Survey of Instructional Strategies: Meta-reflection

 

Throughout the quarter, I have been challenged to consider my own teaching style and how I can modify and improve my instructional strategies to enhance the learning of my students. I have focused on the research of Bruce Joyce, et. al, and their four models of teaching: Information-Processing models, Social models, Personal models, and Behavioral models. I have also been reacquainted with the work of Ceri B. Dean, et al, whose book, Classroom Instruction That Works, I was first introduced to and trained in when I began teaching in 2009. The common theme that I gathered from this class is to build self-esteem and confidence in my students by giving them the responsibility for their learning while scaffolding the process and giving them the skills to work collaboratively and cooperatively with others.

Children are natural-born explorers and seek to explore and find out about the world around them. As teachers, we have the responsibility to teach children how to learn. This is where the Information-Processing family of teaching models comes in. We teach kids how to ask questions and build and test hypotheses as they problem solve and gain knowledge of the world around them. We teach them to learn how to keep and retain the knowledge they acquire by implementing advance organizers and showing children how to attain and understand new concepts. It is important that students understand that they are a community of learners (teachers, too!), which is why it is crucial that students learn to productively work together and build learning communities. The Social family of

model-of-teaching-6-638

A summary of Joyce’s families of models. From: http://www.slideshare.net/deepati1/model-of-teaching

teaching models helps children see themselves in a learning community as they observe how they interact with others to effectively solve problems so they can learn and grow together. The Personal family of teaching models helps build in a student a positive self-concept. When students believe in themselves and have a positive view of themselves and their abilities, their learning and desire to succeed will benefit. The Behavioral-Systems family of teaching models explores behavior theories that affect learning (and teaching). This topic might be the most relevant for teachers as we all encounter students whose behavior may not be optimal for the learning environment in which they have been placed. These models explain direct instruction, which involves structured, guided, and independent practice of a modeled lesson.

I think the most important thing for me to remember after studying these models is that it isn’t necessary to walk into my classroom and say, “Today, I am going to teach with the role-playing model [or any model]…” It’s important for me to remember that, “Excellent teaching is made up of a repertoire of models” (Joyce, xvii) and that to be an effective teacher, I should have in my “toolkit” a knowledge of these different strategies and methods that will reach different students in different situations. Some of these models are direct ways to instruct a lesson, such as Using Advance Organizers, but some, like the Nondirective Model, allows teachers to really connect on a deeper and more personal level with each individual learner that are in a class. All of the models, however, combine together to build my knowledge and understanding, as a teacher, of the most effective ways that students learn so that I have the capability to create the best environment to facilitate learning.

References:

Joyce, B. Weil, M. & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of Teaching (9th ed.). Pearson.

 

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