EDU 6526- Session 10

EDU 6526 Strategies

Session 10- Making Discomfort Productive & Equity

How can a learner be made comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time?

The idea of being uncomfortable and comfortable at the same time seems slightly confusing and paradoxical, however, it is exactly what a classroom should offer a learner at times; to enable the learner to grow and expand their ideology.  “… [R]eal growth often requires us to make our learners uncomfortable, and we have to help them deal with unfamiliar situations that we must create for them.” (p. 392).  One way to do this is to present the learner with an uncomfortable situation in a comfortable environment.  First, the classroom must be set up to appreciate and accept the individuality and diversity of each thinker/learner.  There must be trust between the teacher and the learner as well as amongst the students in the learning community. As teachers we must encourage learners to overcome a certain level of fear to order to learn to think critically.  “To grow, learners have to acknowledge discomfort and set tasks to help break the barriers of fear.” (p. 393).  Secondly, learners, when given the choice may take the path of least resistance, but to truly develop their cognitive skills they must be challenged to explore their discomfort.  “If the comfort of any given level of development is not challenged, the learner may happily forgo the important leaps in cognitive structure.” (p.393). If teachers do not challenge learners, do leaners miss the point?  Learners, if not challenged can become comfortable with their knowledge.  It is important then as teachers to encourage learners to question knowledge and information, critically, so that our students may form opinions that relate to their individuality.  There is a caution, though, not to push the learner too hard, students should be “…challenged but not overwhelmed.” (p. 394).  Lastly, it is paramount for the teacher to be flexible while learners work through their discomfort and ultimate discovery.   By challenging learners to expand their minds and open their hearts to accept the individuality of his or her peers, original discomfort becomes a comfortable process of discovery.

How can you minimize inequity in your own classroom?

As noted in the previous question, environment is a very important aspect for allowing every student to feel a sense of comfort in a classroom.  I hope to build a classroom environment that is respectful, honest, and  accepting of each individual student’s skills, feelings, personality, ideology, and uniqueness regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, SES… etc.  I plan to set the tone of my teaching and classroom atmosphere by:  establishing clear expectations of classroom environment and student’s behavior, through continuous modeling of appropriate and acceptable behavior, and laying the foundation for all future class meetings.  I hope to develop an environment where the class is able to openly discuss opportunities, challenges and positive behaviors.  Additionally, by incorporating a variety of strategies in the classroom I hope to reach students on a diverse academic educational field.  “Models of teaching are blind to color, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.  The social system is not, but must be made so within the province of our education system.” (p. 419).

What can be done in your classroom to reduce the effects of poverty on academic achievement?

To reduce the effect of poverty on academic achievement in a classroom, it must first be understood that low SES does not equate to low academic achievement or ability.  “[T]he condition of low achievement has existed so long that the children of poverty are stereotyped as inherently poor learners.  And the students tend to stereotype themselves and generate self-handicapping syndromes; essentially, they may give up the fight.” (p. 410).  I hope to positively acknowledge at a young age (elementary level) the unique and promising characteristics in every learner no matter what his or her SES may be.  I will first learn about the students both socially and academically, and not prescribing to the idea that curriculum needs to be made easier or less rigorous as a way to address a student from a low SES environment.  Quite the contrary I plan to use, “…challenging instructional strategies to improve the learning capacity…”(p.410) for each and every one of my students.  I realize that this is no small feat.  This type of classroom takes effort on the part of both teacher and the learners. It is through continued education, battling ignorance and building of knowledge for all those involved in a learner’s world that a reduction of the effects of poverty on academics can be seen.  Again, as I have suggested in the previous questions, environment is the key.  Establishing an environment that allows for social, emotional, and academic growth while nurturing the individual learners talents, skills, and challenges, that is what I feel would be the idea environment for all learners no matter what their SES.



Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon


EDU 6526 Instructional Strategies

EDU 6526-Instructional Strategies

Direct Instruction and Simulations

In what ways can teachers provide feedback?

Teachers can provide feedback in many constructive ways to help students with content acquisition and provide assessment for understanding a concept. One of the most important feedback tools is through questioning the students.   “Effective teachers ask more questions that check the student understanding than less effective teachers (Rosenshine, 1985).” (p. 370).  By questioning the students, teachers are able to provide immediate and clarifying feedback as a preparation to a lesson.  Proactive teachers are successful at promptly responding to student’s feedback in a positive manner, clarifying any immediate misconceptions and probing for additional information.  An effective teacher does this during structured practice to help students understand what background knowledge they already have, introduction of a new concept and the connections between the two.  “To be effective feedback must be academic, corrective, respectful and deserved.” (p. 371).  Since, “…students spend between 50 and 75 percent of their time working alone on tasks (Rosenshire, 1985)”, it is imperative that they have a thorough understanding of expectations.  This is provided through teacher’s direct and constructive questioning methods and positive feedback.

Discuss qualities of an effective teacher under the direct instruction model.

The direct instruction model consists of five steps: “orientation, presentation, structured practice, guided practice, and independent practice.” (p. 372).  The effective teacher must, first and foremost, be well prepared.  In the first step the effective teacher must lay the foundation and framework for what is expected from the lesson. In building the foundation and frame work for a lesson the effective teacher shares expectations,  provides examples of how the lesson relates to prior knowledge or life experience, develops a structure of how the lesson is going to flow, and presents responsibilities of both student and teacher.   The second step is the introduction of the new material or concept.  In this step demonstrations are vital to providing support for knowledge acquisition.  It is important to provide, “…information both orally and visually so that the students will have the visual representation as a reference in the early stages of learning.” (p. 373).  The third step involves the teacher leading the student through practice.  By guiding the students the teacher is able to apply knowledge correctly and model the application appropriately.  This allows the students to see and participate in the task correctly with the teachers guidance. In fourth step the teacher pulls back to observe as the student practice on their own.  The teacher is available to support but is not directly involved.  This step provides the students and opportunity to practice in a supported environment.  Lastly, the fifth step has the student practicing on their own without the help of the teacher.  This is often through a homework-type of assignment or through an assessment-type assignment that can be evaluated and feedback offered in a timely manner.  To be truly effective the teacher must follow these guidelines to ensure the students ability to process information and practice on their own.  There should be follow up lessons periodically (more frequent at first) that revisit concepts attained to ensure maximum retention of information.  The teacher must play a positive role in delivery and constructive feedback in order to keep the momentum and motivation up in the classroom.  Direct instruction is designed to “…generate and sustain motivation through pacing and reinforcement. Through success and positive feedback, it tries to enhance self-esteem.” (p. 374)

Describe a unique instructional scenario that involves simulation.

Simulation is the use of situation to create a “believable/real” environment to explore deeper the events or actions dealing with a given situation.  There are various ways in which simulation can be presented in a classroom.  For example simulation can occur through technology to explore driving in a driver’s education class or science class to explore geysers like in this game.  It could be used to design buildings in an architecture class or create a garden for horticulture.  Simulation can also be explored through role play.  For example in a third grade class I visited they were learning about the NW Coast Indians.  The teacher broke the students up into groups of 4 and made each group member play a role: an elder, mother or aunt, father or uncle, and child.  They all had to move their desks together to “be like” a clan-family and each group member then had to come up with names based on the naming style of the NW Coast Indians.  Then they had to design and build a model of a longhouse together as a class and individual houses for their clan-families based on pictures and stories they had been studying.   This was a fantastic way to have the student simulate what they were studying through role play and modeling of behavior, lifestyle and customs.  In simulation practices the teacher has a very important role, “… raising the students’ consciousness about concepts and principles underpinning the simulations and their own reactions.”  The teacher is responsible for four roles during simulation: “explaining, refereeing, coaching, and discussing.” (p. 383).  Throughout this NW Coast Indians simulation the teacher exemplified each of these four qualities while allowing the students to explore naturally.


Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

EDU 6526- Session 8

EDU 6526- Session 8

How is cooperative learning different from traditional group work?  What strategies could you use to promote equal division of labor in a structured group setting?

Cooperative learning is different from traditional group work in that it typically involves 4 or less students and each student has a specific role. Cooperative learning additionally supports the concept development of learning together both academically and socially.  Cooperative learning must be a skill attained before traditional group work can be truly effective.   Traditional group work offers less specific division of labor and there are usually 5+ students in the group.

In cooperative learning dyads, triads, and groups of 4 are assigned specific roles or areas of focus in a given topic.  This can be done in many ways: assigning numbers, dividing labor, equally dividing information to be investigated… etc. “The underlying rationale is that dividing labor increases group cohesion as the team works to learn information or skills while ensuring that all members have both responsibility for learning and an important role in the group.” (p. 272). Although, the work load is divided, each individual is responsible for mastering his or her  part in order to then educate the rest of the group.  Through this sharing of mastered knowledge each student becomes equally knowledgeable about the subject as a whole. A great example that follows this cooperative learning method is Jigsaw.  With Jigsaw the students divide and conquer material individually then report back to educate the group.  “The combination of social support and the increase in cognitive complexity caused by the social interaction have mild but rapid effects on the learning content of the skills.” (p.270).

Once cooperative group work is mastered the ability to work effectively in a larger more traditional group is more likely to be successful.  Traditional group work has less specific division of labor with the end result being the goal.  Each individual might be given a particular unit to master but they are not responsible for educating the others with this same mastery.  For example, in a social studies class a group of 6 students must study the 1950s through four categories: politics, fashion, music, family life.  The end goal is to apply their individual knowledge as a group to the class in a presentation about the 1950s.  Each student would take one of the categories to master with the remaining 2 students in charge of the introduction and conclusion.  The members of this group would be responsible for mastering only their individual part.  This demonstrates the individuality that is more apparent in traditional group work as contrasted to the social sharing and supportive nature of cooperative learning.  However, it must be acknowledged that without successful acquisition of skills necessary to participate in cooperative group work the traditional group work model would be significantly less successful.

How is group investigation and inquiry based in constructivism?

Group investigation, inquiry based methods, and constructivism each allows students to investigate and develop concepts of their own through the scaffolding guidance of the teacher.  Through these investigations a democratic process of thinking begins to emerge.  The students search for answers, develop theories, and apply this gained knowledge to previously acquired knowledge and experiences thus making this process very personal.  “…knowledge is not conveyed to us merely through our sensory interactions with our environment, but that we must operate on experience to produce knowledge.  As a result, knowledge has a personal quality and is unique for each individual.” (p. 277).  Each method (group, inquiry based, and constructivism investigation) offer slightly different paths to the end goal but similarities in the steps along the way. Through these inherent similarities: examination of a subject/problem, exploration, developing theories, analyzing theories, hypothesizing, reflecting, and concluding,  it is easy to see the  connections between the three methods.



Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

EDU 6526 Session 7

EDU 6526 Session 7

Describe a memorization technique that you have used or will use with your students.

Mrs. Wiley, my 2nd grade teacher, was a brilliant woman.  She used the mnemonic technique of song every day and often multiple times throughout the day.  One example of this is when we were learning our 3 and 4 times tables.  She had a song that we would sing for each of these.  We would sing it as we moved into the class in the morning.  We would sing it as we moved from activity to activity and we would always sing it when we were focusing on a math lesson.  To this day I still remember this song.  I use it often and have even taught it to my daughters who I hear singing it as they complete their homework.  In John Medinas book Brain Rules he examines the importance of repetition to remember.  This example of song provides the support that repetition when linked with an additional association provides for better memory retention. It was fun, it was easy (once the concept was attained), it didn’t single any one person out and it supported those who may have struggled with this concept if left on their own.  It gave us 2nd graders a tool to use to remember and it worked!  In chapter 9 of our textbook this week we explored mnemonics to assist in memorization.  By linking an additional sense to memorization activities, whether it is, hearing seeing, touching, smelling or tasting, we as teachers “…provide a richer mental context, and the linking process increases the cognitive activity. The combination of the activity and associations provides better “anchors” within our information processing.”  (p. 196).  Mrs. Wiley proved this idea beautifully by anchoring math facts to a song.  In this simple tune the ease of recalling math facts has been forever ingrained in my mind.

How does textbook organization help and/or hinder the concept of development?

Like all the strategies textbook organization is just one of the many tools that we should have in our teacher toolbox.  Textbook organization can be used to teach concept very successfully however, if used for every lesson the student (and the teacher) might become bored and easily distracted.  We can explore textbook organization through the strategy of advanced organizers.  Here the teacher lets the student “in” on the concepts they will be learning and what the end goals are for learning those concepts.  This seems like such a simple concept yet it is often overlooked in teaching practices.  David Ausubel is quoted as saying, “So why not provide the scaffold (of ideas) at the beginning (of the course)? Let the student in on the secret of the structure, including and understanding of how it continually emerges through further inquiry, so that the mind can be active as the course progresses.” (p. 247).  If used correctly textbook organization can be helpful in teaching new information while recalling, reflecting, and building upon already established student knowledge.  If approached through 3 stages; presentation of concepts and goals to be acquired, new information to compare and/or build upon old knowledge, and active reflection about the new and the old knowledge, textbook organization through advance organizers offers a very organized way to teach a lesson.

How might reflection play a role in the information processing family of models?

Reflection is key to information processing for the student, “…the learner must actively reflect upon the new material, think through these linkages, reconcile differences or discrepancies, and note similarities with existing information. “ (p. 252).  Reflection helps the teacher apply progressive differentiation and integrative reconciliation.  Progressive differentiation is presenting the most simple ideas or goals of the lesson.  Integrative reconciliation is relating these new ideas by reflecting upon older knowledge already attained.  By using both the teacher and student are able to build a strong foundation and scaffold ideas to support new information.

EDU 6526 Session 5

EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies

How could the PWIM be used with different grade levels and/or subject areas?

I think the applications for the PWIM could be vast.  “The picture-word inductive model is a very interesting addition and is unusual for the breadth of its grounding and width of its applications.” (p. 129)  Simply stated the PWIM looks to be a very versatile tool for teachers.  I believe PWIM could be applicable in many subjects and on many levels; Literacy development, Social Studies, Science, Literature, Geography, English, Art, and more.  PWIM seems to stretch the boundaries of a traditional lesson into discovery through exploring of word, background knowledge, and the sharing of ideas from the perspectives of both the teacher and students.

The grounding is in research in the field of literacy- how students develop literacy in general (particularly how they learn to read and write), and literacy in all curriculum areas, as well as cognitive development.  The development of metacognitive control is central- learning how to learn is built in the process. (p. 129)

I will illustrate the idea that the PWIM could be used on a grades higher than K-2 for not only literacy development but knowledge acquisition. Although most 5th graders have the literacy skills set to write independently, it could be used to introduce a new theme for Social Studies.  For example a lesson on Civil Rights could be enhanced by the PWIM.  By starting off the lesson showing the 5th graders a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. the teacher could guide the students through a process of first discovering words/vocabulary that they associate with this image.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The teacher could select a one or two kids to write on the board the words as the other students call them out: podium, African American, Martin Luther King Jr., people, microphone, freedom, justice, passion, compassion, anger, leadership, etc.  In the 5th grade it is possible that some students already have knowledge about the Civil rights movement and the role that Martin Luther King Jr. played in it.  However, some students may have little or no knowledge about the subject. This introduction could encourage a line of questioning or a discussion that would lead to knowledge acquisition about the subject for all students.  The PWIM could also be a great way for a teacher to gauge what the class knows (like a pre-test), introduce new vocabulary, and to open up the path to studying a new topic.  The students could then write a short essay about Civil Rights using the vocabulary and the themes introduced by the teacher and the class. Alternately, the teacher might introduce the image first, as a way of “jogging” memories, asking the students to journal independently about what they know/think about the image.  Then they could share their ideas, thoughts, and vocabulary they wrote down based their previous knowledge of the subject.  Then a discussion would follow where new vocabulary is introduced while students share their knowledge with one another. The teacher then has the opportunity to introduce new ideas, themes, and knowledge to the class.  This model would probably move at a faster pace in a older class and there would be some freedom in the steps that needed to be followed.  With the younger age the steps would be a very important process to stick to.   Overall, I think that the PWIM could be a very creative and valuable tool for all grades and all level students.

Why is the PWIM particularly successful for students of low SES, ELL students and learning disabled students?

The PWIM encourages all students by prompting their previous knowledge through visual cues.  It is a great way to tease out what students already know and offer them a visual tool to refer back to for clarification.  It allows the student to search and find the words that are being taught to them.  For ELL and learning disabled students this would be particularly helpful for hearing and speaking the language. With the PWIM “…children learn to listen and speak the languages spoken to them in a most natural way.” (p. 129)  When used for any student, the repetitive nature of this long and dedicated process becomes the tool that makes the PWIM successful.  The “natural” consequence of the PWIM is that the students “…connect[ing] the items they identified to words already in their naturally-developed listening/speaking vocabularies.” (p.131)  Thus the SES, ELL, and the learning disable students bring their individual knowledge and vocabulary to the lesson while acquiring additional vocabulary and knowledge from their fellow classmates.  They are then encouraged and supported by visual tools to transform the connections from listening/speaking to reading/writing the vocabulary.  In the study offered at the end of the chapter in our text the end result were as follows:

The student achievement for the entire population of kindergarten students rose with the implementation of the formal and more robust curriculum in literacy, it appears that the subpopulations (SES, ELL, learning disabilities) benefitted simultaneously.

Mild to moderate learning disabilities appear to be diminishing.

SES did not inhibit growth.  (p.155)

I think that this shows how impressive a tool the PWIM model can be in ANY classroom.

Describe an instructional scenario that utilizes inquiry training in a subject other that science.

I can remember a time when my daughter was in a cooperative preschool that focused many of the lessons on inquiry based training for subjects other than science.  One such lesson, both my daughter and I remember fondly, was based on teaching the children about exercise by way of developing a “mock Olympics”.  The real Olympics were currently taking place and thus it was the hot topic of conversation between the children during daily sharing. The teacher recognized the student’s interest and developed a lesson, about the importance of exercise, around this interest.  The children were eager and open to this idea as they had proven through their own inquiries.  The teacher, who I will call Mrs. E., introduced the concept of the importance of exercise by asking what the children knew about the Olympics. They then shared their knowledge and thoughts about events and what they had seen on T.V.   Mrs. E. told the children that they would be having a mock “Olympics” and asked the children to come up with different events that they would like to have in their “Olympics”.  The children brainstormed and came to a consensus of what events they would like to have: running races, relay races, weight lifting, and an obstacle course.  For the next two weeks the children explored through training: running around the playground, doing mild exercises, playing in relay races, lifting “weights” (made out of cardboard), jumping over hoops crawling under bridges and walking on balance beams, etc.  All the while Mrs. E. would guide them in a certain direction so as to improve their understanding of their bodies in motion.  For example the kids would run then stop and take their pulse by laying down still and feeling their heart in their chest.  By Mrs. E. asking open ended questions, “Explain what your heart is doing, what it feels like in your chest? Does anyone have guess why it speeds up? Why is it different when we rest?”  The children would examine how their bodies were feeling and share their findings.  The students would call out, “tired, energetic, ready to go on, too tired to move etc. and Mrs. E. would ask why?  Mrs. E. encouraged the ideas from the children as a parent volunteer became the journalist (wrote on a big board) and the children became scientists offering their theories. Mrs. E. helped the children develop processing skills that they were able to apply to future investigative studies.

The children eventually competed in their “Olympics” exploring the concepts, ideas and hypothesis they had developed.  Throughout this two week adventure in inquiry based learning Mrs. E. was able to develop her BIG IDEA, the importance of exercise, by way of the student’s interest (inquiry) in the Olympics.  She provided the children with an engaging and enriching learning experience by following their lead.  The students had the opportunity to investigate and explore ideas and develop their own understanding of exercise and its importance.  Additionally, the children came up with a t-shirt design for their team and in the end experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, all by exploring the “Olympics” through this inquiry based approach. And everyone won a medal is was pre-school after all.

On I found a wonderful example of an entire school devoted to inquiry based practices. Check out the link below.

5 year old inquiry based learning school.


Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies-Session 4

EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies

Session 4

Describe a unique instructional scenario that exemplifies inductive thinking.

Inductive thinking uses… “the process objectives (learning to build, test and categories) are combined with the content objectives (inquiring into and mastering important topics in the curriculum).” (p. 86)

“Best Guess”: Learning to Hypothesis

Present each child with a deck of 9 cards. Each of cards will have one symbol (triangle, circle, or square) and one pattern (stripe, outline or solid). For example a student will have 3 triangle cards: one with a striped triangle, one with a solid triangle, and one with and outline of a triangle. The same will follow for the square and the circle. I would then ask each of the students to put his or her cards in three groups of three, so the cards some way relate to one another. After they have done this, I would ask for an explanation of how and why they grouped them (stripes, solids, empty, shapes, all different) in the manner they chose. This would be conducted verbally or in written form.

Once several students have shared, I would encourage the class come up with a “best guess” or hypothesis about how many different combinations of three they can come up with using these nine cards; again, soliciting response verbally or having students write down their best guesses. I would then form pair-share or small groups with other students to try to have them make the number of combinations they hypothesized. Possible extensions could be pursued by asking additional questions: how many total combinations did your group make? Did any reoccurring patterns emerge? Did people in your group think about the possible connections differently/similarly? What would happen if your group had fewer/more cards to use? Do you think it might make a difference if you have even or odd number of cards? Why?

After each group has been given time with the cards, I would solicit responses to the posed questions.

Compare and contrast concept formation and concept attainment. Describe a unique instructional scenario that exemplifies concept attainment.

“Concept formation… requires the students to decide the basis on which they will build categories, concept attainment requires a student to figure out the attributes of a category that is already formed in another person’s mind by comparing and contrasting examples(called exemplars) that contain the characteristics (called attributes) of the concept with examples that do not contain those attributes. “ (p. 108)

By this definition we can explore the previous lesson of card grouping from the categories that the students have built themselves. For example if Johnny says that he put his card in to groups by shape you can ask them to demonstrate this with their cards at their desks. Thus Johnny would be exploring concept formation.

To explore concept attainment with the students introduce the larger deck of cards (with colors blue, red, green and the previous black and including all the shapes and patterns from before for each) and have them see if they can figure out what the common theme is as you show them cards that have “yes” or “no” attributes to your concept. For example hold up a red solid circle and say “yes”. Then hold up a blue striped circle and say “no”. Hold up a striped green solid circle and say “yes”. Hold up a green outlined circle and say “no”. Ask is there a pattern developing? Can anyone else give their best guess of another card that would fit into this category? This would go on till the students could figure out that the teacher was picking all the solid circle cards. Then challenge them to pair up with another student and try to see if they could guess what their partner’s pattern is. Then have each group see if they could come up with an example to present to the class. Have them write it down but not show or tell anyone and then present it to the class. Can anyone guess through the exemplars presented what the attribute is?

I think this style of teaching is one that I will easily gravitate towards.  I feel comfortable having kids hypothesize and explore concepts with nudging and guidance on my part.  But, as with any teaching model it must fit with the style that the teacher is comfortable with.

“…we encourage teachers to take the essence of this model and incorporate its features into their natural teaching styles and forms. In the case of concept attainment, it is relatively easy (and intellectually powerful) to incorporate Bruner’s ideas about the nature of concepts into presentations and assessment activities.” (p. 119)

Although it is, “relatively easy”, I expect this ease and comfort to develop over time with hard work and practice as I learn to apply the strategies of concept formation and attainment to my personal teaching style.



Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon


EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies

Session 2

1. How can Educational Research impact the teaching profession?

If I had to pick one word to answer this question I would say PROFOUNDLY. However, this all depends on many factors that all come into play when trying to find an answer to this question. For example, it depends on what your school and districts have opted to adopt as the curriculum standard and what research they use to support this. It depends on what sort of teacher you are and what kind of research you involve in the classroom. It depends on what sort of support you have in your school and what sort of research you subscribe to individually. The impact can be one of time consumption, considerable controversy, or simply the effort of sorting through all the studies to find the good from the bad and the ugly.
Joyce says, “An educator who can only teach advanced students is not a full teacher”. (p71) To only have the skills to teach one type of student is to not be a “full” teacher at all. Teachers must seek out additional knowledge to support the areas where they might be lacking in skills. Teachers we must be constantly changing and learning ourselves to improve the “mastery of our repertoire.” (p.71)

The point is not that every practitioner in every field needs to be able to do everything at a high level. It is that the capable generalist has a wide enough range to be able to handle the tasks of the vocation. That repertoire defines a skilled practitioner where different circumstances (in our case, different curriculums and students) need to be accommodated. (p.71)

Teachers have an obligation to explore research and be able to draw conclusions from this research that can support successful teaching. It is imperative to find relevant research and applicability to the adopted curriculum in individual schools. Joyce lists four types of relevant research that can be considered if executed well.
• Descriptive research, plain and simple.
• Descriptive research with correlations and multiple classifications.
• Intervention research in which students are “their own” controls-two types of quasi-experimental designs.
• Intervention designed to observe “experimental” conditions. Again, there are several types of control groups. (pp.41-42)
I think, as a teacher, I must have the comfort and ability to sift through this research, find relevance to the students and curriculum and embrace what is effective and well supported.

2. In what ways might you act as a “teacher-researcher”?

“…good teaching requires studying the students and how well they are learning.” (p.39) In other words to effectively teach, I believe, the classroom must be like a lab. As the teacher I must also assume the role of scientist (researcher) and the students my experiments. I saying that the teacher should perform experiments on students but quite the contrary; a teacher should be an active and involved partner with the students. The role of teacher –scientist then becomes one of impeccable observer in the development, and lack thereof, of skills acquired, understood, and applied. As the teacher, “You can increase student learning by selecting models of teaching that can pull student learning capacity to higher levels, and you can see the effects rather quickly-much faster than many folks would believe.” (p.43) As a future teacher I hope to have a consistent commitment to observation that will drive me to develop successful curriculum for each individual group of students.

3. How would you describe your own style (anticipated style) of teaching?

Although, I can guess at the style of teaching that I “think” I will adopt, I am sure that like anything this will change overtime and with each new lesson learned. Having said that, I think I will be a creative, warm and social teacher. I think I will try to involve student in projects that help them develop a sense of self by creatively exploring and looking at new ideas. I hope to encourage students to finding what they are good and comfortable with but to examine and explore things that maybe harder for them and stretch their abilities. I think I fit into the definition of warm by having the tendency to give praise throughout the day in small increments and in big doses too. As for being a social teacher, I think I will choose to have students to work cooperatively in pairs, groups or as a whole in class. I have an easy time including people in most any situation.

Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

EDU 6526-Survey of Intstructional Strategies

EDU 6526-Survey of Instructional Strategies
Session 1
How is teaching and learning related?
It seems appropriate that this be the first question posed of us as we start this class when even the authors of the textbook start by questioning the relationship between teaching and learning.

“Every once in a while I think that we should have called the book Models of Learning. Then, I remember that the real teaching is teaching kids how to learn. So I guess the title is all right.” –Marsha Weil to Bruce Joyce, January 1974 (p.3)

I think that one of the big ideas that I took away from the readings this week is that teaching and learning has to have a symbiotic relationship in order to be effective and successful. By this I mean to compare a classroom to a living “being” where we as teachers and the students both play a part in keeping this living “being” alive. We as the teacher must be able to learn and be ever changing. We must possess teaching techniques/tools to better cater to the students’ needs. By observing and evolving with the students in the class and adapting to their needs we become the caretaker of the class as a “being”. The students must learn be open to these techniques/tools and able to learn from them. In essence we, as teachers, are constantly learning from the students and adapting to help this symbiotic relationship grow. The students, then, are in turn doing their part by learning and teaching us what we need to know as we constantly adapt. In the 4 scenarios introduced in the first chapter we see 4 different methods of teaching used on the first day of class. None are better that the other, just different for each individual class/teacher, or symbiotic classroom/teacher relationship. Additionally I took comfort in the fact the even the text for this class says that, “Models of teaching are really just models of learning.” (p.7)

Describe the classroom as a “learning community”?
I think that you could consider the previous question a good example of a classroom as a learning environment however I will explore more. “Education continuously builds on ideas and environments.” Joyce, Weil (p.5) I find this idea that no one way is right to be both daunting and exhilarating. For example if a lesson is effective and the students are really involved as a class we could build upon this momentum. By expanding and pulling from additional resources we are able to more fully develop a lesson or idea. However, on the flip side, if a lesson is crashing a burning and as the teacher we run out of options for recovery… well that is a scary thought. I guess that is why we are taking this class. I think that we as teachers have to learn as many tools/techniques/methods/options, whatever you want to call them, and have them readily available if we are to be successful at teaching. I take comfort that the classroom is seen as a learning community, not only for the student but also for the teacher.

How would you define teaching?
This is my first attempt at this definition and I am sure it will evolve in time as I do but here it goes:
• To create a safe place for knowledge to grow
• To Share in the discovery of knowledge and explore the wonder of learning
• To support the successes and failures of each student individually and the class as a whole
• To start each day with renewed energy and passion

Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon