EBS 316: Topic 1: Teaching and Learning

Welcome to the first unit of the course – Methods of Teaching Computer Studies. This a very important course which every professional teacher ought to take in order to be knowledgeable and proficient in today’s world of Information Age. Dear Learner, this unit will expose you to basic information and definitions of teaching and learning. Its main aim is to provide you with professional knowledge on aspects of how to be an effective professional ICT teacher. Those of you who already have some knowledge in this field can also refresh what you have already learnt. The language and terminologies used in teaching and learning will also highlighted on to serve as a guide through the other units. The unit is divided into sessions. Each session is further divided into sub-sessions for easy reading and comprehension of concepts. Each session ends with self-assessment questions to review what was taught and may also include an assignment. It is our hope that you will understand this course. Please, take particular note of the concepts that will be coming up. In these notes, there will be explanation of key concepts, nevertheless, you are encouraged to do further research and reading on any concepts you may not understand fully. This will assist you in grasping the concepts better so that you will be able to apply these concepts to your real-life experiences.

Session: 1

1.1. Learning

A number of you have probably heard the following words at one time or another, but probably did not grasp the full meanings. This week, we are going to look at some of those words.

We have seen the word learning so many times. What is learning in your words? It can occur as a result of practice or observation. Some of you may define learning along the following definitions. You may say learning is:

The act or experience of one that learns; knowledge of skill acquired by instruction or study; modification of a behavioural tendency by experience.

  • A change in behaviour as a result of experience or practice.
  • The acquisition of knowledge.
  • Knowledge gained through study.
  • To gain knowledge of, or skill in, something through study, teaching, instruction or experience.
  • The process of gaining knowledge.
  • A process by which behaviour is changed, shaped or controlled.
  • The individual process of constructing understanding based on experience from a wide range of sources.
  • The activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something

Learning is a complex process where teacher, learning material, student’s motivation and several other aspects interact with each other. Many researchers have attempted to define the concept of learning and no single definition can be said to be conclusive or correct. In this course learning will be defined as a relatively permanent change in behaviour with behaviour including both observable activity and internal processes such as thinking, attitudes and emotions (Burns, 1995).

 

The role of learners

The learner has multiple roles during instruction, the main ones are to:

  • Select/reject information when reading, listening, viewing, and writing during instruction.
  • Analyze and synthesize information, compare, sequence, link, classify, establish cause and effect, summarize etc.
  • Apply information to their daily life
  • Transform information into knowledge
  • Interpret information
  • Pass examinations

 

Sequence of Learning

  1. Attention
  2. Perception
  3. Acquisition
  4. Retention
  5. Transfer

 

Domains of learning

Let us now look at the definition of learning theory. Learning theories are conceptual frameworks that describe how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning.  Learning brings together cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences and experiences for acquiring, enhancing, or making changes in one’s knowledge, skills, values, and world views.

A learning theory is a systematic and integrated outlook of the nature of the learning process. There are three main categories of learning theory: behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Behaviourism focuses only on the objectively observable aspects of learning. Cognitive theories look beyond behaviour to explain brain-based learning. And constructivism views learning as a process in which the learner actively constructs or builds new ideas or concepts.

 

1.2       Behaviorism

We now look at behaviourism into greater detail. Behaviorism is primarily concerned with observable and measurable aspects of human behavior. It views the mind as a “black box” in the sense that response to stimulus can be observed quantitatively, totally ignoring the possibility of thought processes. In defining behavior, behaviorist learning theories emphasize changes in behavior that result from stimulus-response associations made by the learner. It describes how all learning and behaviors are directly correlated with environmental stimuli. The learner starts off as a clean slate (i.e., tabula rasa). Behaviour is the response of an organism to stimuli.

 

Stimulus …………………..Response

 

It can be a stimulus causing a response by having with it put with a trigger.

Key proponents in behaviorism are Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, Edward Thorndike, John Watson and others.

 

Implications of behaviorism on teaching and learning

  • Teacher’s Role in Behaviorism:

– Motivates and facilitates learning

– Actively keeps students participating

– Students should be active respondents, people are most likely to learn

when they actually have a chance to behave.

– Provides the stimulus (which may be the lesson plan, theme, or subject matter at

hand)

– Teachers should present material in small portions.

– Teachers should break down tasks into small steps.

– Work from most simple to most complex tasks

– Tasks must be adjusted to be age appropriate

– Teachers should use repetition and lots of practice.

– Teachers should repeat stimulus-response to strengthen learning (Drill and

practice.

– Teachers must provide constant feedback to students.

– Provides positive reinforcement

– Teachers should offer rewards or reinforcement for correct responses.

Technology: Many software programs provide rewards, such as mini-games for answering questions correctly; Also, using computer time (which is exciting for students) as a reward will provide positive feedback and integrate technology to the class.

 

  • Students Role in Behaviorism:
    • Students work for rewards of some sort.
    • Their behavior is diverse based on their environmental surroundings; thus, students respond differently.
    • Students respond to stimuli.

Technology: Many computer programs reward the student when an answer is correct or a goal is reached. Technology has enthused students to like learning and under the behaviorist theory students are working for their reward while doing something they like and avoiding punishment.

  • Curriculum: Skills are taught in a set sequence
  • Learning goals: Stated in terms of mastery learning
  • Types of activities: Lecture, demonstration, seatwork, practice, testing
  • Assessment strategies: Written tests, same measures for all students

1.3 Cognitivism         

Have you heard of cognitivism before? If you have not, that’s okay because we will explain what it is. Cognitivism involves activities like memory capacity, thinking and mental processing. The learner is viewed as an information processor. Information Processing looks at how information is retrieved and stored. This theory focuses on how to store and retrieve information. Learning is attained through rehearsal and consistent use of the information. People are not “programmed animals” that merely respond to environmental stimuli. People are rational beings that require active participation in order to learn. Cognitive activities cannot be measured directly, but can only be inferred from observing performance.

 

 

 

 

Key proponents in Cognitivism are Robert Gagne, Howard Gardner, Benjamin Bloom and so on.

 

Implications of cognitivism on teaching and learning

  • Careful planning of lessons
  • Variety of internal (attention, motivation and recall) and external (timing and place) conditions
  • Instructional methods should appeal to different intelligences
  • Variety of assessment methods
  • Create instructional plans based on state standards, learning objectives and learning theories
  • Paying attention
  • Recall of prior learning
  • Can state what has been learned
  • Can discriminate between facts and can follow directions
  • All students can learn given the correct conditions
  • Curriculum: Relationships among information is stressed
  • Learning goals: Understanding processes as well as basic skills, learning how to learn
  • Types of activities: using graphic organizers, demonstration, advanced organizers
  • Assessment strategies: performance assessment, project-based learning, essay questions (i. e. summarize, compare and contrast)

1.4 Constructivism

Finally, we take a look at the last learning theory in this course, which is constructivism. Constructivism views learning as a process in which the learner constructs knowledge based on their past experiences. It puts the learner at the center of the education. Students learn by “doing”. Teachers use scaffolding, which is, questions, clues, or suggestions that help a student link prior knowledge to new knowledge. The teacher only acts as a facilitator who encourages students to explore within a given framework.

Students participate in learning process. Students may collaborate with others to organize their ideas and learn from each other to construct their own           knowledge.

Key proponents in constructivism are Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, John Dewey and Jerome Bruner and others.

 

Implications of constructivism on teaching and learning

  • Teachers use scaffolding (breaking up learning into chunks and then providing a tool with information).
  • Teachers use schemata, an organized way of providing a cognitive framework for understanding and remembering information.
  • Teachers use anchored instruction, a model for technology-based learning, which stresses learning within a problem-solving learning context.
  • Teachers should provide lessons that students can practice “doing” or where they can work with others.
  • Student must “do”.
  • Students actively participate in the learning process by using critical-thinking skills to analyze a problem.
  • Students will create or construct (can use technology).
  • Students can use technology easily under this theory.
  • Curriculum: Based on projects that foster higher level and lower-level skills at the same time.
  • Learning Goals: Stated in terms of growth from where the student began; work independently and with groups.
  • Types of Activities: Group projects, hand-on exploration; product development.
  • Assessment: Performance tests and products (ex. Portfolios); quality measured by rubrics and checklists; measure may differ among students.

 

 

 

Session:  2                                                                                            

Dear learner, you are welcome to this session. In the previous session, we looked at definitions of some important concepts in learning. Hopefully, you enjoyed that session. In this session, we shall look at effective teaching.

 

2.1. Definition of Teaching

As a teacher, you have been teaching for quite awhile now. So, we may be tempted to say that we all know what teaching is. But, do we really understand what teaching is. Do not worry we will look into more detail about teaching. Teaching is a complex, multifaceted activity, often requiring us as instructors to juggle multiple tasks and goals simultaneously and flexibly. The following small but powerful set of principles can make teaching both more effective and more efficient, by helping us create the conditions that support student learning and minimize the need for revising materials and content, Teaching can be defined as engagement with learners to enable their understanding and application of knowledge, concepts and processes. It includes design, content selection, delivery, assessment and reflection. For this course, we say teaching is the process of engaging students in activities that will enable them to acquire the knowledge, skills, as well as worthwhile values and attitudes.

 

The role of the teacher

The role of teachers falls broadly into the six categories listed below.

  1. The information provider
  2. The Role Model
  3. The Facilitator
  4. The Assessor
  5. The Planner
  6. The Resource Developer

Teaching Approaches

 A teaching approach is a set of principles, beliefs, or ideas about the nature of learning which is translated into the classroom. It is a combination of ways that a teacher uses when presenting the content of a lesson. 

 

Didactic Approach

In the early days, teaching was didactic, i.e. lecture method. Students were given rigidly formulated statements, which they had to memorize and regurgitate when required to do so by teachers. Little or no emphasize was placed on understanding; learners were simply made to cram things. It was believed that the human brain is a blank store where knowledge can be pumped and stored.

 

Expository Approach

 This involves the kind of teaching that is characterized by predominance of teacher talk with little or no involvement of students on practical activities. It is a teacher-centered approach. The teacher gives facts, explains concepts, and gives illustrations. Anything that needs to be taught practically is done through teacher demonstrations.

Student participation is limited to listening and asking questions and writing notes as the lesson progresses. This approach is not considered very effective in the teaching. However, it is alleged that there are some topics in science/mathematics that can only be approached satisfactorily by exposition because their very nature they are difficult to teach practically.

 

Empiricist

 Emphasis was on the need to acquire scientific knowledge through observations. Laws were reached by induction. The learner was now given opportunity to at least handle apparatus and make observations thus developing interest and manipulate skills.

 

Heuristic Approach

At the turn of 20th century advocates of the Heuristic approach of teaching believed that learners could be trained to discover scientific ideas by using faculties of observation, reasoning and memory. Learners were involved in observation, recording, analyzing data and drawing conclusions on their own. This was a better approach since it involved real inquiry, which would lead to understanding of the theory however, this approach tends to consume more time, hence delay in syllabus coverage.

 

Inquiry/Discovery Approach

This is a learner-centered approach with a high degree of involvement of all who participate. It is systematic in that a set of activities is used, yet highly flexible in that the sequence of the activities can be changed and others can be substituted at any time. The teacher involves students in activities that help in the development of scientific skills such as the ability to make observations, perform experiments, collect data make deductions and present results. A Chinese proverb says, ‘I hear I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.’

 

The learners would carry out experiments then create concepts at first hand in the laboratory, as a means of awakening original thought. With passage of time, it was realized that despite the many practical activities may of the learners still face problems understanding science, hence the slogan ‘I do and I am even more confused’. The teacher’s role is to guide students by clarifying instructions where necessary and being available to answer any questions that may arise in the course of the activities.

 

This involves a wider range of activities centered on helping students to learn by:

  • Gaining new insight from the outcome of their investigations
  • Modifying their pre-existing ideas in the light of the new insights
  • Constructing their understanding of a scientific concept.

The basic assumption is that students have their own explanations of the phenomena encountered in their every day life. This approach helps them to test their understanding using the scientific approach.

 

Constructive Approach

The constructivists approach takes cognizance of the fact that by the time a learner enters formal education he/she has already interacted with former environment and has developed ideas and concepts in relation to what he has experienced? As a child grows up, it continuously encounters new horizons in terms of knowledge gained, which require explanations either from its parents, family members, or peers.

The entire encounter is digested and stored in their memory and becomes knowledge. Learning therefore should be built on the learner’s practical experience while at the same time correcting any misconceptions or learner’s alternative frameworks.

 

According to Piaget, an individual interprets reality via intellectual structures characterized by acting schemes that change as one grows. An individual therefore tries to attain structures to make it consistent with the new experience.

The role of the teacher is to provide guidance as a facilitator by giving students challenges that will help to correct their misconceptions and enable them to draw correct concepts. The teacher can do this through:

  • Class discussions (peer group learning)
  • Students’ experiments and demonstrations
  • Use of audio visual aids, charts, diagrams models etc.

 

Effective Teaching

Effective teaching can be defined in many ways including teacher behaviour (warmth, clarity), teacher knowledge (of subject matter, of students), teacher beliefs, and so forth, Here we define effective teaching is as the ability to improve student achievement. Vogt (1984) related effective teaching to the ability to provide instruction to different students of different abilities while incorporating instructional objectives and assessing the effective learning mode of the students. Effective teachers strive to motivate and engage all their students in learning. They believe every student is capable of achieving success at school and they do all they can to find ways of making each student successful.

 

Characteristics of Effective Teaching

  • Begins class promptly and in a well-organized way.
  • Motivate and engage all their students in learning.
  • Treats students with respect and caring.
  • Provides the significance/importance of information to be learned.
  • Provides clear explanations. Holds attention and respect of students….practices effective classroom management.
  • Uses active, hands-on student learning.
  • Varies his/her instructional pedagogies/techniques.
  • Provides clear, specific expectations for assignments.
  • Provides frequent and immediate feedback to students on their performance.
  • Praises student answers and uses probing questions to clarify/elaborate answers.
  • Provides many concrete, real-life, practical examples.
  • Draws inferences from examples/models….and uses analogies.
  • Creates a class environment which is safe and comfortable for students….allows students to speak freely.
  • Teaches at an appropriately fast pace, stopping to check student understanding and engagement.
  • Understand that students develop at different rates and accommodate the different needs of students in their class.
  • Has a sense of humor!
  • Uses nonverbal behavior, such as gestures, walking around, and eye contact to reinforce his/her comments.
  • Presents him/herself in class as ‘real people.’
  • Have mastery of his/her teaching content.
  • Focuses on the class objective and does not let class get sidetracked.
  • Monitors progress and uses feedback from students (and others) to assess and improve teaching.
  • Reflects on own teaching to improve it.

 

Sessions: 3 and 4

 

3.1. Learning Styles

This session will go into greater detail about learning styles.

Before we start discussions about learning styles. Let us first define learning styles. Information enters your brain through three methods: sight, hearing, and touch.  The one which you use the most is called your learning style. Learning style is a group of characteristics, attitude and behaviors that define our way of learning. Learning style is a particular way in which the mind receives and processes information. It is an integral concept that bridges the personality to cognitive dimensions of an individual. Learning Style classifies different ways in which people learn how they approach information. By recognizing and understanding one’s own learning style, techniques better suited to learning can be used.

3.1. VAK learning styles

  • Visual Learners learn by sight
  • Auditory Learners learn by hearing
  • Tactile Learners (kinesthetic) learn by touch

 

Visual Learners (V)

  • Prefer to see information such as pictures, diagrams, cartoons, or demonstrations
  • Picture words and concepts that they hear as images
  • Might get easily distracted during a lecture with no visual aids
  • Could become overwhelmed with intense visuals accompanied by lecture
  • Benefit from using charts, maps, notes, and flash cards when studying

 

Auditory Learners (A)

  • Prefer to hear information spoken
  • Can absorb a lecture with little effort
  • May not need detailed notes to learn
  • Often avoid eye contact in order to concentrate
  • May read aloud to themselves
  • Like background music when they study

 

Kinesthetic Learners (K)

  • Prefer touch as their primary mode for taking in information
  • In traditional lecture situations, they should write out important facts
  • Create study sheets connected to vivid examples
  • Role-playing might help them learn and remember important ideas

 

Applied Techniques

 

  • Visual Learners:
    • Write out everything for frequent and quick visual review.
    • Use color coding when learning new concepts and words.
    • Use outlines of reading assignments which cover key points and guide reading.
    • Use notes and flash cards for review of material, vocabulary, and terminology for specific course s.
    • Review textbook during relevant lecture component.

 

  • Auditory Learners:
    • The student should position themselves in the classroom or lecture hall so that he/she can hear lectures and review them frequently.
    • Read written material aloud (restate in your own words) .
    • Verbally review spelling words and lectures with another person – practice verbal repetition .
    • Record lectures (with instructor permission).

 

  • Kinesthetic Learners:
    • Study in short blocks of time rather than extended periods .
    • Have as many experimental learning opportunities as possible, such as lab and studio courses
    • Use this info when selecting courses.
    • Use flash cards.

 

3.2. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Style

Kolb (1974) views learning as an integrated process with each stage being mutually supportive of and feeding into the next. It is possible to enter the cycle at any stage and follow it through its logical sequence

  1. Concrete Experience
  2. Reflective Observation
  3. Abstract Conceptualization
  4. Active Experimentation

 

Effective learning is seen when a person progresses through a cycle of four stages. First, immediate and concrete experiences serve as a basis for observation. Next, the individual reflects on these observations and begins to build a general theory of what this information might mean. In the next step, the learner forms abstract concepts and generalizations based on their hypothesis. Finally, the learner tests the implications of these concepts in new situations. After this step, the process once again cycles back to the first stage of the experiential process

 

3.3 Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence proposes that people are not born with all of the intelligence they will ever have.

This theory challenged the traditional notion that there is one single type of intelligence, sometimes known as “g” for general intelligence, that only focuses on cognitive abilities.

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence (“word smart” or “book smart”)

This intelligence involves the knowing which comes through language; through reading, writing, and speaking. It involves understanding the order and meaning of words in both speech and writing and how to properly use the language. It involves understanding the socio-cultural nuances of a language, including idioms, plays on words, and linguistically-based humor.

 

Mathematical-Logical Intelligence (“math smart” or “logic smart”)

This intelligence uses numbers, math, and logic to find and understand the various patterns that occur in our lives: thought patterns, number patterns, visual patterns, color patters, and so on. It begins with concrete patterns in the real world but gets increasingly abstract as we try to understand relationships of the patterns we have seen.

 

Visual-Spatial Intelligence (“art smart” or “picture smart”)

We often say “A picture is worth a thousand words!” or “Seeing is believing!” This intelligence represents the knowing that occurs through the shapes, images, patterns, designs, and textures we see with our external eyes, but also includes all of the images we are able to conjure inside our heads.

 

Interpersonal Intelligence (“self smart” or “introspection smart”)“self smart” or “introspection smart”)

At the heart of this intelligence are our human self-reflective abilities by which we can step outside of ourselves and think about our own lives. This is the introspective intelligence. It involves our uniquely human propensity to want to know the meaning, purpose, and significance of things. It involves our awareness of the inner world of the self, emotions, values, beliefs, and our various quests for genuine spirituality.

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“body smart” or “movement smart”)

We often talk about “learning by doing.” This way of knowing happens through physical movement and through the knowing of our physical body. The body “knows” many things that are not necessarily known by the conscious, logical mind, such as how to ride a bike, how to parallel park a car, dance the waltz, catch a thrown object, maintain balance while walking, and where the keys are on a computer keyboard.

 

Interpersonal (“people smart” or “group smart”)

This is the person-to-person way of knowing. It is the knowing that happens when we work with and relate to other people, often as part of a team. This way of knowing also asks use to develop a whole range of social skills that are needed for effective person-to-person communication and relating

 

Naturalist Intelligence (“nature smart” or “environment smart”)

The naturalist intelligence involves the full range of knowing that occurs in and through our encounters with the natural world including our recognition, appreciation, and understanding of the natural environment. It involves such capacities as species discernment, communion with the natural world and its phenomena, and the ability to recognize and classify various flora and fauna.

 

Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence (“music smart” or “sound smart”)

This is the knowing that happens through sound and vibration. In the original research on the theory of multiple intelligences this intelligence was called musical-rhythmic intelligence. However, it is not limited to music and rhythm so I’m calling it auditory-vibrational, for it deals with the whole realm of sound, tones, beats, and vibrational patterns as well as music.

 

Session: 5

This session will seek to discuss reflective teaching. Thus, relevant for teachers in their work and research activities. 

5.1 Reflective Teaching

When instructors engage in reflective teaching, they are dedicating time to evaluate their own teaching practice, examine their curricular choices, consider student feedback, and make revisions to improve student belonging and learning. This self-assessment process requires information gathering, data interpretation, and planning for the future.

 

There are many definitions for Reflecting Teaching.

  • Reflective teaching involves examining one’s underlying beliefs about teaching and learning and one’s alignment with actual classroom practice before, during and after a course is taught.
  • Reflective teaching operates as an umbrella term denoting various approaches, including teaching inventories and observation protocols, self-assessments, and consideration of student evaluations.
  • Reflective teaching is a more systematic process of collecting, recording and analysing a teacher’s thoughts and observations, as well as those of their students, and then going on to making changes. It requires teachers to look at what they do in the classroom, and think about why they do it and if it works – a process of self-observation and self-evaluation.
  • Reflective teaching involves examining one’s underlying beliefs about teaching and learning and one’s alignment with actual classroom practice before, during and after a course is taught.
  • Reflective teaching means that you take a look at what you do in your classroom, and think about why you do it. Then, think about whether this works for your students and for yourself.

Therefore, in this course, we can say that:

Reflective teaching is a process whereby teachers reflect on their teaching practices in order to examine the overall effectiveness of their instructive approaches. So, there can be improvement or change in teaching methods if required, depending on the outcome of this analytical process, based on critical reflection.

 

Why is reflection important in teaching?

Well, when reflecting, you’re collecting information about what goes on in your classroom. When analysing and evaluating this new information, you can identify and explore your own practices and underlying beliefs, which may lead to changes and improvements in your teaching. Reflective teaching is an example of professional development, starting in your own classroom.

 

The process of reflection comes with a cycle to follow:

  • Teach
  • Self-assess the effect of your teaching on learning
  • Consider new ways of teaching that can improve the quality of learning
  • Try these ideas in practice
  • And of course, repeat the process again

Self-reflection never stops, there is always room for improvement. A reflective approach to teaching involves changes in the way we usually perceive teaching and our role in the process of teaching. Teachers who explore their own teaching through critical reflection develop changes in attitudes and awareness which they believe can benefit their professional growth as teachers, as well as improve the kind of support they provide their students. Like other forms of self-inquiry, reflective teaching is not without its risks, since journal writing, self-reporting or making recordings of lessons can be time-consuming. However, teachers engaged in reflective analysis of their own teaching report that it is a valuable tool for self-evaluation and professional growth. Reflective teaching suggests that experience alone is insufficient for professional growth, but that experience coupled with reflection can be a powerful impetus for teacher development.

5.2. Reflective Teaching Strategies

Self-Assessment

 

Reflection Journals: A reflection journal allows instructors to capture details of their teaching directly after class, and read an ongoing narrative of their teaching across terms and years. Taking 5 minutes or so after class, the instructor writes thoughts on the day’s lesson. Teachers might reflect on the following questions: What went well today? What could I have done differently? How will I modify my instruction in the future?

 

Teaching Inventories: A number of inventories have been developed to help teachers assess their teaching approaches. These often consist of multiple-choice questions on a Likert-scale and often take less than 15 minutes to complete. Inventories are usually designed to assess the extent to which particular pedagogies are employed (e.g. student- versus teacher-centered practices).

 

Video/Audio-Recorded Teaching Practices: Video or audio recordings of lessons can provide very useful information for reflection. You may do things in class you are not aware of or there may be things happening in the class that as the teacher you do not normally see. Teachers can video-record their lessons informally or formally, along with an observation protocol in order to self-assess their own practices. Video cameras can be installed in classrooms and be utilized by teachers for recordings.

 

Teaching Portfolio: A more time-intensive practice, the teaching portfolio allows teachers to pull the various components of their teaching into a cohesive whole, starting typically with a teaching philosophy or statement, moving through sample syllabi and assignments, and ending with evaluations from colleagues and students. The portfolio provides an opportunity for instructors to see their teaching in a “big picture.”

 

Ethical Case Studies: Ethical case studies give students the opportunity to analyze a situation and gain practice in ethical decision making as they choose a course of action. This reflection strategy can foster the exploration and clarification of values. Students write a case study of an ethical dilemma they have confronted at the service site, including a description of the context, the individuals involved, and the controversy or event that created an ethical dilemma.

 

Student Portfolios: This type of documentation has become a vital way for students to keep records and learn organizational skills. Encourage them to take photographs of themselves doing their project, short explanations (like business reports), time logs, evaluations by supervisors or any other appropriate “proof” which could be used in an interview. Require them to make this professional. Keep reminding them that submitting it at the end of the term is only one reason for doing this. “The real reason is to have documentation to present at future interviews. This could be a major factor in distinguishing them from other candidates.” Student portfolios could contain any of the following: service-learning contract, weekly log, personal journal, impact statement, directed writings, photo essay. Also, any products completed during the service experience (i.e., agency brochures, lesson plans, advocacy letters) should be submitted for review. Finally, a written evaluation essay providing a self-assessment of how effectively they met the learning objectives of the course is suggested for the portfolio.

 

External Assessment

 

Student Evaluations (Midterm and End-of-Term): In many courses, teachers will obtain feedback from students in the form of midterm and/or end-of-term evaluations. Teachers can consider student evaluations as one data source in their instruction and take note of any prevailing themes. They can seek out other ways to assess their practices to accompany student evaluation data before taking steps to modify instruction. One option is to include external observation and anonymous discussion with students for more real-time, and often more honest, feedback.

 

Peer or Departmental Observation and Feedback: Teachers can invite a colleague to come into your class to observe, collect information and provide feedback about your teaching. This may be with a simple observation task or through note taking. This will relate back to the area you have identified to reflect upon.  Colleagues can agree on a protocol and list of behaviors to focus on, or utilize one of many teaching inventories available online.

 

 

5.3. Characteristics of Reflective Teacher

 

Aims and consequence

 

Calder head (1992) states that Reflective teaching implies an active concern with aims and consequences as well as means and technical competence with lead to creative and innovative approaches to classroom and problems, this could eventuate into improved learning opportunities for students.

 

A Cyclical Process

 

This characteristic refers  to  the  process  of    reflective  teaching  in which   teachers   monitor,   evaluate   and   revise   their   own   practice continuously . Stenhouse (1975) points out that teachers should act as  researchers  of  their  own  practice  and  should  develop  the  curriculum though practical enquiry , teachers are principally expected to plan, make provision and act . Reflective teachers also need to monitor , observe and collect data on their own and learners interactions , action and feelings. This evidence then need to be critically analysed   and evaluated so that it can  be  shared  ,  judgments  made  and  decisions  ,  finally  this  may  lead  to the  teacher  to  revise  his  or  her  classroom  policies,  plans  and  provision before beginning the process again . It is dynamic process which is intend to  lead  through  successive  cycles  towards  higher  quality  standards  of teaching.

 

Gathering and Evaluating

 

Evidence Pollard (2008: 18) states that reflective teaching requires competence in methods  of  evidence –based  classroom  which  are  the  four  skills; reviewing  relevant,  existing  research  ,  gathering  new  evidence  and analysis and evaluation , each of which contributes to the cyclical process of reflection to support the progressive development of higher standard of teaching .

 

  • Reviewing relevant, existing Research

This means to learn as much as possible from other like teachers or from professional researchers .

  • Gathering new Evidence

It is concerned with gathering data , describing situations, processes ,  reasons  and  effects  with  care  and  accuracy  .

  • Analytical skills

These  skills  are  needed  to  address  the  process  of    how  to  interpret descriptive  data  such  facts  not  meaningful  unless  they  are  placed  in  a frame  work  that  enable  a  reflective  teacher  to  relate  then  one  with  other and to start to theorize about them.

  • Evaluative skills

Evaluative   skills   are   involved   in   making   judgment   about   the education   consequences   of   the   results   of   the   practical   enquiry   . Evaluation    ,  in  the  light of  aims,  values  and  the  experience  of  others enable  the  results  of  enquiry  to  be  applied  to  future  policy  and  practice

 

Attitudes towards Teaching

 Reflective Teaching requires attitude of open-mindedness, responsibility and whole heartedness.

  • Open-mindedness
  • Intellectual Responsibility
  • Whole Heartedness

 

Teacher Judgment

 Reflecting  Teaching  is  based  on  teacher  judgment  ,  informed  by evidence –based  enquiry  and  insights  from  other  research.  Teacher’s knowledge has often been criticized (Pollard , 2008 : 21 ).

 

Learning with colleagues, Reflective Teaching , Professional Learning and Personal Fulfillment are  enhanced  through  collaboration  and  dialogue  with  colleagues,  the value engaging in reflective activity is almost always enhanced if it can be carried  out   in   association   with   other   colleagues.

 

Collaboration   reflective discussion  capitalizes  on  the  social  nature  of  learning  ,  this  is  as signification for individual and it works through many of the same basic process aims are thus clarified, experiences are shared , language and concept  for  analysing  practice  are  refined ,  the  personal  insecurities  of innovation are reduced. More over  openness  ,  activity  and  discussion  gradually weave the values and self of individuals in to the culture and mission of the  course.  This can be  both  personally fulfilling  and  educationally effective ( Vygotsky , 1978)

 

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