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|Ch. 1||Teaching and Learning in Today's Schools||3|
|Ch. 2||Learning, Thinking, and the Intellectual Development of Children||51|
|Ch. 3||The Expectations, Responsibilities, and Behaviors of a Classroom Teacher||81|
|Ch. 4||Establishing and Maintaining an Effective and Safe Classroom Learning Environment||108|
|Ch. 5||Selection of Content||175|
|Ch. 6||Preparation of Instructional Objectives||197|
|Ch. 7||Unit Planning||213|
|Ch. 8||Writing Lesson Plans||264|
|Ch. 9||Strategies for Teaching: Theoretical Considerations||295|
|Ch. 10||Strategies for Teaching: Questioning||306|
|Ch. 11||Strategies for Teaching: Grouping and Assignments for Positive Interaction and Quality Learning||330|
|Ch. 12||Strategies for Teaching: Teacher Talk, Demonstrations, Thinking, Inquiry, and Games||373|
|Ch. 13||Strategies for Teaching: Aids, Media, and Resources||387|
|Ch. 14||Assessing and Reporting Student Achievement||421|
|Ch. 15||Assessing Teaching Effectiveness and Continued Professional Development||464|
Exemplary school programs are those that are rooted in celebrating and building upon the diverse characteristics and needs of young people. To become and to remain exemplary, they must be in a continual mode of inquiry, reflection, and change. It is no different for me as author of this book. To continue my striving to prepare a comprehensive and exemplary book that focuses on K-12 classroom instruction, I am in a continual mode of inquiry into the latest findings in research and practice, in constant reflection as I listen to and assess the comments from practitioners in the field and from users and reviewers of the book, and in steady change as I prepare each edition.
Changes for this fourth edition are as follows:
For Part I, Orientation to Teaching and Learning in Today's Schools
For Part II, Planning for Instruction
For Part III, Strategies, Aids, Media, and Resources for Effective Instruction
Part IV, Assessment of Student Learning and Continued Professional Development
In summary, many changes were made for this edition. Other changes are mentioned in the paragraphs that follow.
In preparing this book, I saw my task not as making the teaching job easier for you—effective teaching is never easy—but as improving your teaching effectiveness and providing relevant guidelines and current resources. You may choose from these resources and build upon what works best for you. Nobody can tell you what will work with your students; you will know them best. I share what I believe to be the best of practice, the most useful of recent research findings, and the richest of experiences. The boldface italic statements present my beliefs and explain how they are embraced in this book.
Teaching skills can be learned. In medicine, certain knowledge and skills must be learned and developed before the student physician is licensed to practice with patients. In law, certain knowledge and skills must be learned and developed before the law student is licensed to practice with clients. So it is in teacher preparation—knowledge and skills must be learned and developed before the teacher candidate is licensed to practice the art and science of teaching young people. I would never allow just any person to treat our child's illness or to defend us in a legal case; the professional education of teachers is no less important! Receiving a professional education on how to teach young people is absolutely necessary, and certain aspects of that education must precede any interaction with students if teachers are to become truly competent professionals.
The best learning occurs when the learner actively participates in the process, which includes having ownership in both the process and the product of the learning. Consequently, this book is designed to engage you in hands-on and minds-on learning about effective classroom instruction. For example, rather than simply reading a chapter devoted to the important topic of cooperative learning, in each chapter you will become involved in cooperative and collaborative learning. In essence, via the exercises found in every chapter, you will practice cooperative learning, talk about it, practice it some more, and finally, through the process of doing it, learn a great deal about it. This book involves you in cooperative learning.
The best strategies for learning about teaching young people in the classroom are those that model the strategies used in exemplary teaching of young people. As you will learn, integrated learning is the cornerstone of the most effective teaching, and that is a premise upon which this resource guide is designed. Like living, the reciprocal process of teaching and learning is a multifaceted, eclectic process. The job of the teacher is to help learners bridge the facets, understand and make sense of the process—to help them connect various aspects of learning and living by modeling the very skills necessary to make sense of the connections.
To be most effective today a teacher must use an eclectic style in teaching. Rather than focus your attention on particular models of teaching, I emphasize the importance of an eclectic model—that is, one in which you select and integrate the best from various instructional approaches. For example, sometimes you will want to use a direct, expository approach, perhaps through a minilecture; more often you will want to use an indirect, social-interactive, or student-centered approach, perhaps through project-based learning. This book provides guidelines to help you not only decide which approach to use at a particular time but also develops your skill in using specific approaches. Equally important, you will learn of the importance of being able to combine both direct and indirect approaches, of using what I refer to as multilevel instruction.
Learning should be active, pleasant, fun, meaningful, and productive. My desire is to present this resource guide in an enthusiastic, positive, and cognitive-humanistic way, in part by providing rich experiences in social-interactive learning. How this is done is perhaps best exemplified by the active learning exercises found throughout the book and on the Companion Website. Exercises have been developed to ensure that you become an active participant in learning the methods and procedures that are most appropriate in facilitating the learning of active, responsive young people.
Competent teaching is a kaleidoscopic process. When preparing and writing a book for use in teacher preparation, by necessity one must separate the components of competent teaching into separate parts. That separation cannot be accomplished in a way that makes sense to everyone using the book. This overview explains how I have done it for this book.
Developmental components are involved in becoming a competent teacher. This book is organized around four developmental components: why—the rationale to support the components that follow; what—the content, processes, and skills you will be helping students learn; how—how you will do it; and how well—how well you are doing it. These are represented by the four parts of the book. However, it is neither likely nor advisable that one should or could effectively learn about one part entirely exclusive of the others.
Each part is introduced with the goals of the chapters that follow and with reflective thoughts relevant to topics addressed in its chapters.
Each chapter, in turn, begins with a brief introduction to that chapter followed by its major learning targets or objectives.
Throughout, you will find information useful for a teacher who is a decision maker. There are frequent exercises for practicing the handling of concepts in ways that facilitate metacognitive thinking. All exercises require you to deal in some descriptive, analytical, or self-reflective manner with text concepts and actual practice. Most of the exercises are adaptable for cooperative/collaborative group processing.
The three chapters of Part I reflect on the why component, the reality and challenge of classroom teaching today. Chapter 1 presents a brief overview of that component. Chapter 2 focuses on the unique and varied characteristics and developmentally appropriate ways of working with young people in the classroom. Regardless of their individual differences, students must have equal opportunity to participate and learn in the classroom. Beginning in the first chapter, this belief is reflected throughout this book, sometimes in a very direct fashion and other times indirectly. This overall sensitivity to diversity models not only my belief but also how to be inclusive to people of diverse backgrounds in many ways. Chapter 3 reflects the teacher behaviors and responsibilities necessary to be a competent classroom teacher. You are encouraged to compare the categories of responsibilities and the 22 competencies identified in Chapter 3 with the teacher competency standards used by your own state for teacher licensing.
Effective teaching is performance based and criterion referenced. This book is constructed in this manner. Because I believe that teaching, indeed living, must allow for serendipity, encourage the intuitive, and foster the most creative aspects of one's thinking, I cannot always be specific about what students will learn as a result of our instruction, and hence the occasional ambiguity must be expected. The three chapters of Part II reflect the planning, or what, component. Part II is intended to be the primary focus of your time and attention as you use this book to guide you toward becoming a competent teacher.
To teach young people most effectively, you must recognize, appreciate, and understand them and be able to establish and operate a safe and supportive classroom learning environment. Connecting with the content of Chapter 2, specific guidelines for accomplishing that are presented in Chapter 4.
Chapter 5 focuses on the curriculum and programs that comprise it; on the rationale for planning and selecting the content of the curriculum; on the national, state, and local documents that provide benchmarks for learning and that guide content selection; and on preparing goals and learning targets and using them in planning for and assessing student learning.
Chapter 6 presents detailed information and step-by-step guidelines for integrating students' learning, selecting developmentally appropriate learning activities, and preparing various types of instructional units with lessons. As I will be reminding you, although separated in this book for reasons of organizational clarity, it is impossible to satisfactorily complete the work in instructional planning expected in Chapter 6 without becoming knowledgeable of the content in Part III and the first chapter of Part IV.
Although it is very difficult to predict what 5- to 18year-olds of today will need to know to be productive citizens in the middle of this century, I believe they will always need to know how to learn, how to read, how to think productively, and how to communicate effectively and work together cooperatively. I believe that children need to acquire skills in how to gain knowledge and how to process information, and they need learning experiences that foster effective communication and productive, cooperative behaviors. I hope all children feel good about themselves, about others, and about their teachers, schools, and communities. I emphasize the importance of helping students to develop those skills, feelings, and attitudes. Teachers of all children share in the responsibility for teaching skills in reading, writing, thinking, working cooperatively, and communicating effectively. This responsibility is reflected clearly throughout this book.
The appropriate teaching methods for reaching these goals incorporate thoughtful planning, acceptance of the uniqueness of each individual, honesty, trust, sharing, risking, collaboration, communication, and cooperation. Furthermore, I believe that students of all ages best learn these skills and values from teachers who model the same. This resource guide is faithful to that hope and to that end.
Chapter 7 begins Part III by focusing your attention on one significantly important teaching and learning strategy—questioning—with an emphasis on the encouragement of questions formulated and investigated by students.
Chapter 8 presents guidelines for grouping students, using project-centered teaching, assignments and homework, ensuring classroom equity, and writing across the curriculum. Chapter 8 ends with a section you may find useful for years to come—a popular and updated annotated listing of more than 100 motivational strategies and ideas for lessons, interdisciplinary teaching, transcultural studies, and student projects for all grade levels and subject areas. The resource guide is intended to be useful to you not only while you are in phases of teacher preparation but well into your first several years of teaching.
Chapter 9 presents guidelines for using formal and informal teacher talk, demonstrations, direct teaching of thinking, discovery and inquiry, and educational games. Throughout the book, especially in Part III, and with a focus in Chapter 10, you find emphasis on the importance of students using visual and technological tools to access information and to make sense of it.
The two chapters of Part IV address the fourth component of teaching and learning—how well the students are learning and how well the teacher is teaching. Although separated in this book for reasons of organizational clarity, the assessment component of teaching and learning is an integral and ongoing component of the total curriculum.
Chapter 11 focuses attention on the assessment of what students know or think they know and can do preceding, during, and following the instructional experience. Chapter 11 also provides practical guidelines for parent/guardian and teacher collaboration and for grading and reporting student achievement.
Chapter 12, the final chapter, focuses on how well you are doing—the assessment of teaching effectiveness. In addition, it provides guidelines that you will find useful during your student teaching or during intern teaching, for finding a teaching position, and for continued professional growth. These guidelines and this book will be useful for you as references for years beyond now.
To achieve professional competency, you need guided learning, productive feedback, encouragement, opportunity for intelligent reflection, and positive reinforcement. To provide the resources and encouragement to make you an effective and confident teacher, this book is organized with the following features.