Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Student Model Of Learning

Understanding how students learn is an important task educators must comprehend and be aware of. Once an educator has identified and recognized a student’s ability to learn, they are more likely to use the resources at their disposal to increase a student’s awareness of a subject and enhance student achievement.

As educators, it is our responsibility to recognize and be aware of student learning. This can be accomplished through multiple strategies and methods being implemented. But, the implementation of those methods and strategies will only work once a student model of learning has been identified. This initial step takes into consideration the various learning styles and intelligences used by students to learn new material.

One of the most easily recognized models is Thinking, Recognizing, and Doing. This model identifies the initial step to student learning as the Thinking step. If a student does not first think about the material presented to them they will never learn it. Many teachers never comprehended what actually takes place during the thinking process, but always desire to get their students to think. It is imperative to understand that thinking is not enough, but work must be relevant to students.

Once a student is thinking about the subject matter, the next step in the process is Recognition. The use of recognition can be carried out in a number of different ways, such as; Looking for inaccuracies, finding a pattern, combining two or more concepts or ideas that share similarities. These are some examples just to name a few. Through Recognition a student is stimulating their thinking to a point where understanding can take place. This concept is often referred to as Retrieval when discussing the Cognitive System.

The third aspect of this model is Doing. By Doing a student is asked to perform or demonstrate their understanding and recognition. Doing could be a simple task such a labeling, or be a more complex task such as creating a graphic organizer or diagram. By Doing a student would demonstrate whether or not the learning process was a success. Development is facilitated by experience and procedural practice, and Doing allows this to occur.

This learning model is beneficial because it considers and honors student diversity through the use of the various forms of doing that can be implemented. The tasks that students are required to perform in the doing phase of learning can easily adapt to meet the needs of the multiple intelligence theories of learning.

Your thoughts?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Personal Teacher Assessment

An overwhelming majority of educators today have the desire to be effective in their classroom. They would, if asked, demonstrate willingness and longing to help students reach objectives and become academically proficient. It should be the desire of a teacher for all students to not only learn while in my classroom, but to become life-long learners as well. In order to accomplish this task teachers must be able recognize what effective teaching is and understand their role as an effective teacher and how it relates to student achievement.

An effective teacher has a greater impact on student learning than a school does. Educators must acknowledge two key tools in the teaching profession that can assist any teacher in becoming effective. Those two tools are time and energy. Furthermore there are four key areas that, when mastered, will enable any teacher to become effective. The four areas necessary to become effective are, Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management, Classroom Curriculum Design, and the Use of Assessment as a feedback tool.

By taking time to evaluate teachers in each of these four categories we should easily see how effective a particular teacher is, and identify where an educator is lacking in terms of professional development, growth, and effectiveness.

One tool to assist teachers in personal identification and growth is a simple self-assessment survey, like the one below. This is a generic listing of questions that challenges teachers to reflect and ponder their instruction, assessment, and curriculum implementation and perform the hardest evaluation of all, personal evaluation.

Please take the survey below and ponder the assessment implemented in your classroom.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

True Teacher Evaluation

Educators are often the first to be blamed for the downward spiral of student failure. Often the initial criticism that is offered by the public usually references how a teacher teaches. I submit that this is the symptomatic issue of a more destructive and underlying disease. The focus ought first to be on the reasons why they teach, then proceed to inspect the aspects of how they teach.
Consider why an educator enters the teaching profession. If you were to conduct a survey of teachers, I have found that an overwhelming majority will respond in one of three ways.

The first response is they become educators for the benefit of themselves. They enjoy the educator life. They feel entitled by the prestigious positions they hold. They are so enamored with their degree and have a sense of entitlement as to what that degree represents and stands for that they are disconnected from the student body and fail to see the team effort necessary for achievement.

The second response would focus on the fact that they teach for students. These people become so emotionally drawn into student conflict and difficulty that they neglect their duty and responsibility as an educator. They as constantly trying to solve problems, change individuals, and improve the self-worth of students. They are unaware that they do very little to help students see the actual problems the students create for themselves. The students are misled into thinking that failure is not their fault, but the system has failed them. This leads to student outcries and aggression towards all aspects of the district and can become a dangerous and unsafe problem for all.

The final response received would spotlight service, and those who feel teaching is a calling not a job. These are the people who are the risk takers, the cutting edge educators willing to make a difference in the lives of students by instructing them in both content and life. These people allow students to realize that they need to become self-monitoring, self-motivating, and self-modifying if they truly expect to succeed in all walks of life. Only be realizing that all aspects of life affect each other are students going to truly learn and achieve. These educators have a huge impact on the outlook and atmosphere of the school campus. This is the type of educating that is necessary through the school environment to promote student develop and student growth.

It can be very difficult for educators to meld practical strategies with a desire to learn. By anticipating challenges, recognizing problems, and being aware of practical solutions, a new teaching culture can overcome the obstacles that the present society has created.