"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Saturday, 26 March 2011

My Teacher Education Program

My teacher-education program in the middle school seems to favour the subject-are curriculum. The subject-area curriculum is consistent with the essentialist philosophy of education. 

But I agree with John Dewey who encourages balance between the importance of the subject and the student

The students cannot construct their own meaning based on current and past knowledge and experience if they do not master the essential knowledge and values of society. 

I think that middle school educators should focus both on student and subject matter. We need to emphasize both learner-centered and subject-centered perspectives. We should provide exploratory programs that reflect students’ developmental interest, while reinforcing the content. 

We should provide students with learning activities to apply a variety of cognitive skills (computing and research). 

Therefore, I think that a balance between student-centered and subject-centered is the best

Effective teachers should use a variety of instructional strategies and a variety of motivational and classroom management techniques. A balanced curriculum is made of subject/teacher-centered (authoritarian) organization on one end and student-centered (democratic) organization on the other. 

In the elementary school, I would prefer the integrated curriculum. It tries to unite all the subjects under one topic or theme. For example, the story, “The Little Red Hen”: social studies would be included by learning about the farm. Science would be included through a focus on growing plants, math would be introduced with a discussion of measurements using in baking bread, a health component would have the children focus on eating healthfully.

The instructional approaches discussed in this chapter which best fits my teaching style are the mastery learning, direct instruction, teacher questions, cooperative learning, and peer tutoring. 

Mastery learning is an approach to instruction in which students learn one topic thoroughly before moving to a subsequent one. The objective is to learn knowledge or skills to mastery and students vary in the time they need to achieve mastery. For example, the teacher will have students practice 100 single-digit addition facts until they can answer all the facts correctly within five minute period. 

The objective of the direct instruction is to learn a well defined body of knowledge and skills. Students need considerable guidance and practice in order to learn successfully. It is a teacher-centered method that is used to convey information. For example, the teacher will explain how to add fractions with different denominators and give students practice in adding such fractions, both in class and through homework. 

The teacher questions instructional approach is also very useful in the middle school. The objective is to understand and elaborate on a topic in greater depth. The teacher can ask questions that promote recall and review of the previous day’s lesson or he or she can ask students for examples of how people in their community react to global warming.

The cooperative learning instructional approach teaches the students how to cooperate and how to listen and respect each others’ ideas. The objective is to develop the ability to work collaboratively with others on academic tasks. It emphasizes cooperation rather than competition. 

And my favourite is peer tutoring. I like to have students work in pairs to test each other on their spellings or how to ameliorate a story or to have some students help others work through history or geography questions. I think the most advanced students can gain increased understanding by teaching it to someone else.

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