Highland Learning and Teaching Toolkit

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Learning and Teaching should take account of Multiple Intelligence:

Teaching Approaches
 

 
 

Teaching Approaches

Multi-Intelligencies

Learning Styles

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Teachers have individualistic approaches to teaching - and pupils have traditionally recognised, even celebrated this.   There is no standard approach to teaching which every teacher should strive to adopt, but certain strategies are valuable in the classroom.   Both formal and informal teaching approaches can be very effective when these principles are observed. 

Points Arising from Research

Teachers’ own preferred ways of learning tend to affect the ways in which they teach.

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A greater awareness of learning preferences in general, and of their own in particular, can help teachers to be more aware of their own personal teaching ‘style’

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Learning more about their own teaching style does not necessarily mean that teachers should be encouraged to change their style

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Teachers tend to be most effective when they teach to their own preferred style, but do so in a way that takes account of and respects different learning preferences

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An awareness of different learning styles can help teachers to sustain motivation by encouraging and facilitating pupils’ use of preferred styles but also providing support when using alternative approaches.

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Effective teaching involves effective organisation and management, but no single style or approach to class organisation is best

Key Elements of Teaching Approaches

Pupil Perceptions

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Pupils appreciate teachers who value and appreciate them as individuals

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Good discipline is important, but pupils need to understand/recognise the need for it

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Pupils look for consistency of approach from a teacher

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Showing genuine interest in pupils’ lives is important, as is sharing aspects of your own life

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Pupils respond to teachers who genuinely care about them and want them to succeed

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Pupils react positively when the teacher listens and responds to their ideas rather than just assessing or judging - this will involve being prepared to deviate from the lesson plan

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Pupils need to feel that the teacher is on the ball and aware of what is going on in the class

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Pupils respond well to teachers who show personal enthusiasm for what they are teaching

Being Clear About Learning Purposes And Learning Outcomes

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Be aware of differences among learners e.g. preferred learning styles (see Toolkit sections on Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences). Teaching styles should accommodate all learning styles by providing opportunities to see the written word, to respond physically etc.

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Be aware that pupils learn at different speeds, some pupils will require much greater support and/or time in completing tasks.

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Develop a sense of when it is appropriate to move on to the next phase of teaching, when to stop and go back over things, when to pause for consolidation, when to accelerate the pace of learning.

 

Using Different Interactions To Match Different Purposes And Outcomes
(informing, describing, explaining, modelling, demonstrating, coaching, listening, watching, questioning)

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Allow time for pupils to be actively involved in their learning, to rehearse new learning, to reflect, to do something with their new learning, to make concrete links between new and prior learning

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Pay particular attention to opening and closing sessions: use established but varying routines

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Pull the class together at the start to motivate, enthuse, clarify, focus

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Make specific links between what has gone before and how that fits into the ‘big picture’ - be clear on the overall aims of the study

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Allocate some time at the close to ‘pull’ things together, reiterating what has been learned, praising pupil effort and achievement

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Use peripherals and archetypes. Visual display of the subject material around the classroom improves the long-term learning by 90%. Archetypes are positive role models

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Memory maps for note taking. Use colour, bold images and space on the page to enable learners to build up their own unique way of making sense of the material.

Use Flexible Groupings

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Be clear about the appropriateness of group work: the learning outcomes should determine the method of working and will include direct interactive teaching, whole class, group and individual work

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Pupils should be encouraged to work collaboratively and independently.

Skilful Use Of Questions

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Use a variety of questions

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Offering alternative answers gives additional listening input to the learners, gives time for reflection and is useful in developing problem-solving skills

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Use open questions

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Phrase ideas in straightforward language appropriate to the level of the class

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Ensure careful listening to the answers given

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Allow adequate thinking and answering time.

Managing Time To Observe, Circulate, Respond And Intervene

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Ensure that you are available to interact with pupils as they undertake their tasks e.g. observing and listening, evaluating individual responses, intervening to support and/or inject a degree of unpredictability into the conversation

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When possible, differentiate material by providing open-ended, problem-solving activities with a holistic approach to a topic

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Provide opportunities to demonstrate the new knowledge

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Circulate among the pupils to ensure that they remain on-task and to provide support and assistance when needed

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Build in fun.   If we can build in open-mindedness, receptivity and sense of exploration to learning then outcomes will be achieved more quickly.

 

Reflection and Discussion
 

Which of the above approaches do you recognise in your current classroom practice?
 

Are there any approaches that you would consider adopting to improve your current classroom practice?
 

Is there a conflict between letting your guard down with pupils and maintaining discipline?
 

Some Activities Relating To the Issue of Teaching Approaches

Key element

Objective

Action

 

Some examples and suggestions

Pupil Perceptions

Pupils respond well to teachers who show personal enthusiasm

Pupils often appreciate personal anecdotes/details which demonstrate our personal commitment to the work of the class.  Can you build in more opportunities for this?  When opportunities arise, allow pupils to explore such anecdotes, bringing in their own experiences.

Being clear about learning purposes and outcomes

 
Teaching styles should accommodate all learning styles by providing opportunities to see the written word, to respond physically etc. A set of historical dates, mathematical formulae or the elements of the periodic table rapped or sung to a powerful beat will stay in the memory longer than the familiar tones of the teacher.
Using Different Interactions To Match Different Purposes And Outcomes Use peripherals and archetypes. Journey around the room using peripherals, flashbacks and flashcards.  Topics can be outlined on visual displays either stuck up at eye level or above around the room or on different cards. Pupils then go to each in turn, talking through what is described there and how it all ties together.
Use Flexible Groupings Pupils should be encouraged to work collaboratively and independently. Divide class into groups of 4/5/.   Brainstorm key facts, words or ideas about topic onto board. Give pupils 1 minute to memorise the facts then erase. Each group is given 2 minutes to reproduce the same facts by brainstorming. Game ends when group has the full list. New subject then chosen.
Skilful Use Of Questions Use a variety of questions

Factual/closed: When? Where? Who? What?  will only have one right answer.

Thought provoking/open: How? Why? What do you think? How do you feel?  promote discussion, stimulate critical thinking and encourage problem-solving.   Can have a number of right answers.

Managing Time To Observe, Circulate, Respond And Intervene

 

Provide opportunities to demonstrate the new knowledge Verbal Football.   Divide class into two teams. The ‘ball’ is passed by asking and answering questions.   Pupil in Team A asks question, if it is answered first by member of his own team the ‘ball’ has been passed.   Three passes scores a goal.   A tackle is made if a member of the other team intercepts the ‘ball’ by answering the question first. He then asks a question etc.
 

 Selected References


Further reading


Brandes, D. & Ginnis, P. (1986) A Guide to Student Centred Learning, Nelson Thornes

Brown, S. (1989 ) How Do Teachers Talk about and  Evaluate their own Teaching? SCRE  www.scre.ac.uk/spotlight/spotlight12.html
 
Brighouse, T. & Woods, D. (1999) How To Improve Your School,  Routledge Farmer
 
Hayes, D. (1999)  Planning, Teaching and Class Management in Primary Schools, David Fulton Publishers
 
Kyriacou, C. (1991) Essential Teaching Skills, Stanely Thornes
 
Rudd, P. et al  (2002) High Performing Specialist Schools: What Makes The Difference? NFER
 
Smith, A. (1996) Accelerated Learning in the Classroom, Network Educational Press
 
Smith, A. & Call, N. (1999) The ALPS Approach Accelerated Learning in the Primary School, Network Educational Press
 
Smith, A. & Call, N. (2003) The ALPS Approach Resource Book, Network Educational Press
 
Smith, A. (2001) The Accelerated Learning in Practice, Network Educational Press
 
SCCC  (2000) Direct Interactive Teaching
 
SCCC (1999) Teaching for Effective Learning
 


Websites

www.cainelearning.com/
Brain based learning site with good links

www.21learn.org
The 21st Century initiative - Links to academic papers on effective learning  

http://users.stargate.net/~cokids/teacher.html
Early years and brain based learning

www.cdipage.com/
The Child Development Institute

www.self-esteem-international.org
Site of the International Council For Self-Esteem

 


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Last updated 20/08/2010
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