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Produce an analysis and evaluation of different teaching and learning strategies, which you have used during the first block experience to teach a unit of work in your main subject.

Extracts from this document...


INTRODUCTION The challenge had been set. After only six weeks of coaxing and cajoling in the disguise of guidance, tutors and mentors directed their students to "go forth and teach". Who me? I asked myself. Surely I'm not ready yet, do I have sufficient knowledge to undertake this role reversal? How would I adapt to the huge array of skills required to teach? Yet this was the challenge faced by all trainee teachers. For those of us teaching science there was the additional task of devising lessons that capture both the imagination and intellect of pupils, who were in a setting where the image of school science was increasingly perceived to be dull or abstract. The multi faceted nature of the task was reinforced by the observations of lessons being taught in the classroom. It was here that it was most apparent that teachers have to manage complicated and demanding situations, channelling the many social and personnel pressures faced by young people in order to help them learn now and to become better learners in the future. The skills and strategies needed to address this task were clearly varied and numerous. An attempt to categorise the required teaching skills was made by Kyriacou (1998) who distinguished "decision making skills" and "action skills". In essence this distinction identifies the ability of making decisions about your own teaching and then the skills required for the successful execution of those decisions in the classroom. With this categorisation in mind when I address the teaching strategies that I have employed I will concentrate on the decisions that I made in preparation for teaching. These decisions involved establishing who and what I was teaching and then going on to address how I was going to teach the subject matter. When discussing learning strategies I will in essence be relating the skills I used to carry out these decisions in the classroom. ...read more.


Even if it did, how would I know? These were all issues that had to be addressed with appropriate learning strategies. Classroom control is a subject that concerns all teachers and one that is a source of great apprehension and anxiety for trainee teachers. There is a range of viewpoints regarding what constitutes classroom management. Capel et al (1997) provides a simple and clear definition stating that it "refers to the arrangement made by the teacher to establish and maintain an environment in which learning can occur, e.g. effective organisation and presentation of lessons so that pupils are actively engaged in learning". What this simple definition hides in my experience is that management in control is a multi faceted area encompassing all aspect of life in schools. The Elton report on discipline in schools (1989) suggests that a whole school policy was vital for effective discipline ensuring consistency of vision and practice. In the school that I was at systems of incentives, sanctions and support was made very clear to prior to teaching. I felt the system was geared towards what Wragg (1981) categorises as a policy based around behaviour modification which stresses the role of reward and punishment in the control of behaviour. During my own teaching I was very aware of the nature of the classroom environment that I was trying to establish. The best kind of classroom climate in terms of facilitating pupil learning has been described as one which is "purposeful, task-orientated, relaxed, warm, supportive and has a sense of order (Kyriacou 1998). Perhaps my main concern initially was with classroom control and maintaining a sense of order, which I initially thought was solely based on how I maintained discipline through dealing with pupil misbehaviour. There was a strong emphasis during my first few lessons on establishing authority and laying down rules, expectations and routines for behaviour. These were all elements, which Brophy (1985) ...read more.


CONCLUSIONS The idea of teachers as reflective practitioners and professionals capable of learning from their positive and negative experiences is a valuable asset that can serve to aid professional growth and progress. These questions should then be continuously asked, have I been an effective teacher? Have I used the most appropriate teaching and learning strategies? Kyriacou (1997) defines effective teaching as "that which successfully achieves the learning by pupils intended by the teacher". In relation to this definition the answer that is closest to the reality of my initial experience is that there were both lessons that illustrated effective teaching and ones which did not. Those instances that were successful were characterised by appropriate use of a range of varied teaching and learning strategies. Those lessons, which were not so effective, were characterised by ill appropriate use or even lack of clear strategies. In terms of teaching strategies effective lessons were based upon careful consideration of what were to be learning outcomes and ensuring that the selection of activities would facilitate these outcomes. Furthermore lessons where I had addressed the issue of individual needs within the mixed range of abilities in the group, through the use of differentiation, were far more successful then lessons where I had not. In terms of learning strategies, when I had consistently applied rules and expectations, and used an array of monitoring techniques within the classroom I was able to create and maintain an environment that promoted learning. The greater the amount of time and thought that went into promoting different styles of learning in the classroom coupled with regular and positive forms of feedback and assessment all combined to result in a productive and fulfilling learning experience for both myself and my pupils. APPENDIX CONTENTS * School Scheme of Work * My scheme for unit of work * Lesson plan: Expansion and contraction * Lesson plan: Transport of heat through matter * What's happening to the particles... ...read more.

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