There are many ways to construct ideas and whether it is intended for an individual or for a group, a teacher requires a certain skill in order for the idea to function properly. Whether the teaching method is one of a constructivist, cognitive or behaviourist approach, the skill of asking questions in all phases of a lesson is vital and the wait time to process the question and compose an answer provides learning benefits (Rowe, 1972; Stahl, 1990; Tobin, 1987). Teaching is a complex craft, and the goal of every teacher is to achieve the success of every student forming the basis of effective teaching. Effective teachers have high expectations of their students in their standard of learning and behaviour. When the teacher has high expectations, the students will perform to such expectations. If a teacher believes all students are above average and are capable learners, these expectations will transmit to the student, and the student will succeed. The success of every student is contributed to high quality teaching and effective teachers inspire in their students a love of learning. By setting high standards for a student, the teacher is encouraging the student whom will eventually develop high expectations for themselves (O’Neill, 2009). Constructivism, the present leading teaching model is when a student appropriately constructs their own knowledge. Whether the teaching model is based according to Piaget’s concept of individual perspectives or Vygotsky’s concept of social interaction and language in student’s constructing ideas, it is certain that teachers can support a learners understanding as long as the individual support occurs within each student’s zone of proximal development (Fetherston, 2007).
A planned learning experience (Appendix A) which follows up from a maths lesson on shapes for students in Year 2 jointly defines what it means to be an effective teacher. During the maths lesson on shapes for students in Year 2, the success criteria was based on the discussion the children were having, what was being said, the language being used and the way the students went about their task. The teacher displayed characteristics of what it means to be an effective teacher. The teacher asked the students questions and allowed wait time for students to think and describe in their head e.g. I am a 3D shape, I have no corners or straight sides, I am curved. What am I? The lesson also involved interaction between students using a whiteboard. The teacher would acknowledge students by their name. The teacher showed a duty of care towards the well-being of a student by asking the student is she was alright e.g. Do you have a runny nose? The teacher was able to administer firm but fair discipline; whether it was noise control or a child wanting to go to the toilet e.g. put your hands up, stand still or could you wait ten minutes. During this lesson, whilst the teacher was guiding the students, the students were able to carry out the activity on their own. The students rectified their mistakes and worked with other students to find alternative solutions rather than having to rely on the teacher. Effective teachers encourage students to take greater responsibility for their own learning, making sure the students know what their goals are, how their goals will be assessed, are aware they are on the right track to achieve success and are actively involved in evaluating their own learning (O’Neill, 2009). The teacher in the maths lesson on shapes constantly reflected on how she was getting through to her students and she searched for better ways of teaching those students who were not responding as well e.g. the teacher would ask a question and if the student was not able to answer the question the teacher would give ideas that would allow the student to think about the question and then give an answer. An effective teacher monitors the progress of all their students and challenges each student to take the next step in their...
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Education Queensland. Principles of effective learning and teaching. Retrieved from http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/learning/teaching/technology/principl/process.html
Fetherston, T. (2007). Becoming an effective teacher. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning
McDevitt, T.M. & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Child Development and Education, 4th Edition. New Jersey, USA: Pearson
O’Neill, S. (2009). Effective teaching. Retrieved from http://det.wa.edu.au/classroomfirst/detcms/navigation/the-strategy/
Rowe, M.B. (1972). “Wait-time and rewards as instructional variables, their influence in language, logic and fate control.” Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, IL
Stahl, R.J. (1990). Using “think-time” behaviors to promote students’ information processing, learning and on-task participation: An instructional module. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University, 1990
Smith, C.A. (1995). “Features section: problem based learning”. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 23 (3), pg. 149-52
Tobin, K. (1987). “The Role of Wait Time in Higher Cognitive Level Learning.” Review of Educational Research 57, 69-95
Maths – A lesson on shapes. Retrieved from http://schoolsworld.tv/node/2066?terms=644
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