Friday, December 18, 2009

Good Teacher Skills and lecture method

All students have had hundreds of teachers in their lifetimes. They remember only a few teachers as being exceptionally good. Every teacher teaches in a patterned way. Few teachers are aware of the patterns implicit in their teaching. Teaching is a set of means. Telling is not teaching. Learning is the end-goal of teaching. Learning involves three steps like acquisition of information, its retention and the ability of learners to retrieve the knowledge when needed. Learners are meaning – makers. A quality teaching establishes a positive learning environment. It motivates student engagement. It provides appropriate challenges and is responsive to student’s learning needs. A good teacher is fair in evaluating student’s learning.
There is no single, all-purpose best method of teaching. Teaching is an individualistic pattern. The teacher has to adjust his/her teaching decisions to suit the subject matter, available resources, student’s motivation levels and his/her own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Basically education is viewed as a process, which inputs learners with certain knowledge, attitudes, values and skills.

"Core qualities" of a good teacher

Knowledge - the first prerequisite quality of a good teacher is knowledge of the subject. A teacher must be an expert in his field if he is going to be a good teacher. Teachers need both teaching skill and subject mastery.
Communication-the second core quality of a good teacher is the ability to communicate their knowledge and expertise to their students. There is a saying, "Give me a fish and I eat for a day, teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime”.
Interest - A good teacher builds knowledge of the subject, with a clarity and understanding. Best teachers make the class interesting and relevant to the students. Good teachers work hard to make their material relevant.
Respect - Good teachers have a deep-seated concern and respect for the students in the classroom.

Learning and Teaching

Learning is a change in the way an individual thinks, acts and feels. Learning takes place through experiences involving people, things and events and the response to these.

Methods of Learning

The individual learns through the five senses – hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste and combinations of these – in involvement-oriented experiences.

Methods of Teaching

The method of teaching selected must be interesting to the learner.
The methods can be tied to the methods of learning – listening, seeing and doing.
Listening involves the hearing of something (use of only one of the senses). Since hearing accounts only 13 percent of learning, this is the least effective method used alone.
Seeing involves the eyes in observing new information. It is estimated that 75 percent of learning is derived from the eyes. Examples of teaching techniques include illustrated talks, demonstrations, tours, field trips and exhibits
Listening and seeing - when the young people see and hear new material, they will retain approximately 50 percent. Observing demonstrations, seeing movies, participating in tours, etc., are all ways Learners can see and hear.
Doing involves the total individual in the learning process or experience. By the involvement of the learner, maximum learning occurs. Examples of teaching techniques include work sessions or workshops, judging and role-playing,
Saying and Doing - when learners are actively involved in saying and doing, they will retain approximately 90 percent of the material. Most people learn best by actually “doing.” Provide opportunities for the learners to practice and explore what they have learned. They might plan and present a demonstration or teach younger members.

Lecture method

Strengths: lecture presents factual material in direct, logical manner. Lecture contains experience which inspires. It stimulates thinking to open discussion. Lecture is useful for large groups
Limitations: experts are not always good teachers; audience is passive; learning is difficult to gauge; communication is one way.
Preparation: lecture needs clear introduction and summary. It needs time and content limit to be effective. It should include examples, anecdotes.
Attention - The instructor may begin by telling a story, making an unexpected or surprising statement, asking a question, or telling a joke. The main concern is to gain the attention of everyone and concentrate on the subject.
Motivation -The purpose of the motivation element is to offer the student’s specific reasons why the lesson content is important to know, understand, apply, or perform. This motivation should appeal to each student personally and engender a desire to learn the material.
Overview - a clear, concise presentation of the objective and the key ideas gives the students a road map of the route to be followed. A good visual aid can help the students the path that they are to travel. The introduction should avoid stories, jokes, or incidents. Also, the instructor should avoid a long introduction.
Development is the main part of the lesson. The teacher must logically organize the teaching material to show the relationships of the main points. The teacher can proceed by developing the main points in one of the following ways:
1. From past to present- the subject matter is arranged chronologically, from the present to the past or from the past to the present.
2. Simple to complex- The student will find it easier to master simple concepts first and then apply these concepts to more complex ones.
3. Known to unknown - Learning moves faster when it builds on what the student already knows. Teaching that begins by comparing the old, known information and the new, unknown, one allows the student to grasp new information more quickly.
4. And most frequently used to least frequently use.
Accommodate learning style of students – Teaching should be according to the learning style preference. Visual learners gain knowledge best by seeing or reading; auditory learners, by listening; and tactile or psychomotor learners, by doing.
Sort goals by learning domain - A teacher can combine the knowledge of the student's preferred learning style with the knowledge of LEARNING DOMAINS. Learning behaviors fall in three domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. The cognitive domain deals with intellectual abilities. The psychomotor domain includes physical or motor skills.The affective domain involves expression of feeling about attitudes, interests, and values. Most learning involves all three domains.
Make material meaningful - Another way to facilitate learning is to relate material to the student's lifestyle and to recognize incompatibilities. The more meaningful material is to a student, the quicker and easier it will be learned.
Allow immediate application of knowledge – the students are given the opportunity to apply his or her new knowledge and skills reinforce learning and builds confidence. This immediate application translates learning to the "real world" and provides an opportunity for problem solving, feedback, and emotional support.
Plan for periodic rests - When your instructions are especially complex or lengthy, your students may feel overwhelmed and appear unreceptive to your teaching. Be sure to recognize these signs of mental fatigue and allow the students to relax.
Tell your students how they are progressing - Learning is made easier when the students are aware of their progress. Positive feedback can motivate them to greater effort because it makes their goal seem attainable.
Reward desired learning with praise- Praising desired learning outcomes improves student’s retention of the material. Reassuring them that they have learned the desired material or technique can help them retain and refine it.

Types of lectures

Illustrated talk : the speaker relies heavily on visual aids to convey ideas to the listeners.
Briefing: the speaker presents a concise array of facts to the listeners who normally do not expect elaboration of supporting material.
Formal lecture: the speaker's purpose is to inform, to persuade, or to entertain with little or no verbal participation by the students.
Teaching lecture: the instructor plans and delivers an oral presentation in a manner that allows some participation by the students and helps direct them toward the desired learning outcomes.
Preparing the Teaching Lecture - Careful preparation is one key to successful performance as a classroom lecturer. This preparation should start well in advance of the presentation.
The following four steps should be followed in the planning phase of preparation:
1. Establishing the objective and desired outcomes;
2. Researching the subject;
3. Organizing the material; and
4. Planning productive classroom activities.

Advantages of the Lecture

 In a lecture, the instructor can present many ideas in a relatively short time. Facts and ideas that have been logically organized can be concisely presented in rapid sequence. Lecturing is unquestionably the most economical of all teaching methods in terms of the time required to present a given amount of material. The lecture is particularly suitable for introducing a new subject and for explaining the necessary back- ground information.

Disadvantages of the Lecture

 the lecture inhibit student participation. Learning is an active process, and the lecture method tends to foster passiveness and teacher-dependence on the part of the students. As a teaching method, the lecture does not bring about maximum attainment of certain types of learning outcomes. Motor skills, for example, can seldom be learned by listening to a lecture.

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