In the course of studying pedagogy, I have come to appreciate the right use of teaching strategies in instructing my students. The different aspects of learning are incorporated effectively in the classroom environment by the teacher’s involvement. As the class manager, I have the responsibility of ensuring that my students strive to become the best individuals in the society, however, this is most effective when there is cooperation between the teacher and the students. To ensure efficient learning process, as a teacher, I must endeavour to use a range of teaching tactics since there is no single, universal strategy that suits every unique situation. The uses of diverse strategies affect positively the learning process, especially when blended in different ways with different categories of learners. The application of different strategies is based on the skills taught and the background of the students. This paper aims to give a summary of the second part of my reading journals.
The classroom environment should be such that it enables effective learning processes to take place (Watkins et al. 4). Learners learn best when they are not dominated in the learning process and they take total responsibility of their own learning. The learners are capable of monitoring their grades and make appropriate actions without having to be forced to do so by their educators. The environment should foster active engagement of the students in the learning process. They should not shy off when contributing on class topics. This entails making the learning process as interactive as possible whereby the teacher main functions are invisible and he or she facilitates the class discussions.
Learners are highly motivated when the classroom environment makes them see themselves succeeding in meeting the objectives of the learning process. As an Italian teacher, I have come to believe that the best learning in education institutions takes place in an active classroom, where the environment is active, social, engages the learners, and the students have adequate awareness of themselves as the seekers of education. When I was a student, I perceived learning in school as something related to my daily experiences. I had an exceptional view of learning, not just about going to school and getting the good grades, but I thought more on making positive contributions to the world to make it a better place to live in.
The use of differentiated classrooms in the learning process integrates all the needs of the learners from diverse backgrounds (Tomlinson 4; Tomlinson and McTighe 67-75). This practice takes care of the uniqueness of every learner in the leaning process hence it is centred on every student: not the whole class. The learning modalities are tailor made to suit every learner in accordance with his or her abilities.
In a differentiated classroom, the teacher endeavours to be consistent in responding to the learning requirements of the students (Tomlinson 14). The teacher is directed by general standards of facilitating a classroom characterized by individuals’ effectiveness. The teacher then engages in proper planning by modifying the content, process, or the product based on the learners readiness to comprehend the specific subject, materials, abilities, individual interests, and the profile of the students. In achieving this, he or she employs a variety instructional and management mechanisms. The teacher avoids at all costs differentiating on a daily basis everything for everyone as doing this brings down the atmosphere of wholeness in the class. Grounded on formal and informal evaluation, the educator chooses instances in the instructional sequence that is liable for differentiation.
A teacher in a differentiated classroom comprehends individual and group norms (Tomlinson 13). As the student strives as a learner, the teacher has two objectives. The first is to improve the abilities of the student as fast as possible while ensuring authentic understanding and relevant application of skills. The second is to guarantee that the learner and the guardians are aware of the student’s personal goals and ambitions. Not long ago, I had the opportunity of teaching a school in the suburbs of town. In that school, many kinds of children came to attend and stay in school. They brought with them an immense diversity of social and economic backgrounds and needs. I had to respond to the various needs of these enthusiastic learners by actively planning to focus on the children’s differences.
Various classroom processes promote effective learning processes in the classroom (Watkins et al. 67; Bonwell & Eison para.2). Active learning entails the strategy of learning that takes place by means of instructional strategies that ensure the learners intellectual and physical participation as they carry out different classroom tasks. Examples of active learning processes are engaging the students in a class discussion and having a short written exercise that reviews the materials covered. This learning strategy replaces the traditional method of learning and focuses on the student-centred approach to learning (Felder). They provide complimentary actions that are interactive in nature, which enables learners to focus on their personal learning interests and requirements. This strategy’s primary objective is to meet satisfactorily the needs of the students.
Collaborative learning is essential in the learning process. It enables the learners to have the chance of interacting with one another and build up social skills. As the class manager, the teacher selects the group size and motivates the students to participate actively in the group discussions. Every member of the group has the duty to support the task of the group and is answerable to the studies undertaken by the group. The teacher afterwards scrutinizes the various groups and assesses them based on their academic assignments and cooperative skills. This approach enables learners to have a meaningful view of learning as a cooperative duty. In my experience as a teacher, I have found these strategies of active and collaborative learning particularly helpful in teaching practice as it moves the class from passive to active learning by engaging the learners in the learning process. When I took up the short-term teaching job at the suburb of town, I routinely engaged the students in debates, role-playing, and other activities that bore fruit in increasing the participation of the students.
For creating an effective learning environment in a classroom, the teacher must endeavour to be exceptional. Teaching encompasses training persons to practice endurance in the environment around them. In a learning environment, the teacher relays a certain type of information to the learner. The learner is shown how to listen, collaborate, and become responsible in the society. Foreign concepts are to be in an easily understandable manner. Active learning techniques, that involve the learners in carrying out tasks and thinking about what they are undertaking, are very much influential in student learning.
Bonwell, Charles, Eison, James. “Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom.” The National Teaching & Learning Forum.2003. Web.
Felder, Richard, and Brent, Rebecca. “Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction.” Department of Chemical Engineering. North Carolina University. n.d. Web.
Tomlinson, Carol Ann. The differentiated classroom: responding to the needs of all Learners. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol Ann and McTighe, Jay. Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.2006. Print.
Watkins, Chris, Carnell, Eileen, and Lodge, Caroline. Effective Learning in Classroom. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. 2007. Print.