to ‘play favourites’, and observe only children who are pleasing
to watch.
• There is a tendency to watch for only negative occurrences, there by falling to notice
accentuate positive traits being exhibited.
• The inclination is to be solely on the alert for particular and thus fail to sense the total
classroom atmosphere.
29

Demonstration

Demonstration is the process wherein one person does something in the presence
of others in order to show them how to do it or to illustrate a principle. Demonstration
utilises both auditory and visual means of communication.
One of the greatest benefits of demonstration is showing how something is
accomplished properly or expertly. Naturally, then, the demonstration should be properly
prepared to ensure that this goal is achieved. A good demonstration inspires, poor one
defeats. Demonstration is especially useful in the arts, music, science, mathematics, and
athletics. It is commonly used in conjunction with a short explanatory lecture.
Spend the necessary time to plan and develop the needed materials for the
demonstration. Practice or rehearse the demonstration in its entirety with an eye on time
limitations. When it is time to put on the demonstration make sure all materials are at
hand. Make sure seating arrangements are such that the audience can see and hear. Utilise
questions during the demonstration to provide feedback. At the conclusion of the
demonstration, conduct a brief review of the steps involved or a short summary of what
has happened. If feasible, have a student or two to replicate the demonstration.

Advantages
• Demonstration adds to learning by giving students the opportunity to see and hear
what is actually happening.
• Demonstration can be used to illustrate ideas, principles and concepts for which
words are inadequate.
• Good demonstrations hold the learner’s attention.
• Demonstrations can be financially economical since only the demonstrator needs
materials.
• Good demonstrations set performance standards.
• Demonstration is especially beneficial in the areas of skills.
• Demonstration is an excellent technique for utilising community resource persons,
which in tern is good for public relations.

Disadvantages
• Demonstration requires much planning and preparation by the demonstrator.
• A demonstration can be ineffective if the demonstrator only ‘shows and tells’ without
feedback.
• If the audio portion of the demonstration does not fit the visual portion it can confuse
the student.
• Demonstration can lead to imitation without understanding.
• Demonstration is difficult to use with affective and higher level cognitive learning.
30

Discussion

Discussion is an activity in which people talk together in order to share


information about a topic or problem or to seek a possible solution. It is an organised talk
and not purposeless conversation. It is not casual but skilfully structured. Discussion to
develop and share ideas is a dynamic, universal activity. It is a means for increasing
student involvement. During discussion the active listener is also a truly participant.
Discussion may be implemented in a variety of ways. The types of discussion
available to the teacher include whole-class discussions, debates, panels, buzz-sessions,
and forums. Each type has its own characteristics.
The whole class discussion is the type generally referred to when teachers employ
the discussion method. The teacher simply leads an informal discussion involving the
class as a whole. The teacher, as the director of the discussion, asks questions, clarifies
Students’ comments, and makes tentative summaries to help students achieve
understanding of the topic.
Debate is generally used in the classroom as a small-group technique with a small
number of students teamed on either side of an issue; each side is given a specific amount
of time to present its side of the issue. Upon conclusion of the debate, the teacher can
enter into a whole-class discussion on the issue.
In utilising panels, the teacher can divide the class into groups of three to six
students. The students comprising the panel then organise themselves, research the topic,
discuss their data, and present their findings that lead into a whole-class discussion.
In buzz sessions, students are placed in small groups for a specific amount of time
to discuss a given issue or topic. Reports of the results of the various buzz groups are then
presented to the entire class, which should stimulate whole-class discussion.
The forum is a specific discussion type in which a small number of students
present information to the large group. Upon the conclusion of the presentation, the
presenters then solicit questions on the topic from the audience.
Each of the types presented can be utilised in either a modified form or in
combination with each other. Whatever the case, teachers should properly use the
approach in terms of its inherent characteristics.
Discussion is a most important strategy on a number of levels. It does involve the
coverage of academics. It involves a sharing of ideas between students, rather than an
osmotic process from teacher to student. It is schooling in social interaction, courtesy,
leadership/fellowship, thought organisation, and conversation. This is the preparation for
students to become proficient speakers/listeners and worthwhile contributing citizens – a
goal found in every school philosophy.
Discussion does demand erstwhile supervision and guidance by the teacher. The
teacher must be prepared and must be familiar with the content to be considered the
characteristics of group activity, and the materials and resources available to the students.
The student must be prepared. In order to insure that the discussion reaches a
level higher than a ‘sharing of ignorance’, the teacher must plan sufficient learning
activities prior to the discussion.
The topics of discussion should be properly stated. Primarily, the topic should be
stated as an issue to polarise viewpoints. Secondly, the words used to phrase the issue
should be terms familiar to the students. Finally the topic itself should be one which has
some degree of personal relevance for the students.
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In introducing the subject matter to be discussed, the question or issue should be


presented in very specific, well defined terms to the students. In fact, writing the topic on
the board or in handout material is well worth the effort.
The teacher serves as a moderator of the discussion while in progress. The
moderator clarifies the concepts, makes tentative summaries, states conclusions, and
keeps the discussion on track. The discussion has been in vain if the students are unaware
of the conclusions reached, position taken on the issue, or processes undergone.
Look for follow up activities. Successful discussions will lead naturally into
follow up activities, which will enhance the student learning. Student discussion should
not be evaluated for grading purposes. This is the only way to encourage students to
freely and honestly contribute to the discussion.

Advantages
• Discussion techniques get at attitude development. By engaging in meaningful
discussion with fellow students, a given student finds his own values and beliefs
challenged. Such a finding can lead to a significant attitudinal change on the part of
the student.
• It develops ‘discussion’ skills.
• It aids the student in the development of a positive self-concept.
• Discussion has a positive effect upon the mental activity of the student.
• Careful observation of the behaviour of students in-group activities provide the
teacher with much information related to the social, psychological, emotional, and
skill development of the student.

Disadvantages
• Discussion activities are usually more time consuming than more direct approaches.
• Discussion often break down, lag, or become a rambling, and meaningless.
• In discussion, some students may never participate while a few may tend to dominate.
• It is possible that a topic will be such that the students get carried away.
• Teachers often become frustrated because discussion may fail to lead to a conclusion.
• There is a problem of evaluating the student.
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Lecture

The lecture is the traditional method of teaching wherein lecturer transmits


information in an autocratic fashion to passive student listeners. In the pure form,
students have no opportunity to ask questions or offer comments during the lecture. It is
the oldest form of teaching, and one of the most ineffective because it is overused, abused
and misused.
Lectures should be short, sweet, and to the point when they are necessary.
Generally speaking, lectures are ineffective because they place a learner in a very passive
posture. This lack of activity is extremely conducive to boredom, daydreaming and
sometimes create discipline problems. Lecture assumes that the lecturer knows all and the
student is ignorant, and this automatically turns off some listeners. The degree to which
this happens is determined to some extent by the attitude of the lecturer while making the
presentation.
The lecture is most effective in clarifying or demonstrating a procedure or skill.
Know the overall goals and specific objectives while planning the lecture. Know the
audience. What are their specifics needs and interests? Goals should mesh with these
needs and interests to eliminate the boredom and to help the students grow. The lecture
should be well organised so that the logic is as perceivable as possible. This includes
planning of methodology, utilisation of equipment, demonstration materials, handouts,
etc.
Vary the lecture by utilising interest arousing aids such as pictures, models and
other visuals. The chalkboard serves as a useful tool for outlining or emphasising
important points. Avoid monotonous type of lecturing by varying voice stress and
intensity. Try to stir students’ imagination by painting with vivid word pictures.
Avoid pure lecture by utilising questions during the lecture. Two kinds of
questions may be used: (1) the kinds you ask – poise – and answer yourself (rhetorical)
and (2) the kind you expect student to answer. Both are attention getters and one has
added benefit of requiring mental answer-search on the part of the students as well as
feedback mechanism to enable the lecturer to measure audience absorption.
Always allow ample opportunity for questions to come from the students. Watch
the audience. Their actions (attentions) will reveal the effectiveness of the lecture. Revise
lecture approach on the basis of the feedback.

Advantages
• The lecture is most useful in introducing a new topic of study or presenting certain
back ground material that students need for preparation of further study.
• Lecture permits a large audience to receive quick and useful information.
• Lecture provides students with an organised perspective of the content to be
considered.
• Lecture provides practice for the students in learning to develop note-taking skills.

Disadvantages
• Lengthy or overly frequent lectures can easily lead to boredom.
• The lecture has difficulty in assessing impact on the audience and whether needs and
interests are being met.
• Individuals in the group are not permitted to ask questions, thus eliminating the
feedback leading to miscommunication.
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• Detailed and factual information is difficult to ‘communicate’ or ‘relate’ in such a


setting.
• Affective (attitudes) learning seldom occurs due to a lecture.
• Students seldom achieve higher level cognitive learning since they do not actively
work with the information being considered.
34

Questioning

Questioning, sometimes referred to as the question – and – answer method, is


defined as a method both of instruction and of oral testing based on the use of questions
to be answered by the pupils.
` An effective question-asked is as beautiful to watch (listen to) as a fencer. He
knows when and what to ask. His questions demand thinking, not just factual recall. It
takes a certain measure ego-elimination on the part of the teacher to relinquish the desire
to furnish all the answers and allow the students to use their own cognitive abilities.
Good questioning techniques aid and stimulate the listener to reason, evaluate and
even create. Inspiration is given by the teacher for the student to move beyond
memorising thought function to higher levels of thinking.
Whatever may the purpose of the questions to be asked by the teacher, the responsibility
of the teacher is to first plan properly and then to execute effectively. In planning, the
teacher should:
1. Decide upon the purposes of the questions to be used.
2. Structure in advance, the more difficult types of questions to be used. It is
desirable to take the time to write out such questions on note cards or the
margin of the text.
3. If questions are to be used for either review or pre-assessment purposes,
be sure to randomly sample class responses.
4. Use ’who’. ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘where’ questions to check information
possessed by students. For higher thought levels, use ‘why’ and ‘how’
questions.
5. Push student’s responses to ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions to higher levels of
thought by asking for more explanation.
6. When using questions with individuals, state the question, pause, then call
on a student to answer. This leads all students to listen to the question. The
pause provides time to think – respect that period of silence.
7. Summarise complicated or ambiguous answers to questions.
8. Be reasonably lavish in the use of ‘good’ or other words of praise to
students who give correct answers. Avoid asking any negative comments after
an incorrect answer, as it is the surest way to insure low response on future
questioning.

What types of questions are to be asked?


Although you might not be able to pre-plan all your questions, all the questions
you ask should reflect your awareness of the basics of question construction.
1. Questions should be concise.
2. Some questions should be used that require thought and an extended
answer.
3. A question should not suggest its own answer.
4. Questions should not suggest a ‘right’ answer.
5. Questions should not be worded so as to call for a yes or no answer.
6. Students should not be required to participate in a guessing game to find
out what your answer is.
7. The vocabulary you use should be clear to the students.
8. The contrast between your experience background and that of your
students must be considered.
35

9. Every question should carry the lesson forward.


10. Design questions that differ in their order of difficulty.

How can questions be presented effectively?


1. Ask the question first, and then select the person to answer it.
2. If you ask a question requiring some thought then provide the time for
students to formulate and phrase an adequate response.
3. If several partial answers are given, a student might be asked to summarise
those responses.
4. Try to involve as many of your students in a lesson as possible.
5. A student who gives good answer should be complimented.
6. Bring non-volunteers (non-participants) into the lesson by learning about
their hobbies, interests, school activities, athletic interests.
7. Do not discourage volunteering.
8. Maintain a balance between calling on volunteers and non-volunteers.
9. There should be no predictable system for calling on students.
10. Avoid repeating answers or questions.
11. Students should always be expected to evaluate the responses made in
class.
12. Constantly listen to your own questions with the same critical listening
ability you wish to instil in your students.

Classification of questions
There are six levels of questions. The following table shows the lower to higher
levels of students’ thinking skills. Questions must be adjusted to suit the needs of the
students. It is found that different levels of questions are effective, depending upon the
learner and the content of the lesson. Certain lessons require more recall, whereas other
lessons require more thought.

QUESTION STUDENT EXAMPLE


TYPE BEHAVIOUR QUESTIONS

Knowledge Recall What (Who, When, Where,


Recite Why) are the southern
states?
Define photosynthesis
LOWER-
Comprehension Describe What is the main idea?
LEVEL
Summarise How is the major character
THINKING
portrayed?
Application Solve What is the latitude of New
Show Delhi?
Sarla has one rupee, how
many 15 paise stamps can
she buy?
Analysis Infer What does this paragraph
Compare tell us about the author’s
life?
How are plants and animals
alike/different?
HIGHER-
Synthesis Create What is a good title for this
36

LEVEL Predict
painting?
THINKING
How can we help the poor?
Evaluation Judge Do you believe in capital
Choose punishment?
Which soft drink is best?

The classification of questions to a higher level is useful for promoting various


kinds of thinking. Questions do not always fit easily into these designated levels. Within
each lesson, teachers need to plan a sequence for the types of questions they ask. This
sequence illuminates questions that are used to initiate, extend, and close interaction.

Advantages
• Correctly asked questions serves the following purposes:
a) Stimulate analytical thought.
b) Diagnose student difficulties.
c) Determine progress toward specific goals.
d) Motivate students.
e) Clarify and expand concepts.
f) Encourage new appreciation and attitudes.
g) Give specific direction to thinking.
h) Relate cause to effect.
i) Encourage student self-evaluation.
j) Encourage the application of concepts.
• Questions may be organised to serve the purpose of measuring learning on the levels
of information, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis or evaluation.
• Questions can serve as a means of feedback for the teacher in understanding an
individual student and/or the whole class.
• Questions are sometimes used as a control device and students are more apt to pay
attention to what is going on in class.

Disadvantages
• Questioning is a slower process in dealing with information than the lecture.
• It is difficult to design certain types of questions to measure analysis, synthesis, and
evaluation rather than to measure factual learning.
• Students feel encouraged memorising, neglecting higher levels of learning.
• Several incorrectly answered questions often prompt teachers to feel more time
should be spent lecturing than questioning.
37

Role-playing

Role-playing is an instructional technique involving a portrayal (acting out) of a


situation, condition, or circumstances by selected members of learning group. The
situation to which the person responds may be either structured or unstructured. A role-
play has a unique value in that it is the only strategy that gets the student into another
‘identity’, thus allowing him an opportunity to perceive how others might feel, think and
act. This is especially useful in helping students understand the circumstances of different
ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Another valid use of role-playing is in a problem-solving situation where different
roles are placed in conflict with each other. This is utilised well in teacher education
preparation classes where scenes such as problem child – parent – teacher, or principal –
teacher – angry parent, can be experienced. It is highly recommended that the role-
players thoroughly understand their role and its limits and the situation of the scene prior
to enactment. This eliminates straying or turning a learning situation into a comedy.
Role-playing provides learners with opportunities to become acquainted with the
perceptions of people other than themselves. This process involves both cognitive and
attitudinal learning. Role-playing promotes tolerance and acceptance of diverse
viewpoints likely to differ from their own. Because of the active participation demanded
of learners in role-playing, the strategy frequently is highly motivating for learners.
The role-playing strategy develops according to the following sequence of events:
1. Develop the scenario.
2. Learn role descriptions.
3. Assign roles and assure internalisation.
4. Conduct activity phase.
5. Conduct debriefing session.

Design the situations and roles in sufficient detail in advance. Define roles in
terms of the situation. The actors should be given a short time to get their thoughts
together. The class members who are to observe should take notes and be instructed to
what to look for. Upon completion of the activity evaluation of the students’ performance
should take place. Certain portions of the activity may be improved with re-enactment.
An atmosphere of freedom and security must exist in the classroom.

Advantages
• In role-playing the student expressing feelings and attitudes.
• This method provides the student with the opportunity to ‘feel’ the situation rather
than merely intellectualise about it.
• The student is activated.
• Students are being prepared for actual situations to be faced.
• How students fit into their role gives an indication of their knowledge of the situation.
• Role-playing can develop social skills.
• Affective learning can be taught and/or effectively evaluated.
• A system of communication based on action rather than words is used.

Disadvantages
• Students sometimes emphasise performance over the intended lesson.
• Role-playing is time consuming.
38

• Some students are unable to identify with the characters or situation.


• Those students with talent often monopolise the situation.
• Students often ‘carried away’ in their roles.
• Playing roles demands some imagination on the part of the group.
39

Simulation gaming

Simulation is an elaborate type of role-playing, gaming, and socio-drama in which


students stimulate models of real-life situations. It invites participants to develop
decision-making competencies while striving for established objectives, usually using
competition between two teams.
Simulation games are produced by commercial enterprises, but these can be
designed by the classroom teacher. Generally, the teacher devises rules and objectives to
the game and provides roles for various students. The greatest thing going for the
stimulation gaming strategy is its intrinsic motivation. All kids love games, competition,
and ‘winning’. Whether you feel this aspect is the major emphasis of stimulation or not,
the children do. Failure to capitalise on this enthusiastically will undermine all the
preparation and time you invested to get across the lesson.
The most frequent problem is getting started, and secondly, rule interpretation as
the game progresses. The teacher is crucial to both of these. She must act as explainer of
the game’s objective and methods prior to play and as a referee during the game. A great
deal of the success of the experience rests upon how well this is done.
If commercially made simulation game is used then you need to be completely
familiar with the game and prepare your class by a) allowing sufficient time for the play;
and b) carefully explaining the rules of the game. All simulation games include directions
for play, summarising the activity, and relating it to ‘realty’. These should be strictly
adhered to.
If you desire to construct your own simulation situation, the following suggestions
should be considered:
1. In order to produce transferable results, the model must possess fidelity in
its representation of reality.
2. Purpose and major focus must be clearly understood.
3. Rules for simulation games must be established.
4. The sophistication of the game usually increases its instructional potential.
5. Game design must result from rigorous experimentation.
6. Simulation of all types should be evaluated in terms of the established
objectives.
7. Learners in games must be free to carry out their own decisions, even
when making mistakes; and the feedback of the consequences should be rapid
and clear.
8. Opportunity and space must be provided for free, uninhibited movement
and for flexibility of grouping.
9. An open climate should be maintained, free from leader domination.
10. The scope of the simulation should be limited to selected critical aspects
of actions or processes.
11. Creativity on the part of leaders and students is required.
12. Accurate information and facts are essential.
13. Reasonable assurance for intelligent use can be increased by setting
significant goals and by previous testing.
14. Simulation should provide for teaching both the cognitive and the
affective areas.
15. In the main, decisions must be sufficiently satisfying and rewarding to
provide adequate motivation.
16. Provision must be made for developing generalisation.
40

17. The situation should be repeatable in its original form so that follow-up
can be provided.

Advantages
• Simulation is appealing, motivates intense effort, and increasing learning.
• Success or failure is rapidly and readily recognisable.
• Vividness, meaning, and potential for greater retention are added.
• Simulation has demonstrated its power to generate deep emotional involvement.
• Learning to act by acting, learning to make decision by making decisions, and
learning to solve problem by solving problems are developed.
• Simulation is particularly effective with under-motivated children.
• Simulation allows for manipulation by simplifying the complexity of what the game
represents.
• Simulation can be used for the acquisition of information, improvement of new
processes, and identification of alternatives is decision making.
• Games lengthen the attention span and develop persistent application to work.
• Pupils learn to cope with unpredictable circumstances.
• Games illustrate vividly the relationship between decision making and its
consequences.
• The need for constant communication between players teaches social integration.
• Games are effective in teaching values and attitudes.
• The cost and time necessary for involvement in the real world are reduced.

Disadvantages
• At best, simulation is very artificial and over simplified.
• Games place too much emphasis on competition.
• Models are too rigid and narrow in their applicability.
• Simulation takes too long to get to the heart of a lesson.
• Teachers employing simulation may be looked upon as allowing too much freedom
and disorder.
• Games cannot be readily adapted to the peculiar needs of an individual or a particular
class.
• Simulation cannot be a substitute for real, direct experience.
• Students who have minor role lose interest.
• A complex model confuses; if it is simple, it bores.
41

Team teaching

Team teaching is an arrangement in which two or more teachers co-operatively


plan, teach, and evaluate a group of students. Teaching team may include student teachers
and/or paraprofessional personnel. Teams may be organised on a departmental basis, an
interdepartmental or inter disciplinary pattern, or on a grade-level basis. Most team
teaching arrangements include instruction to large groups, small groups and individual
study.
As such, the various strategies discussed earlier are applicable to the team
teaching arrangement. However, the peculiarities of the arrangement itself offer certain
dimensions or parameters to be considered.
Besides scheduling and material arrangement the most important facet of team
teaching is the personalities of the teachers involved. It is paramount to the success of this
strategy that the teachers involved like each other, co-operate and communicate openly
and honestly. All the finest materials, plans and facilities will not make team teaching
work if the teachers cannot work together.
In the area of communication, it is vitally important to student progress for
teachers to conference daily on learner problems and achievements and to plan assistance
for or promotion of these areas. Team members selected should be those who possess
needed personal qualities for co-operation as well as instructional competence. State the
objectives of the experiment and design the evaluation procedure in advance of its use.
In the planning session define the roles to be played by each team member.
Provide time and resources for the team members to prepare thoroughly. Large group
activity is most appropriate to introduce a new topic or unit, to summarise or conclude a
unit, and to provide information beneficial for the entire class. Small groups may be best
to discuss large group presentations and topic of student interest. Individual study may
help students pursue areas of individual need and interest and develop the skills
associated with individual inquiry.

Advantages
• Team teaching capitalises upon the special competencies, talents and interests of each
teacher.
• Joint planning, teaching and evaluation by the team members stimulate the
professional growth of the teachers involved.
• Students may be grouped on an educational basis rather than on administrative basis.
• Students will be exposed to several teachers with different background and
approaches, thus providing an enrichment experience,
• The use of small group and individualised study provides for individual student
needs.
• Large group presentations make possible more efficient use of time and resources.
• The use of large groups, small groups, and individual study conducted by various
team members provides more interesting and less monotonous routines in the area of
traditional strategies.
• Teachers have more time for planning, preparation and follow up.
• Team teaching may be used for all or a part of the students’ day.
Disadvantages
• Team teaching calls for special physical facilities to provide for large group-small
group arrangements, which many buildings do not have.
42

• The cost per student of team teaching is often higher than more traditional
approaches.
• Team teaching is attractive and seems simple, but its actual application is more
complex for administrators as well as teachers.
• Specialisation on the part of the teachers may be carried to the point that the student
loses sight of the whole subject or teaching/learning goals.
• Team-teaching may in actually be meetings the needs of the teachers rather than those
of the students.
• The scheduling of the large groups, small groups, and individual study is often
extremely complicated and difficult to communicate without misunderstanding.
43

Chapter 6

STRATEGIES FOR SPECIAL USE

Discovery

Discovery is a teaching strategy, which enables students to find the answers


themselves. In discovery students are involved in learning how to learn. In practice,
directed discovery is utilised more than pure discovery as the teacher generally creates
the conditions under which the ‘discovery’ is to occur. Discovery is really a rediscovery.
The intent is that the student will discover for himself, which has been previously
discovered.
In implementing discovery, the teacher creates a situation in which the student is
faced with a problem. In solving the problem, the student uses raw data and behaves in
the manner required by the nature of the discipline and the problem. Thus, the student
studies history the same way that a historian does or the way in which a biologist studies
biology.
Discovery is frequently used in science and mathematics. The teacher provides
the materials and the students provide the discovering. This is more of a process approach
as opposed to the usual emphases in education on production.
As with any instructional approach, the degree to which discovery learning is
successful is determined by the ability of the teacher to plan and execute effectively, that
is, manage and supervise the lesson. The problem situations as a dilemma deliberately
created by the teacher, which force students to think, analyse, draw conclusions, and
make generalisations. In other words, the teacher’s role is to provide a situation that
allows students to see a contradiction between what they already know and newly
discovered knowledge. The following guidelines may be used:
1. Make use of contemporary materials.
2. Use topics from the subject.
3. Introduce applications of the subject.
4. Provide opportunity for guessing.
5. Provide for laboratory experiences.
6. Introduce new topics with innovative teaching strategy.
7. Make frequent use of visual aids.
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8. Set the stage for student discovery.


9. Use motivation.
10. Teach with enthusiasm.
11. Have more trusts in students.
12. Refrain from interfering with students’ work.

Discovery should be used only when you have enough subject matter mastery to handle
unexpected ‘discoveries’. The depth of information to be handled and the time needed for
the discovery must be gauged in terms of the student’s skill level and maturation. Setting
up the problem and the conditions for the discovery requires detailed and thorough
planning. Be certain that proper materials and raw data are available. Be open to problem
as they arise and be willing to learn along with the students.

Advantages
• Since the student actively discovered the information and knowledge, retention will
be increased.
• Discovery helps the student learn how to learn, thus equipping the student to handle
new problematic situations.
• The rewards inherent in discovering something provide the student with intrinsic
motivation.
• The student develops interest in what is being studied.
• Students develop the skills and attitudes essential for self-directed learning.
• Discovery operates at the higher levels of the cognitive domain.
• The pupil is provided with numerous opportunities to draw inferences from data by
logical thinking, either inductive or deductive.

Disadvantages
• Permitting students to discover their own knowledge is very time consuming.
• Most of the present textbooks and materials available to the teacher are written for
exposition rather than discovery.
• The student often gets bogged down or loses direction before the problem is solved.
• Some students just seem unable to make intended discovery.
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Drill

Although there are many sub-types, drill is a teaching technique intended to bring
about automatic accuracy and speed of performance in any subject. The aim of drill is the
fixation of correct information or skill through repetition. Some use the term drill only for
the mental ideas and practice for motor activity. However, since both are built on
repetition – doing it over and over – drill and practice are used synonymously.
The function of drill is solely to create automatic response to specific stimuli. If
you were effectively drilled in multiplication and some one came up behind you and said
quickly, ‘what’s 9x9?’ Your response should be ‘81’ instantly without thinking about it.
Football drills in throwing an effective block are designed to teach the player to do it
automatically. It is a practice closely paralleled by programming a computer. The teacher
should remember that this is the only purpose of drill. It has nothing to do with elevating
mental functioning or making better citizens. Overused drill is a sure-fire method of
dulling cognitive abilities and prompting discipline problems. It means the percentage of
class time spent on drill exercises should be minimal.
Use drill only when automatic speed and accuracy, or performance learning is the
objective. Make sure students see the purpose of the drill or practice. Use games and
contests to add interest to drill. Make sure students are practising with correct information
or processes. Over-practice produces boredom and fatigue. Provide the opportunity for
students to apply that which is mastered through drill.

Advantages
• Drill is especially applicable to psychomotor and low level cognitive learning.
• In skill development, repetitious practice is essential to build competence and
technique mastery.
• Students can build their own association of information through drill.
• It can be a means of creating motivation in student tutorial situation.

Disadvantage
• Drill can become boring and monotonous.
• Information acquired through drill will not be retained long without use.
• Overuse of drill can lead students to believe in memorisation as an end.
• Drill can reduce learning to a purely mechanical act.
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Interview

The interview is basically a data-gathering technique using pre-planned questions


to determine the feelings and attitudes of an individual, a specific group, the school, or
the community on an issue of high interest. It is closely related to the survey in that both
seek to develop data – one by oral questioning and the other through written response.
The interview is especially helpful in practising a one-on-one situation such as a
guidance counsellor-student interview or a student-citizen interview on a pre-established
question or problem. It may be used in random sampling of a few people to establish a
trend, or seeking opinions from high public officials and other select individuals. Crucial
to the success of the interview strategy is presentation in: (1) knowing the background of
the interviewee; (2) knowing the information desired from the interview; and (3) knowing
what questions need to be asked to accumulate that information.
An important facet of interviewing is the attitude of the person conducting the
interview. A successful interviewer rivets his attention to the person being interviewed as
if the rest of the world has disappeared. The interviewer, in effect, creates a vacuum,
which draws out information from the subject. Interview is a good strategy. It teaches
students to gather information in a logical and respectful fashion from a most valuable
temporary resource – another human being.
An interview is performed in a systematic fashion within a few simple guidelines:
1. Outline the general plan.
2. Establish rapport with the respondent.
3. State the issue, question or problem.
4. Elicit a response to the issue, question or problem.
5. Record the data.
6. Close the interview. Evaluate and report the findings.

Advantage
• Interviews encourage students to plan and think in a systematic fashion.
• This is an excellent method for collecting data from individuals and groups.
• It is especially useful in collection of information related to community attitudes
regarding their personal opinion.
• Through the use of this strategy, information can be collected quickly regarding an
issue or a problem.
• Interviewing helps develop rapport between the school and the community.
• It can be used as an individual or total class project.
• It helps bring the pupil face-to-face with community realities.

Disadvantages
• The teacher must spend a substantial amount of time helping students develop
questioning techniques.
• Interviewing requires a co-ordinated effort of all involved, which often disrupts
school or administrative routines.
• Students tend to take sides as an issue rather than remain neutral.
• The data is often difficult to interpret and report.
• The class may not be of sufficient maturity to face the obligations required in
performing interviews.
• Interviews tend to elicit personal opinions and may not be factual.
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Laboratory

Laboratory is a supervised learning activity carried out by the student studying a


particular subject involving practical application of theory through observation,
experimentation and research.
If laboratory experiences are not always limited to cookbook experiments they
can give students the opportunity to do learning as opposed to reading about other
persons’ learning. Retention and interest increase with greater frequency and even
creative thought is exercised. Success is determined mostly by teacher preparation and
direction appropriate to the learner’s ability. Some structure is definitely necessary if
predictable results are desired. It is important to remember that laboratory learning
teaches process as well as production.
The use of this strategy requires close planning and co-ordination between the
teacher and the learner. The approval of the projects must be within the capability of the
student. It requires facilities with flexibility. Care must be taken to see that appropriate
materials and supplies are available. Relate the results to previously studied material.
Establish time limit for completion of laboratory work.

Advantages
• Students can capitalise on their own interests.
• The teacher is free to offer individual assistance and instruction to those students
needing special attention.
• The activity may be carried out by individual students or in small groups.
• Laboratory is basically a problem-solving technique of short duration.
• This strategy helps students to learn, to generalise and to apply generalisation in new
situations.
• As a learning activity, it reinforces the discovery and inquiry approaches to learning.
• Laboratory simulates actual scientific experiments including the formation of
hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, recording and reporting the findings.
• It is an excellent motivational strategy.

Disadvantages
• The approved projects must fit the abilities of the student.
• The maturity of the students may be insufficient to pursue long range goals
established.
• Individual student may lack the motivation to work alone.
• Some students may develop a poor estimate of self-esteem if they experience slow
progress or failure.
• The laboratory strategy may cause the teacher to supervise individuals at the
exclusion of the group.
• Costs may exceed the benefits.
• Unless well organised, it can become wasted time and effort on the part of all
concerned.
• Learning may become mechanical and passive.
• This method is difficult to apply to all curricula.
• It is difficult to develop projects so that all students have equally challenging
activities and experiences.
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49

Socratic

The Socratic Method is a process of discussion led by the teacher to induce the
learner to question the validity of his reasoning or to reach a sound conclusion. The
strategy derives its name from the approach used by Socrates as he assumed the role of
intellectual midwife.
The Socratic approach was built upon the assumption that the knowledge was
within the student and proper questioning and commentary could cause this knowledge to
surface. Socrates, as teacher, attempted to follow the student’s argument wherever it led.
The key to Socratic approach is that the teacher’s comments and questions must unable
the students to discover meaning for themselves.
In a typical classroom situation, the teacher would use the Socratic approach
when the situation arises. It would be necessary for a student to make a statement, which
could be further pursued. The teacher would then enter into a dialogue with the student,
following the argument until the student had thoroughly questioned the answer and
gained some insight into the logic used or the attitudes and beliefs held.
The Socratic strategy enables the teacher to aid the student in examining his own
beliefs, values, attitudes and their logic or inconsistency. It is a difficult strategy to master
and requires a friendly ‘let’s-look-at-this’ relationship. If this atmosphere is not present,
the teacher’s questioning will be viewed as picky and critical by the students, that
negating the purpose of the strategy. Begin by using the Socratic approach on a limited
basis, preferably on attitudinal statements of students. Assure students that you are
attempting only to get them to re-think their ideas and that you are not criticising them.
Be ready to shift gears if the attempt to use the Socratic approach bogs down.
However, do continue to develop skill in using the approach, which can only be done by
attempting to use it. When evaluating learning, give students the opportunity to show the
logic of their viewpoints, and give credit accordingly. Start with simple logic and
gradually build to the complex.

Advantages
• The Socratic approach can be used in dealing with higher level cognitive and
effective learning.
• This method gets the student to think about what is said so he can really examine an
issue in depth.
• The degree of involvement on the part of the teacher can motivate the student.
• Students are challenged in utilising this technique properly.

Disadvantages
• It is extremely difficult to formulate the kind of question used in the Socratic
approach.
• Due to the spontaneous nature of the Socratic approach, it is threatening to the
traditional role.
• Students often feel threatened when a teacher challenges their ideas.
• While the teacher is in dialogue with one student, the other students in the class may
lose interest.
• It is difficult to evaluate a student’s learning.
50

Chapter 7

SUB-STRATEGIES FOR GENERAL USE

Creative thinking

Creative thinking abilities can be developed to varying degrees among different


individuals through a systematically organised programme of instruction.
It is true that we cannot turn each child into a highly creative person, but it is also true
that each child during the period of his growth and development can be trained to think in
a creative manner so that, in one field or another, he may be able to make use of this
ability and have the satisfaction of having realised his creative talents, at least to some
extent.
It may be noticed that all the stages of education from primary through secondary right
unto the college stage, we lay emphasis on giving the child ready made knowledge,
systematically and neatly organised as lessons, units and text books. The entire syllabus
is prescribed and the child as well as the teacher is required to follow it rigidly. The
whole system is under rigid control of administration and there is no freedom at any
stage. In the whole system, there is hardly any opportunity for the child to develop
thinking skill.

Developing creativity among children:


The environmental conditions that are related to creativity are those which encourage and
facilitate openness in thought and action and provide for discovery of new ideas. Social
interaction has been considered as an important condition for the development of
creativity.
For the development of creative thinking abilities non-authorised ways of learning have
to be encouraged. The practical suggestions are as follows:
• Develop curiosity and wide interest in intellectual matters at an early age.
• Include a variety of learning tasks in the day to day activities, as some children prefer
to learn by discovering rather than by authority.
• Bring more stimuli into the learning experiences.
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• Ask questions that elicit unique or original responses.


• Accept and value unique responses when initiated by children.
• Develop progressive warm up for creative activities from simple to complex.
• Avoid giving examples when seeking creative efforts.
• Break the usual set and make it possible for the new ideas to be developed.
• Provide opportunities for imaginative activities.
• Provide time for the full development of an idea, as some students are slow starters.

Methods for teaching creativity:


One of the methods used is Brain storming. An essential element in this method is
to have a group focus on a particular problem and then invite the members to give as
many ideas as they can think up for possible solutions of that problem. There is a rather
freewheeling of ideas and no criticism is allowed. Evaluation is made after all ideas have
been presented.
There are two types of thinking – convergent and divergent. The convergent
thinking abilities are those which are mainly responsible for dealing with the given
information in a logical manner to arrive at a single right answer for any problem. On the
other hand, the divergent thinking abilities enable the individual to go off in many
different directions, generating new information from given data and arrived at varied
and unusual solutions to problems.
Teacher may ask more of divergent thinking questions to encourage creativity.
Research findings suggest the following guidelines for teachers to follow:
• Pose open-ended divergent questions in the classroom wherever possible. These
provide scope for many possible answers. These questions stimulate freethinking and
also more participation of many children.
• All children to challenge the assumptions underline the ideas presented by the
teacher.
• Develop sensitiveness to children to the environment. Let them list out as many
problems as possible. Each will turn out as an activity for further exploration.
• Provide as many stimuli and opportunities as possible for expression of ideas that
should be continuous and in the areas of interest of children.
• Encourage children to pursue their hobbies. They are found to be popular among
creative children.
• Use teaching aids judiciously. Let there be learning, which stimulates exploration
and creative thinking. Let not the aid hamper or curb imagination, curiosity, and
inquisitiveness of children that are some of the essential components of creative
thinking.
• Creative learning involves skills of inquiry, research and problem solving. Here the
learner raises questions, makes guesses, tests the guesses, corrects errors and arrives
at conclusions.
• Appreciate openly whenever a child expresses creative behaviour like unusual
questions, giving unusual ideas, taking self-initiated actions, etc. It is not always
necessary to reward only the expected answers.
• Do not always insist on correct answers. Allow the child to rethink or explore the
correctness of his answer. Let not the children feel the necessity for always giving
correct answers.
• Take care that a child is not ridiculed by his classmates for his answers to questions
posed by you.
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• Discourage self-criticism.
• Avoid telling everything. Allow children to think and express freely and find facts
for themselves wherever possible.
• Do not encourage rote learning or memorisation of facts by children.
You may explore your creativity through the following activities (these are only
suggestive):
• Try new ways of teaching the same unit.
• Give various types of challenging assignments to your students.
• Try different ways of evaluating students.
• Suggest and involve yourself in various improvement programmes.
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Co-operative learning

Students in co-operative learning, groups work together to perform tasks, learn


information, or solve problems. Co-operative learning promotes higher achievement
compared to individual learning. It provides teachers and students with a strategy to learn
information in a collaborative and interesting way. This strategy involves more than
simply assigning students to a group. The following information suggests ways to
establish and implement co-operative learning in your classroom.
• Decide if co-operative learning groups are appropriate. Co-operative learning should
be used regularly, but not necessarily every day. When deciding to use co-operative
learning, think about students; learning content from each other, working with social
and academic outcomes, verbalising and discussing problems and solutions. Be
certain this strategy is best suited for the content and information to be learned.
• Teach students how to function in a group. Take time to model group behaviour and
expectations by having one group in front of the class demonstrate how to maximise
learning, on-task behaviour, and group dynamics.
• Assign students with varying abilities in-groups. The size and make up of the learning
group will vary according to the activity. A common arrangement is to use five
students in a group. Usually a group consists of a high achiever, a low achiever, and
three middle achievers. Seek a balance between gender, ethnicity, and economic
background.
• Provide necessary materials. It is important to make sure each group has the
references and resources necessary to complete the assignment. Gather the materials
and collect the resources necessary, prior to beginning the group activity.
Summarise and evaluate students’ progress. Sometimes co-operative learning groups
can deal with activities that take place over a day or week. Make sure you provide short-
term summarisation to check each group’s progress and understanding. Also indicate a
level of evaluation and be sure students understand the criteria to be used in evaluating
the group’s performance.
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Inquiry

Inquiry relies on activities and resources to encourage finding solutions to questions


investigated by students. The teacher provides structure, questions and problems to
stimulate student thinking and interests. Students should formulate their own questions
for investigation. Initially, teachers should guide students through inquiry process rather
than allowing pure discovery.
• Probe students’ thinking. Use thought provoking questions to encourage students to
hypothesise, reflect, and inquire. Pose initial questions to organise students’ interests
and investigation into a topic or a question.
• Define the inquiry task. Explain to students that inquiry is a way they can
independently seek information to identify solutions to their problems.
• Begin with a question. Initiate inquiry with a question to help students focus on the
topic. The question helps students seek solutions and formulate plans for seeking
answers to the question.
• Assist students in gathering information. Students must have sufficient materials to
select, analyse, and evaluate. Help individual students gather, organise, and analyse
the information needed for their inquiry.
Set time limits. Plan and communicate the approximate amount of time needed to
complete an inquiry. Allow time for students to share their findings with others. The
inquiry process involves time to form, infer, generalise, and conclude results.
55

Modelling

Students learn a great deal through observing and modelling others. Modelling is a
showing technique where you present or demonstrate information. Your students can help
you, too, since many times peers can be very effective in helping other students to learn.
In modelling, you do not just tell students information, as in a lecture, you also show
them.
• Use posters, transparencies, chalkboard, illustrations and real objects. These objects
will help to make the information visual and tactile to appeal to a variety of senses
and learning modalities.
• Provide several examples and tell how to arrive at the solutions. Point out the
important steps and elements necessary to complete an assignment. Label and
describe each aspect of an assignment and what components make an exceptional
example.
• Show expectations by doing them. Model group projects and individual tasks with
some of your students. Let class observe while you and selected students show what
is expected and what is needed to complete instructional tasks.
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Decision-making

Decision-making, like problem solving, is a real life skill and students must be
taught the techniques involved in the decision making process. Students in the learning
process need to have the opportunity to make good choices from several alternatives.
Approaches should incorporate strategies for students to make decisions related to their
learning. Whenever possible, teachers should allow students to be involved in making
decisions. Students must be taught how to make a decision before we expect them to
become proficient in this particular skill.
• Define the decision making process. In order for students to make a decision, they
must identify the choices, identify alternatives, think about the consequences, and
make a decision based on reasons.
• Identify possible alternatives. Without alternatives, there is no need of a decision.
Help students think of possible alternatives involved in decisions.
• Identify problems for each alternative. When analysing and thinking about the
alternatives, students need to think about the possible outcome of each particular
alternative.
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• Make the decision. After alternatives and thoughtful analysis of outcomes has been
discussed, students should make decisions. These decisions are based on the
likelihood of the outcomes of the choice that meets their needs and desires.
Implement a plan of action. Allow students the opportunity to organise ways to develop
an action plan that will support their decision.
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Homework/Assignment

Homework means work that you do at home. Homework is intended to extend


teaching and learning outside the classroom. When students are asked, they feel that
homework helps them get good marks/grades. Research has demonstrated a positive
relationship between homework and achievement. Both educators and parents attribute to
homework the development of personal responsibilities, work and study habits, and self-
reliance.
To use this strategy effectively, you have to make two important decisions:
1. To determine how much homework;
2. To determine what kind of homework.
Students should have the knowledge and skills to do the assignment and should
understand clearly how to do it. Remember your direction giving, checking for
understanding, and providing a purpose. These are important for student homework
assignments.
The following categories support appropriate homework assignments:
1. Rehearsal activities. Practice through repetition; for example, spelling
words or arithmetic tables.
2. Preparation activities. Practice that gets students ready for new subject
matter; for example, reading about a country to be studied and making a list of
questions or unfamiliar terms.
3. Review activities. Practice that promotes transfer of what was learned to a
new situation or application to other situations; for example, using measuring
skills used in class to measure items at home.
4. Integration activities. Practice that reviews many skills and concepts and
requires students to put them together; for example, making a poster about
nutrition showing the concepts and skills learned during a two week unit.
Use this strategy in moderation as one way to provide practice and indicate the
level of understanding.
• Assign homework/class work that is related to the information being taught. Relate
homework/class work to the interest and maturity level of the students. Allow for
differences and special needs of students by assigning more time when needed.
Modify the amount of information to meet needs.
• Give clear instructions. Tell students and write on the chalkboard exactly what they
used to do. Provide examples and work several problems together. Establish a
procedure for students to ask questions while they are completing class work.
• Check difficult level. Gauge the reading level and the difficulty level of the material
used. Be sure that materials selected create an opportunity for success. Change and
alter the content to match student’s level.
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Brainstorming

The strategy of brainstorming, originally developed as an aid to creative problem


solving among management teams in corporations, attempts to unleash learners’
untapped reservoirs of thinking talents by encouraging them to pour forth as many ideas
as possible that relate to a defined situations. An important emphasis in brainstorming is
the encouragement of quantity rather than quality of participants’ responses.
Brainstorming evolved because of a realisation that people many times fail to tap
their creative resources to make public a truly creative response to a problem situation.
Brainstorming attempts to break through inhibitions by encouraging public comment of
all ideas. This is accomplished by establishing a rigidly enforced ground rule of no public
comment or reaction to any idea put forward. The brainstorming strategy moves forward
after the teacher has made each of the following points:
1. Learners are asked to focus only on the problem situation.
2. Once the session begins, each learner has to call out his suggestion.
3. The activity must be fast paced, like ‘a storm of the brain.’
4. No verbal or facial reactions to any suggestion are permitted.
5. Every suggestion, no matter how ‘wild’, will be written down by the
teacher for the group to see.
The specific nature of the product of a given brainstorming session is not nearly
as important as the process learners go through in generating that product. The strategy
promotes creative thinking by calling forth innovative responses at no psychological cost
to the participant. Brainstorming, unlike many other instructional strategies, provides
learners with a ‘pay off’ for the sorts of creative, divergent thinking.
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Summary

Each lesson or a discrete part of a lesson should end with an activity, which leaves
the student in possession of a clear, well-phrased statement of exactly what was learned
during that time segment. Summaries will generally include a recapitulation of the aim of
the lesson in terms of the extent to which it has been achieved.
Effective summaries help develop an awareness of the essential unity and purpose
of what was done; they tie up the package in order to maximise the impact of each
learning experience. The creative dynamic summary can make cosmos out of chaos. The
purpose of any particular summary depends upon the learning activity that it is intended
to complete.
Another function of the summary is to help students synthesise these ideas and
formulate some statements or generalisation about them. It may also help to set the stage
for further investigations, research or discussion.
A summary is in order at any point in the lesson where a phase of a learning
interaction comes to a logical end. All summaries, medial or final, require careful
planning to insure effective integration of the different aspects of that teaching-learning
interaction. The part of your planning for the summary segment of a lesson should be
devoted to the preparation of a working chalkboard outline – a valuable summary
instrument. Use the summary as a springboard for the next work.
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Audio-visual aids

All learning is multi-sensory in nature and each of your senses – hearing, sight,
touch, smell and taste – plays a role in formulating your reactions to any stimulus. Each
adds another dimension and makes a unique contribution to the learning process. There
are times, when such direct experiences are not feasible. Then you must turn to one or
more of a variety of materials, equipment, and techniques designed to act as worthwhile
but vicarious experiences for your students. Most of these substitutes involve sight and
hearing more than the other senses; thus the term, audio-visual aids.
Audio-visual aids are devices, which permit a more effective use of a multi-
sensory approach to learning than just words can provide. There are many different types
of materials.

Overhead projector
The overhead projector projects a written or graphic image on a screen or wall.
You can use it to display a study outline for your classroom or to list student ideas. Its
uses are not limited to any specific area and it is easily transportable. It uses a sheet or a
roll of transparent film. You can prepare a sheet ahead of time by using a copy machine
or writing with a transparency pen, or used commercially prepared materials. You may
also write on the transparency while teaching but it takes time and skill. An advantage of
using the overhead projector is that it allows you to face the students while teaching and
still you can display your writing.

Using it effectively
Some guidelines are:
• Keep your image simple and readable; too much information is
distracting.
• Turn the projector off when not in use; the noise and light are distracting.
• Use a good quality pen for making sheets, black for most writing and
colour for interest only.
• Check the seating of students for clear vision of the image.
• Use a piece of white cardboard to cover all the points or items except the
one you are discussing.

Unusual uses
Teachers can make use of this stimulus for numerous activities:
• Children take turns making shadow figures on the screen and the rest of
the class guesses the figure.
• You can create suspense or a surprise. For example, to begin a unit of
profit in an economics class, a large rupee is drawn to fill the transparency and
flashed on the screen.
• You can provide memory practice by projecting a list of words for a short
time and then students write all the words they can remember.
• You can share a small number of materials or materials too small to be
seen by many students, by projecting it to the whole class.
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The overhead projector with transparencies offers stimuli to use with lecturing,
discussion, questioning, and with other stimuli, useful for previewing, recording, posing
questions, demonstrating and organising.

Slide projector
This machine projects pictures with intense images and you can keep the room
lights on. An additional advantage comes with your use of pictures of real people, places,
and happenings. Slides can be taken by you, your students, parents, or purchased from
commercial producers.

Using it effectively
• Check the placement ahead of time; images are more effective when they are right
side up.
• Accompany the images with description and questions.
• Check the vision of students seated in different locations around the classroom.

Simple projectors are lightweight, accessible, and fairly simple to use. You can
have students handle the projection task and free yourself to lead a discussion to
accompany the visual.

Using in unusual way


• Develop sequence skills. Show a small number of slides (3 to 6) in order and out of
order.
• Develop student ability to product. Show a slide and ask, “What is happening here?”
or “What may happen next?”
• Prompt creative writing. Show a beautiful or provocative or inspiring picture as a
stimulus for writing or drawing.
• Review a class project or trip. Show slides of students to review information and
perceptions.

Another advantage of using this stimulus comes with taking the slides. You and
your students will gain insights and appreciation while you photograph your subjects.
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Television
There are two compelling reasons for consideration of the use of this stimulus.
The first is that television is available in most schools and with a wide selection of quality
educational programming. The second is that your classroom use of television can model
some good viewing habits for students.

Using effectively
• Discuss with students before and after viewing a television programme (information,
impressions, bias, hidden messages, and so on).
• Check volume and image for students in different locations.
• Eliminate distractions.
• Watch the programme with students (rather than work at your desk on some task).
• Co-ordinate other learning activities with the programme.

Using television to vary your instruction requires that you have a schedule and
become familiar with various networks. Many programmes are simply more lectures so
look for a demonstration or a drama.

Using in unusual way


• Use regular network ads to teach advertising, listening, decision-making, and so on.
• Use only parts of a programme (the beginning or ending of a story) and have students
write or develop the missing section.
• Have students plan and produce their own television programme.
• Assign a television programme as homework.

We can best use our energy to make it work for our teaching.
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Records and audiotapes


Many of us limit our thinking for those stimuli to music, but there are excellent
tapes and records for every curriculum area. Both record players and tape recorders are
inexpensive and simple to operate.

Using effectively
• Check volume for different location of the room.
• Keep electrical cords flush with floor or wall so that you and your students do not
trip.
• Have the intended starting point positioned on the tape or record ahead of time.

Using in unusual way


• Co-ordinate musical or sound backgrounds with book reports, historical narratives,
plays or science demonstrations.
• Provide background music for a particular learning centre.
• Have students record their own tapes as journals, correspondence with you or other
students, self-evaluation, or progress reports.
• Have student groups record problem-solving or decision-making sessions, and play
back for analysis.
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Films and videotapes

Both of these have appeal for students and can support learner motivation.
Technology has simplified the use of equipment and has advanced the quality of
programmes.

Using effectively
• Check volume and image for students in different location.
• Eliminate distractions.
• Use them interactively. It means that your students must do more than listen and
watch. They must respond to the tape or film, and you can make that happen with
questions, advance organisers, and discussions.

Using in unusual way


• Use the film or tape without sound and ask students to supply the dialogue, predict
what is happening, or act as an observer on the scene.
• Stop the film or tape midway and have students dramatise or role-play the ending,
and compare it with the film or tape ending.
• Have students watch different tapes or films on the same topic and compare
information.
• Have students make films or tapes to teach other students, present research, describe a
group project, record class history, or advertise a class programme.
Notice that with these unusual uses, you can not sit at your desk and catch up on
your work. Your involvement with questions and suggestions will be needed.
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Chalkboards

Chalkboards are everywhere and they come in all sizes, shapes, and several
colours. They do not need a bulb or an electrical outlet, and they say what you want them
to say. You can prepare them ahead of time, or use them as you teach.

Using effectively
• Keep your words large enough, dark or white enough, and clear enough to be seen in
location around the classroom.
• Avoid filling the board with so much writing that students get confused.
• Protect the writing surface with proper cleaning and the appropriate writing materials.

Chalkboards offer generous amounts of space on which to write and are often
located in several sides of the classroom. You can move around as you teach.

Using in unusual way


• Use coloured chalk occasionally to highlight or underline main ideas, or to border
information.
• With tape or other devices, attach pictures and diagrams to the chalkboard with
written descriptions, labels, or questions.
• Reserve space for student messages.
• On an infrequent basis, write your message backwards, in a circle, or vertically.

We have also seen teachers use a block of chalkboard space for a Thought for the
day, a riddle, news, a coded message, etc. A daily or class schedule on the chalkboard is
useful to you and your students. Reminders, directions, assignments and due dates, and
announcements are all appropriate for chalkboard display. When you combine
chalkboards with other stimuli, your teaching will be varied and will capture student
attention.
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Bulletin boards

Bulletin boards come in different sizes and shapes. You hear teachers complain if
they do not have one, and you hear teachers complain if they do. Like chalkboards,
bulletin boards offer ease of use and accessibility.

Using effectively
• Concern yourself with what your bulletin board says and does, rather than just how it
looks.
• Keep the display up to date that is, connected to the theme of study, times of year, and
so on.
• Involve students in planning and producing displays.

We want to emphasise the first guide line with a reminder that we are talking
about varying the stimuli in teaching. We experience aesthetically arranged displays that
are just the part of the wall, never referred to in teaching, never discussed by students,
and not connected to curriculum. The intent of these stimuli is to contribute to teaching.
The second guideline won’t be a worry if your bulletin board is connected to your
curriculum, and following the third guideline will help you keep your bulletin boards up
to date.

Using in unusual way


• Students construct a bulletin board display of what they learned from a unit or course.
• Each student is assigned a portion of a bulletin board to display what happening in his
or her life.
• You construct a bulletin board related to future curriculum of unknown objects,
places, and people for student guesses or predictions.
• You and your students construct a bulletin board to communicate appreciation or
honour to a student, parent, teacher, volunteer, or administrator.

With student involvement, bulletin boards can change from being a responsibility
for you to an exciting way to vary the stimuli.
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Computers

The popularity of microcomputers in education has had an irreversible impact on


schools. Today’s teachers must be prepared to use computers in the classroom. Teachers
and schools have another important need for computers, a need relates to the computer’s
increasing potential. Computers have become less expensive and more versatile. The
range of computer use in all fields, including education, is limited only by the creative
limitation of the mind. Teachers can use computers to manage instruction, or they can use
computers as tutors. For example, the computer can be used for drill and practice,
simulation, problem solving, and creating. The computer can be used to expand the types
of instruction students receive, and they can be used to improve a teacher’s current mode
of instruction. A less recognised advantage is the computer’s ability to free the teacher to
give more personal attention to students.

Computer assisted instruction (CAI)


Computer assisted instruction (CAI) links the student directly to the material to be
learned via the computer. The student is actively involved in the learning process. The
involvement itself has a motivating effect. There are various levels of involvement,
depending upon the type of CAI programme used.

Drill and Practice


At the lowest level, the computer behaves much like the early teacher, who
lectured and then had students recite the material in the same form. In all secondary and
middle-level subjects in all class levels there seems to be some information that is basic
to the mastery of each discipline. Drill and practice is an effective approach for learning
at this level of knowledge. The computer can give questions, score the answers, and give
immediate feedback.

Tutorial
One of the first applications of computers to education was a tutorial programme
that used simulations. Tutorial programmes can involve drill and practice or simulation,
making what is really combination programmes – tutorial-drill-and-practice or tutorial-
simulation combinations.

Simulation
This is also true for simulation programmes. While simulations can be used
simply to provide examples to reinforce memorisation, most simulations involve the
learner in problem solving. Students have the opportunity to live out roles and find
solutions to often-complex problems.

Expectations from computers as stimuli


As stimuli, you can expect computers to provide:
• Opportunity for practice.
• Opportunity for collaboration on problems, practices, and challenges.
• Simulated experiences for application of knowledge and skill.
• Individual assessment of student knowledge, skill or attitude.
• Record keeping of student work, assessments, and progress.
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Guidelines for using computers as stimuli:


• Assure each student equitable access to equipment.
• Plan for social interaction in computer use with pair assignments and tutor
teams.
• Connect computer use to whole class or small group instruction.
• Preview and critique software your self, and encourage student evaluation.
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Chapter 8

STRATEGIES FOR SPECIAL LEARNERS

The slow learner

Contrary to common belief, slow learners in the regular classroom are neither rare
nor unique. The student commonly called a slow learner is one who cannot learn at an
average rate from the instructional resources, texts, workbooks, and learning materials
that are designed for the majority of students in the classroom. These students need
special instructional pacing, frequent feedback, corrective instruction, and/or modified
materials, all administered under conditions sufficiently flexible for learning to occur.
Slow learners are usually taught in one of two possible instructional
arrangements: 1) a class composed mostly of average students, in which case up to 20%
may be slow learners, or 2) a class specially designed for slow learners. Whether you
meet slow learners in a regular class or special class, you will immediately feel the
challenge of meeting their learning needs. Their most obvious characteristic is a limited
attention span compared to more able students. To keep these students actively engaged
in the learning process requires more than the usual variation in presentation methods
(direct, indirect), classroom climate (co-operative, competitive), and instructional
materials (films, workbooks, co-operative games, simulations). If this variation is not part
of your lesson, these students may well create their own variety in ways that disrupt your
teaching.
Other immediately noticeable characteristics of slow learners are their
deficiencies in basic skills (reading, writing, and mathematics), their difficulty in
comprehending abstract ideas, and most disconcerting, their sometimes unsystematic and
careless work habits.
Compensatory teaching
Compensatory teaching is an instructional approach that alters the presentation of
content to circumvent a student’s fundamental weakness or deficiency. Compensatory
teaching recognises content, transmits through alternate modalities (pictures versus
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words), and supplements it with additional learning resources and activities (learning
centres and simulations, group discussions and co-operative learning). This may involve
modifying an instructional technique by including a visual representation of content, by
using more flexible instructional presentations (films, pictures, illustrations), or by
shifting to alternate instructional formats (self-paced texts, simulations, experience-
oriented workbooks).
Remedial teaching
This is an alternate approach for the regular classroom teacher in instructing the
slow learner. Remedial teaching is the use of activities, techniques and practices to
eliminate weaknesses or deficiencies that the slow learner is known to have. For example
deficiencies in basic math skills are reduced or eliminated by re-teaching the content that
was not learned earlier. The instructional environment does not change, as in the
compensatory approach. Conventional instructional techniques such as drill and practice
might be employed.

Instructional strategies for slow learners

While no single technique or set of techniques is sufficient teaching the slow


learner, the suggestions that follow are a starting point for developing instructional
strategies that specifically address the learning needs of the slow learner.

Develop lessons around students’ interests, needs, and experiences. This helps
address the short attention spans of slow learners. Also, these students should be made to
feel that some of the instruction has been designed with their specific interests or
experiences in mind. Oral or written autobiographies at the beginning of the year, or
simple inventories in which students indicate their hobbies, jobs, and unusual trips or
experiences can provide the structure for the lesson plans, special projects, or extra-credit
assignments in the year.

Frequently vary your instructional technique. Switching from lecture to


discussion and then to seatwork provides the variety that slow learners need to stay
engaged in the learning process. In addition to keeping their attention, variety in
instructional technique offers them the opportunity to see the same content presented in
different ways. This increases opportunities to accommodate the different learning styles
that may exist among slow learners and provides some of the remediation that may be
necessary.

Incorporate individualised learning materials. Slow learners respond favourably


to frequent reinforcement of small segments of learning. Therefore, programmed texts
and interactive computer instruction often are effective in remediation of basic skills of
slow learners. In addition, an emphasis on frequent diagnostic assessment of the student
progress, paired with immediate corrective instruction, often is particularly effective.

Incorporate audio and visual materials. One common characteristic among slow
learners is that they often learn better by seeing and hearing than by reading. This should
be no surprise, because performance in basic skill areas, including reading usually is
below grade level among slow learners. Incorporating films, videotapes, and audio into
lessons helps accommodate the instruction to the strategies learning modalities among
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slow learners. Emphasising concrete and visual forms of content also helps compensate
for the general difficulty slow learners have in grasping abstract ideas and concepts.

Develop your own worksheets and exercises. Textbooks and workbooks, when
written for the average student often exceed the functioning level of the slow learner and
sometimes become more of a hindrance than an aid. When textbook materials are too
difficult, or are too different from topics that capture your students’ interests, develop
your own. Sometimes only some changes in worksheets and exercises are needed to adapt
the vocabulary or difficulty level to the ability of your slow learners. Also, using
textbooks and exercises intended for a lower grade could ease the burden of creating
materials that are unavailable at your grade level.

Provide peer tutors for students needing remediation. Peer tutoring can be an
effective ally to your teaching objectives, especially when tutors are assigned so that
everyone being tutored also has responsibility for being a tutor. The learner needing help
is not singled out and has a stake in making the idea work, because his or her pride is on
the line, both as a learner and as a tutor.

Encourage oral expression instead of written reports. For slow learners, many
writing assignments go un-attempted or are begun only half-heartedly because these
learners recognise that their written product will not meet even minimal writing
standards. A carefully organised taped response to an assignment might be considered.
This has the advantage of avoiding spelling, syntax, and writing errors.

When testing provide study aids. Study aids are advances organisers that alert
students to the most important problems, content, or issues. They also eliminate irrelevant
details that slow learners often laboriously study in the belief that they are important. The
slow learner usually is unable to weigh the relative importance of competing instructional
stimuli unless explicitly told or shown what is important and what is not. Example: test
questions or a list of topics from which questions may be chosen help focus student
effort.

Innovative learning skills. You can increase learning skills by teaching note-
taking, outlining, and listening. These skills are acquired through observation by higher
ability students, but they must be specifically taught to slow learners.
Unless your slow learners are actively engaged in the learning process through
interesting concrete visual stimuli, there will be little contact emotionally and
intellectually with the content you are presenting. This contact can be attained most easily
when you vary your instructional material often and organise it into bits small enough to
ensure moderate-to-high rates of success.

The gifted and/or talented learners

A student who reads rapidly, comprehends quickly, has an exceptional memory, is


imaginative and creative, ha s along attention spans, and is comfortable with abstract
ideas is described as bright, exceptional, gifted and talented.
Awareness is growing that gifted and talented students are an important natural
resource that must be encouraged, activated, directed and fully developed. Teaching the
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gifted remains an important objective of virtually of every school and, therefore, you
should be aware of the learning needs of this special learner.
The following are some of the most important behavioural ingredients from which
a definition of gifted is likely to be composed:

• Intelligence.
Foremost among the characteristics of giftedness is general intelligence. An IQ score
of about 130 or higher generally makes one eligible for gifted instruction. However,
in practice, because giftedness almost always is defined in conjunction with at least
several other behaviours, admission to gifted programmes and classes usually far less
restrictive. It is not uncommon to accept scores below 130 as eligible for gifted
instruction. Sometimes IQ is not considered at all in determining giftedness, in which
case the learner must exhibit unusual ability on one or more other areas.

• Achievement.
Among other behaviours frequently used to determine giftedness is the learner’s
achievement, usually in the areas for which gifted instruction is being considered.
Achievement is measured by yearly-standardised test, which cover areas such as
math, social sciences, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and science. A cut off
percentile of 90 means that a learner is eligible for gifted instruction if his or her score
on the appropriate sub-scale of a standardised achievement test is higher than the
score of 90% of all those who took the test.

• Creativity.
In addition to intelligence and achievement, indices of creativity often are considered
in selecting gifted learners. Inclusion of this behavioural dimension has broadened the
definition of this type of learner to include both the gifted and the talented. The
significance of this addition is that not all gifted learners are talented, nor are all
talented learners are gifted. The phrase gifted and talented, which is widely used, can
mean talented but not gifted, gifted but not talented, mostly talented with some
giftedness, mostly gifted with some talent, or both gifted and talented.
Because creative behaviours generally are considered in selecting gifted students, this
type of learner more appropriately might be called gifted and/or talented. Some
observable signs of creativity in a learner include:
 Applying abstract principles of the solution of the problems
 Being curious and inquisitive
 Giving uncommon or unusual responses
 Showing imagination
 Posing original solutions to problems
 Discriminating between major and minor events
 Seeing relationships among dissimilar objects.

• Task persistence
Behaviours teachers look for in determining task persistence include:
 Ability to devise organised approaches to learning
 Ability to concentrate on detail
 Self-imposed high standards
 Persistence in achieving personal goals
 Willing to evaluate own performance, and capable of doing so
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 Sense of responsibilities
 High level of energy, particularly in academic tasks.

Instructional strategies for gifted and talented learners


There are several methods for teaching the gifted that must be taught among
regular students. The following suggestions are starting points for managing and teaching
the gifted and talented learner.
Choose learning activities to allow freedom and include interests. This
encourages independent thinking, while at the same time giving the student extra
motivation often required to pursue a topic in much greater depth than would be expected
of an average student. Because gifted students tend to take greater responsibility for their
own learning than do average students, self-directed learning methods often predominate
among teachers of the gifted. By letting them pursue and investigate some topics of their
own choosing and construct their own meanings and interpretations, you will be making
them participants in the design of their own learning.

Occasionally plan instruction involving group activities. Gifted students are


among those most capable of picking up ideas from others and creating from them new
and unusual variations. Brain storming sessions, group discussion, panels, peer
interviews, teams and debates are among the ways you can start interactions among
students. When carefully organised, this can create a ‘snowballing’ of ideas that can turn
initially rough ideas about a problem into polished and elegant solutions.

Include real-life problems that require problem solving. Let your gifted students
become actual investigators in solving world-dilemmas in your content area. This will
force them to place newly acquired knowledge and understandings in a practical
perspective and to increase the problem solving challenge. Ask them pointed questions
that do not have really available answers.

Pose challenging problems. Perhaps more than any other learners, the gifted both
are capable of and enjoy the freedom to independently explore issues and ideas that
concern them. Give them this opportunity by posing a challenging problem and
organising data (e.g. references, materials, and documents) that they must screen for
relevance. Focus the problem so the learner must make key decisions about what is
important for a solution.

In testing, draw out knowledge and understanding. Use tests and questions that
make the student go beyond knowing and remembering facts. Asking your gifted students
to explain, analyse, compare, contrast, hypothesise, infer, adopt, justify, judge, prove,
criticise, and dispute are means of indicating that more than a verbally fluent response is
required. Asking your students to explain the reason behind their answers, to put together
the known facts into something new, and to judge the outcome of their own inquiry are
useful means of separating ‘slick’ responses from meaningful answers.

The bilingual learner

Bilingual education refers to a mix of introduction in two languages. This means teaching
skills and words in English as well as in another language, which may be any regional
language. The primary goal of bilingual education is not to teach English as a second
language, but to teach concepts, knowledge, and skills, through the regional language the
75

learners knows the best and then to reinforce this information through the second
language (English), in which the learner is less proficient.

Four approaches to bilingual education

Transition approach. The transition approach uses learners’ regional language


and culture only to the extent necessary for them to learn English. Learners are taught
reading or writing in their regional language. In the transition approach, the regular
classroom teacher should encourage and sometimes expect these learners to respond,
read, and write in English. The teacher using the transition approach first discerns the
level of English proficiency of the learner and then expects the learner to function in
English at or slightly above this level.

Maintenance approach. The maintenance approach, in addition to encouraging


English language proficiency, endorses the idea that learners also should become
proficient in their regional language. The goal is to help learners truly bilingual – to
become fluent in both languages. Such learners have come to be called balanced
bilinguals to emphasise that their proficiency is limited neither in English nor in regional
language.

Restoration approach. The restoration approach attempts to restore the regional


language and culture of the bilingual student to its purest and most original form. The
classroom teacher should discourage mixing regional language and English phrases when
they occur in the context of expressing the same idea or thought. In other words,
expressions that are expressed alternatively and fully in both English and regional
language may be encouraged, but expressions that are half English and half-regional
language are to be discouraged.

Enrichment approach. Like the transmission approach, the goal of enrichment is


movement from regional language to English competence in the shortest time possible.
However in addition to this goal, regional culture and heritage also are emphasised.

Instructional strategies for bilingual learners


If you do not speak regional language, emphasise other communication. Other
forms of communication include the visual, kinaesthetic, and tactile modalities. You have
seen the importance of the visual mode in teaching the slow learner, and it is no less
important with bilingual learner. Use pictures, graphs, and illustrations to supplement
teaching objectives wherever possible. Pictures can not take place of auditory cues, but
they can place these cues in context, making them easier to recognise in relation an
illustration or picture.

Use direct instruction. Most bilingual learners learn best from, and are most
accustomed to, the direct presentation of instructional material. For example, the “look
and say” approach to reading is more effective than the phonetic approach during the
initial stages of reading instruction. Especially for those lacking almost any proficiency in
English, repetition of material (particularly drill and practice) generally is superior to
more conceptual presentations that emphasise perspective, justification, and rationale.

Be alert to cultural differences. Your awareness of cultural differences can be


extremely important to successful communication. There is no substitute for
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understanding the culture of students you are teaching, even if you have little
understanding of their language. They appreciate the co-operation of group achievement
more than the competitive aspects of individual achievement. The merits that group work,
sharing of assignments, and working as a team potentially are useful instructional
strategies for these students. This in turn suggests the value of co-operative classroom
climate.

Carefully evaluate reading level and format of materials. While selecting or


adapting materials, you may find a regional language version of comparable content, but
the reading level and format may not benefit your learners. If you are not fluent in that
language, have someone who is fluent evaluate the difficulty level of the material. It is
not unusual to initially select verbal material several grades below the level you are
teaching. After a suitable trial, evaluate the materials again and adjust the reading level
accordingly. Material with illustrations and pictures is better than concentrated prose.
Notice whether the objects pictured will be familiar to the learners or whether they are
specific to the Anglo audience for whom the materials may have been written.

Know your learners’ language ability and achievement levels. From school
records, find out for each learner:
 Dominant language in the receptive mode (i.e. listening, reading).
 Dominant language in the expressive mode (i.e. talking, writing).
 Proficiency level in the dominant language.
 Past achievement levels in the area relevant to your instruction.

The information is invaluable in selecting special materials and determining the


best level and manner to begin the instruction. Knowing your learners ability and
achievement levels makes your initial instructional contact far more effective,
potentially avoiding weeks and even months of failing to communicate – not
knowing it.
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Chapter 9

EFFECTIVE TEACHING IN A CLASSROOM

Effective teaching

Teaching is an effective task a teacher does in the classroom. How efficiently one
teaches, determines, to a great extent, the success of students at schooling and to some
extent their success in life.
Teaching constitutes activities deliberately planned and performed. The effective
teacher employs five key behaviours: lesson clarity, instructional variety, task
orientation, engagement in learning, and student success.
1. To be clear in the classroom, the effective teacher:
 Informs learners of the objective.
 Provides learners with advance organisers.
 Checks for task-relevant prior learning and re-teaches if necessary.
 Gives directions slowly and distinctly.
 Knows the ability level of learners and teaches to those levels.
 Uses examples, illustrations, and demonstrations to explain and clarify
text and workbook content.
 Provides a review or summary at the end of each lesson.

2. To have instructional variety in the classroom, the effective teacher:


 Uses attention-gaining devices.
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 Shows enthusiasm.
 Varies mode of presentation.
 Mixes rewards and reinforces.
 Uses student ideas.
 Varies types of questions and probes.

3. To be task-oriented in the classroom, the effective teacher:


 Develops unit and lesson plans that reflect the curriculum.
 Handles administrative and clerical interruptions efficiently.
 Stops or prevents misbehaviour with a minimum of class disruption.
 Selects the most appropriate instructional model for the objectives being
taught.
 Establishes cycles of review, feedback and testing.

4. To engage students in the learning process, the effective teacher:


 Elicits the desired behaviour.
 Provides opportunities for feedback in a non-evaluative atmosphere.
 Uses group and individual activities as motivational aids when necessary.
 Uses meaningful praise.
 Monitors seatwork and checks for practice.

5. To establish moderate-to-high rates of success in the classroom, the effective teacher:


 Establishes unit and lesson content that reflects prior learning.
 Corrects partial-correct, correct-but-hesitant, and incorrect-answers.
 Divides instructional stimuli into bite-sized pieces that are at the learners’
current level of functioning.
 Changes instructional stimuli gradually.
 Varies the instructional pace or tempo to create momentum.

Teaching constitutes activities deliberately planned and performed, involves


achievement of learning objectives by students and involves transaction between teacher
and student. Teaching is said to be effective ONLY if the intended objectives are
achieved.

Defects in teaching
• Most of the time, in the classroom, is devoted to teacher’s talk and students get very
little opportunity to express themselves.
• Teachers spend more time in giving information and less on clarifying ideas and still
less time on giving explanations.
• A very low percentage of teacher’s time in the classroom is used for making
encouraging remarks.
• Most of the teachers are not systematic in planning and carrying out instruction.
• Less than 10% of time of teacher’s talk is devoted to teacher’s questioning.
• During classroom interaction teachers tend to promote mostly wrote learning
requiring memory level thinking.
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How to make teaching more effective:


• To use suitable teaching methods like conducting small group activities, peer tutoring
and co-operative teaching, brain storming, active participation of students, etc.
• To make use of library.
• To develop your own instructional material,
• To adjust your teaching to suit the classroom factors,
• To make use of proper instructional materials like audio-visual aids, books, etc.
• To create an open organisational climate.
• To improve educational and professional qualifications,
• To improve your study habits related to profession,
• To involve in academic and professional discussions and programmes,
• To understand student’s misconceptions of what you intend to teach,
• To cultivate intellectual capabilities,
• To experiment and explore new methods of teaching,
• To observe students in different context,
• To help them to resolve their problems,
• To be democratic as well as assertive,
• To avoid acting out your emotions,
• To maintain good interpersonal relationship,
• To be realistic in your ambitions and aspirations,
• To develop healthy attitudes towards profession,
• To develop liking for your students,
• To be receptive to new ideas and practices,
• To be dominated by sense of duty,
• To practice what you preach to develop good values in students,

Active participation of students:


Active participation of students stimulates the teaching--learning process.
The following teaching behaviours are likely to enhance student participation:
• Try to seek students’ responses and opinions from all the students.
• Encourage each student to express freely without fear of being criticised by others.
• Allow for mutual reactions to each other’s answers.
• Reduce your talk in the class to allow for greater student participation.
• Allow adequate time for student to think and answer.
• You may ask each student to write their answers and share and compare it with
neighbours.
• Avoid dominance by some students and encourage non-participating students to talk.
• Identify strength of different students and make use of them for designating different
tasks in-group work.
• Warm supportive, emotional climate promotes better student’s achievement.
• Use of varying stimuli in the class stimulates student’s motivation.
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The type of questions relate to effective teaching:


• Both simple and more complex questions can be formulated at each level depending
on quantity and complexity of the information to be processed.
• Memory level questions are termed as factual or lower order questions. All other level
questions are considered as of higher order.
• Ask both fact questions as well as higher cognitive questions to serve your objectives
to best advantage.
• Plan higher cognitive questions, which are simple to the low ability students.
• Use of more of Why and How questions so that students respond by reasoning or
thinking and not out of memory.
• Ensure all students attend to your question.
• Rephrase the question if it is not understood
• Encourage students to take some time to think and construct the answer.
• Give chances to all students to answer.
• Tell the students whether he is right or wrong and encourage to motivate them to give
correct answer
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Chapter 10

ROLE OF THE TEACHER

There are many changes occurring daily in our classroom and in the practice of
teaching. Today’s classroom is a far cry from that of only ten years ago, and this rate of
change is unlikely to subside soon.
Microcomputers, competency testing, curriculum reforms, and heterogeneous
classrooms are but few of the factors changing the face of our schools and creating
special challenges for our teachers. The effective teacher is the one who sometimes sees
himself in his students.
Therefore, a teacher is just like an actor who has to play many roles. Some of the
important roles are:
 The modern teacher is a helping teacher. Basically teaching is a relationship. The
teacher is either helping pupils or the pupils are helping him to do a worthwhile
activity. Some of the time for teaching is dedicated toward instructing children in
ways to better help each other.
Ideally, the teacher is able to see his pupils as co-workers on some problems, as
one who can maintain rapport with his students, who understands how a pupil feels,
and who knows when it is time to be sympathetic with a pupil. The ideal helping
relationship is one in which the pupil finds it difficult to determine whether he was
directed or guided into a learning situation; he simply finds himself busily engaging
in a situation and enjoying its offerings.
In the classroom where there is much “share and tell”, “give and take”, “think and
do”, --balanced off with an equitable amount of “work and play”, then there is more
likely to be found the ideal, healthy environment for learning.

 The teacher’s emotional maturity. Adults gain emotional control by reconditioning,


training, and by constant thinking of their emotional responses. The classroom
teacher is well on the way to emotional maturity when he can make a reasonably
sound inventory of what he is doing to safe guard his emotional health and what he
should do plus what he can learn to do. The following questions are given to help the
classroom teacher develop better judgement and emotional calmness in analysing his
own personal emotional adjustment:
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 Do you feel resentful when a child catches you in a mistake?


 When the class is difficult to manage, do you lose your temper and display
it by shouting or showing things around?
 Do you seek to find fault with children rather than to look for their good
qualities?
 Do you have periods of spirits and allow your teaching to suffer because
of that?
 Do you have strong feelings of inadequacy when a teacher across the class
makes improvement with children in areas in which you would like to succeed?
 Are you easily upset when the regular classroom scheduled has been
changed because of unforeseen, necessary school activities?
 Are you quite irritated when someone challenges your teaching
techniques?
 When children misquote or contradict you, do you “fly off the handle?”
 Do you laugh unusually hard before the class when a ridiculous error in
conversation is made by a child, but it is beyond his powers of realisation?
 Can you laugh at jokes, which you have selected to fit the sense of humour
of that particular class level?
 Do you feel the urge to strike out at children by talking loudly when
correcting the child who has not followed directions?
 When someone is making fun of you, do you lose your temper and search
out opportunity to make them look ridiculous?
 Can you feel at ease when a visitor comes to the room to observe your
work?
 Are you able to control your actions and expressions when children
become excited and can not sit still?
 Can you hold your own with those members of your faculty who tend to
“razz” you by inferring that you are always trying to be in the limelight when
actually you are seeking to improve the status of the school?
To effectively guide children, the teacher must first recognise and satisfy certain of
her own needs in socially and psychologically acceptable ways most of the time.

• The teacher should be an actor. All educators must recognise that education is an
internal process. If the children are shown the “sense” of subject matter, they usually
will show interest in it. An interested pupil cares little about the time or effort that is
needed to learn if the desire is there. To ensure interest and to literally captivate his
pupils, the teacher should present the subject matter through such means as
dramatisation, sensationalisation, or emotionalisation, and the like if ideas are to
become mobile and challenging to the learner.

• The teacher should be a selector of methods. Far too often teachers teach as they
have been taught. Though this can result in effective teaching procedures it seems
more likely that such practice will propagate boring and repetitive classroom work.
The teacher who consistently follows such a practice surrenders, in a sense, an
important professional prerogative, that of studying the uniqueness of the class and
making judgements as to how class members may best learn. The role of the teacher
is obvious; in planning for every lesson or unit of work due thought should be given
to selecting procedures, which seem most conducive to the sought learning.
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• The teacher should be a researcher. Teachers in the present day are encouraged and
supported in conducting classroom research. The study of the most effective
procedures is one of the most fruitful areas for such research. In science, for example,
the teacher of middle classes children might study the effectiveness of two
approaches using two classes. If two classes are not available two major topics could
be taught using different approaches but using only one class. The teacher who
consistently uses and believes in the assign-study-recite-test procedure may be moved
toward a variety of approaches if he carefully compares the results of this procedure
with another combination such as lecture-demonstration-discussion-application
procedure.
An obvious professional task of the teacher, the selection of method is one that
should be undertaken on the basis of a continuing study of the classroom situation. As
a minimum, a consideration of the children in the class, and the evaluative results of
previous teaching should enter into such study.

• The teacher as a producer of method. Teachers use a myriad of procedures, which


can hardly be classified into the classic categories discussed earlier. These procedures
can easily be related to a combination of the categorical labels. One fact is apparent
that teachers improvise, innovate, and create; in short they make method.
Unique procedures, which have no beneficial effect other than the fact that they
are “fun” procedures or simply “different”, are not defensible. Innovative or unique
procedures are justified if they contribute in a better way in the learning goals.
Teachers, through their own ingenuity are encouraged to continue to devise new and
better means of teaching for the important learning goals. Creativity in teaching, just
as in other vocations and professions, is most promising as a means of improvement.

• The teacher as an evaluator of his own method. The effectiveness of method is


evaluated when the learning progress of children is evaluated. How well children
have learned contains an implicit assessment of the teacher’s choice of method. It is
doubtful if most teachers carefully weigh the effect of method in examining the
quality and extent of what children learned. If method is not evaluated, inefficiency in
the use of time and imbalance in the value given to the various learning may result.
It would seem wise not only for a teacher to examine the degree to which children
have learned but to also evaluate by asking certain questions of an introspective
nature, which deal with the choice of method. The major questions, which the teacher
should ask herself, are:
 On the bases of my evaluative instruments and means of measurement,
have children met the lesson goals satisfactorily?
 Do the children exhibit real insight as a result of the lesson in addition to
the usual residual facts?
 Did the teaching approach used arouse the response from the total range of
the class rather than one ability level?
 Were children brought to the point where they asked intelligent questions
about the teaching topic?
 Can most children in my class explain or demonstrate the major concepts
of the lesson?
 Just how important were this lesson and its goals to the child’s current
needs and to his future needs?
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 Was the time spent on this work commensurate with the value of the
sought learning?
 Were the concepts of the lesson presented only in a verbal abstract setting?
 Did any devices, aids, drawings, etc., used contribute to learning? Which
one did and which one did not?
 Did the children have ample opportunity to apply major concepts they
learned?
 If I taught this same lesson tomorrow for the first time how would I alter
my procedures?
 Were there parts of the lesson or uses of aids that were an obvious waste
of time?
 Is it possible to accomplish this same teaching with less time and effort?
 Did I vary the procedure in this or other lessons significantly from the
procedure I typically use?

Teacher as a cognitive functionary.


Thinking and cognitive task: The teacher lays the foundation for skill
development. It provides a system into which data and information can be organised. It
also affects the child’s processes of thinking, which will be called upon time and time
again. He must become fully acquainted with the three dimensions of the teaching-
learning process, which are concept formation, interpretation of data, and application of
principles.
If a teacher can form a mental image of the dimensions of the teaching process
being utilised during an on-going lesson, he is in a good position to compare the progress
of his youngsters to the rate at which information should be unfolded. Thus the teacher is
tuned to where children are at a given moment in the learning act and he can predict
where they should be in a few minutes if he keeps at the same goal and rate of
instructing.
Upon establishing where children are in learning as compared to the teaching act,
it is conceivable that the act might need to be altered relative to the rapidity of
presentation, difficulty of concepts or the setting into which it has now fallen. A wiser
approach would be to plan a few “mental stops” along the path of the lesson not only to
find out where children are having successes or failures, but to look at the techniques
being applied by the teacher and/or pupils. If the techniques are planned under
surveillance, quite likely some children will be enabled to use them to examine their own
ideas and to test them against available data at a future date.

Planning for classroom dialogue:


The classroom discussion period is made up of short, simple verbal episodes.
These episodes occur between teacher and pupils, or, a pupil and his peers. All
verbalisation has some effect (good or bad) upon the learning act. By using the “open
ended’ types of discussion and question-asking procedures, the learner is freer to try out
all ideas to determine their power and value. The teacher’s primary role during the
conduct of classroom dialogue is to create a free and open discussion that stimulates and
sustain of thought on the part of all class members.

The teacher and his non-verbal acts:


Teachers must become more concerned with their non-verbal behaviours during
the classroom episodes. What one says and what he actually does may be two entirely
85

different things. The teacher should strive for greater congruency between what he
personifies overtly and what he believes internally. To put it another way, what one
wishes to “get across” during the learning episodes is often hindered by non-verbal
expressions made by the teacher, -knowingly or unknowingly.

Role of the teacher in future

The right for every child to learn is the goal set for the 21 st century. To meet this goal
schools must offer a range of learning options commensurate with the unknown range of
pupil talents. The learning environment, likewise, must nurture those talents.
Media will become more important than ever in the curriculum of the future.
Planetariums, fully equipped videotape machines, complete photographic studios,
computers, and the like will increase curriculum change immensely.
Therefore, the functions of the teacher in future will be:
• A human relations expert—a facilitator of learning.
On the basis of vast knowledge of child growth and development plus his
professional expertise in using group processes and other psychological means as yet
undeveloped, he will guide children in their interactions. The teacher of the future will
more likely query, not of himself but of his pupils. “What do you want from school?
What do you want to learn? What are you curious about? What problems in society
concern you? How do you want to change yourself? How will you know when you have
made your life better?” If a teacher can obtain answers to the questions he can then safely
ask himself, “Now that I know what he is eager to learn, where can I best help him go to
find the resources—the people, the experiences, the learning facilities, the textbooks as
well as the wisdom and knowledge in myself—which will help him learn in ways that
will provide relevant answers to the things that concern him? It means that they acquire
the role of facilitator more than teacher does.

• A diagnostician.
The teacher will be a new type of diagnostician, again using tools of
measurement, which are now in their infancy. Obviously the teacher will be a director of
learning—but in the setting of complete individualisation of a pupil’s personalised
instructional programme. The implementation of a personalised programme of instruction
will spring from selected findings derived from diagnostic information.
With present diagnostic procedures it sometime takes months to find out the
pupil’s problems and to plan accordingly. This will not be the case in future. What now
takes months to accomplish will be completed in a matter of minutes. It will be a
common thing to find children locating their own problems of academic origin by feeding
information into computers to determine the progress made on a problem up to a given
point. The machine being programmed to sort out common errors and to indicate the
steps necessary to remedy one’s work.

• A master of a vast of complex of learning tools.


It is he who will provide the initial stages of instruction in which the child will
learn to use the coding and indexing systems, which be mastered, thereby enabling that
child to direct much of his own study through computerised tools. Skilled designers and
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technicians can develop and co-ordinate the learning programmes, --films, lectures,
demonstrations, television, etc., but it will be teachers who decide what the programmes
should be. Of significance, too, the teacher will serve as the link between programmes
and pupils, and he will guide the child to that sequence of programmes, which best meets
his assessed needs.

• A master at developing programmes.


The future teacher will be a master at developing programmes that build an
enduring peace. He will be actively involved in reducing poverty-stricken areas, and, will
rid the world of racial and regional discrimination. The community will become the
living classroom.
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