QUESTION NO 01
What do you mean by the term role in context of English language teaching? Distinguish between a transmission role and interpersonal role. Justify with examples
Increasingly the world, there is a move within education to adopt a constructivist view of learning and teaching. In part, the argument for this move is a reaction against teacher-centered training that has dominated much of education, particularly adult and higher education, for the past forty years or more. While I do notargue with the basic tenets of constructivism No single view of learning or teaching dominated what might be called, ‘good teaching.’ In our research, we documented five different perspectives on teaching, each having the potential to be good teaching. (Pratt and Associates, 1998) This chapter will introduce those five perspectives, namely: Transmission, Developmental, Apprenticeship, Nurturing, and Social Reform. Hopefully, this will convince you to resist any ‘one size fits all’ approach to the improvement or evaluation of teaching.
What is a Perspective on Teaching?
A perspective on teaching is an inter-related set of beliefs and intentions that gives direction and justification to our actions. It is a lens through which we view teaching and learning. We may not be aware of our perspective because it is something we look through, rather than look at, when teaching. Each of the perspectives in this chapter is a unique blend of beliefs, intentions and actions. Yet, there is overlap between them. 2 Similar actions, intentions, and even beliefs can be found in more than one perspective. Teachers holding different perspectives may, for example, have similar beliefs about the importance of critical reflection in work and educational contexts. To this end, all may espouse the use of higher-level questions as a means of promoting critical thinking. However, the way questions are asked, and the way in which teachers listen and respond when people consider those questions, may vary considerably across perspectives. These variations are also directly related to our beliefs about learning, knowledge, and the appropriate role of an instructor.
It is common for people to confuse perspectives on teaching with methods of teaching. Some say they use all five perspectives, at one time or another, depending on circumstances. On the surface, this seems reasonable. However looking more deeply, one can see that perspectives are far more than methods. In part, this confusion derives from the fact that the same teaching actions are common across perspectives: Lecturing, discussion, questioning, and a host of other methods are common activities within all five perspectives. It is how they are used, and toward what ends, that differentiates between perspectives.
It could not be otherwise, given that
perspectives vary in their views of knowledge, learning, and teaching. What follows is a ‘snapshot’ of each perspective, including a metaphor for the adult learner and a set of key beliefs, primary responsibilities, typical strategies, and common difficulties. Each snapshot is a composite of many representative people. Therefore, it would be unlikely that any one individual would have all the characteristics listed for any one perspective. As you read them, try to locate yourself, not by looking for a perfect fit, but for the best fit.
A Transmission Perspective
The Transmission Perspective is the most common orientation to teaching in secondary and higher education, though not in elementary and adult education. From the Transmission Perspective, effective teaching starts with a substantial commitment to the content or subject matter. It is essential, therefore, for Transmission-oriented teachers to have mastery over their content.
Many who teach from this perspective hold certain assumptions and views of adults as learners. Some tend to think of the adult learner as a ‘container’ that is to be filled with something (knowledge). This knowledge exists outside the learner, usually within the text or in the teacher. Teachers are to efficiently and effectively pass along (teach) a common body of knowledge and way of thinking similar to what is in the text or the teacher.
Such a process of learning is additive, meaning that teachers should take care not to overload their learners with too much information. To increase the amount that is learned, teachers should focus their presentations on the internal structure of the content. This structure can then be used as an effective means of storing and retrieving the material. With proper delivery by the teacher, and proper receptivity by the learner, knowledge can be transferred from the teacher to the learner.
From the Transmission Perspective learners are expected to learn the content in its authorized or legitimate forms and teachers are expected to take learners systematically through a set of tasks that lead to mastery of the content. To do this teachers must provide clear objectives, well-organized lectures, beginning with the fundamentals, adjust the pace of lecturing, make efficient use of class time, clarify misunderstandings, answer questions, correct errors, provide reviews, summarize what has been presented, direct students to appropriate resources, set high standards for achievement and develop objective means of assessing learning. How do effective Transmission teachers accomplish this? What strategies do they use?
Some Transmission strategies include the following: First, Transmission teachers spend a lot of time in preparation, assuring their mastery over the content to be presented. They also specify what students should learn (objectives) and take care to see that resources and assignments are in line with those objectives. Their goal is to pass on to learners a specific body of knowledge or skill as efficiently and effectively as possible. In order to accommodate individual differences, they vary the pace of instruction, sometimes speeding up, other times slowing down or repeating what was said. Feedback to learners is directed at errors and pointing out where learners can improve their performance. Assessment of learning is usually a matter of locating learners within a hierarchy of knowledge or skill to be learned.
As with all perspectives, teachers holding Transmission as their dominant perspective have some difficulties. For example, they often find it difficult to work with people that do not understand the logic of their content. This causes difficulty anticipating where and why learners are likely to struggle with the content. In addition, many whom we studied had difficulty thinking of examples or problems from the ‘real world,’ outside the classroom, as a means of making their content come to life. And when challenged by learners, they often returned to the content as a means of dealing with those challenges. Finally, in our observations, it was not unusual to see Transmission teachers spend too much time talking. In fact, it seemed that many used learner responses or questions as an 4 opportunity to talk some more. They were primarily focused on the content rather than the learners.
Much of this sounds negative and, indeed, most of us can think of teachers that were less than stellar and fit well in this perspective. Transmission orientations to teaching provide some of the most common negative examples of teaching. Nevertheless, for many of us there are also positive memories of teachers in our past that were passionate about the content, animated in its delivery, and determined that we go away with respect and enthusiasm for their subject. Such an individual may have inspired us to take up a particular vocation or field of study. Their deep respect and enthusiasm for the subject was infectious. It is the memory of those teachers that must be preserved if we are to see Transmission as a legitimate perspective on teaching.
The Transmission Perspective is the most common orientation to teaching in secondary and higher education; however, it is not the most common in elementary and adult education. In order for effective teaching to occur, the transmission perspective starts with a strong commitment to the content or subject matter (Pratt, 2002). Therefore, it is necessary for Transmission perspective teachers to have mastery over their content (Pratt, 2002). The teacher’s main responsibility is to represent the content correctly and efficiently. Learner’s, on the other hand, are responsible for learning the content in its official or genuine form (Pratt & Collins, 2002).
The Transmission Teacher
Effective transmission orientation teaching necessitates a significant dedication to the content or subject matter (Pratt, 1999). “The instructional process should be shaped and guided by the structure of the content” (Pratt, 1999). If the teacher has not master the content or subject knowledge, they will not be able to share a extensive variety of examples, answer questions accurately and competently, offer valuable resources, or design assignments that emphasize course objectives—all of which are key responsibilities of the transmission teacher. Learning is considered additive in the transmission perspective, therefore, teachers should not overload their students with too much information (Pratt, 2002). According to Pratt (2002) to increase the amount learned, the teacher should focus their presentations on the internal structure of the content. This is used as an effective means of storing and retrieving the information being presented. If done properly (the delivery by the teacher and correct receptivity by the student) knowledge can be transferred from the teacher to the student (Pratt, 2002).
Pratt (1999) offers a model of the transmission teaching perspective as described below: Focus Within The General Model
• Dominant element/relationship: teacher’s content-credibility • Teacher’s efficient and accurate presentation of content • PRIMARY ROLE: Content expert, skilled presenter
Set standards for achievement
• Specify course objectives
• Select and sequence readings and assignments
• Provide clear and well-organized lectures
• Make efficient use of class time
• Provide answers to questions
• Provide direction to reading and studying
• Clarify misunderstanding
• Correct errors
• Provide reviews and summaries
• Develop objective means of assessment
• Deep respect for the content, expressed through…
• Accurate representation of content
• Enthusiasm for the content
• Encouragement of people to go on in the subject
• Organization and logic of knowledge or skills to be learned • Mastery of pre-requisites/basics before going on
The Transmission Learner
Described below is Pratt’s (1999) account of the adult transmission learner. The common model of the adult learner: “A Sponge” • The learner is a sponge to be filled
• The learning process is an additive process
• The product of learning is an increase in knowledge
Sponges imply degrees of saturation or fullness. What is already in the sponge may be added to, squeezed out, replaced, measured, analyzed, classified, even discarded without losing its essential character. To increase saturation (amount learned), the sponge (learner) can be submerged in a body of liquid (knowledge) and squeezed (motivated) to prepare it for greater absorption (learning). Hence, the learner and that which is learned are positioned as separate but compatible entities. The goal of learning is get more information or knowledge, usually through a process of adding to what one already knows. The goal of education/training is to increase the learners’ knowledge base (degree of saturation) without exceeding their capacity.
Transmission of Expert Knowledge and Skills
Boldt (1998) provides a great figure that breaks down the transmission perspective nicely. [pic] Common Difficulties
• Adjusting to individual differences
• Anticipating where (in content) and why learners will have difficulty • Following this view when teaching on “ill-structured” parts of a task or problem, e.g., where *there is more than one acceptable answer or way of thinking • Working with people who cannot understand the content • Using content as security/protection against ‘difficult’ learners • Using materials from ‘real world’ outside the classroom Interpersonal perspectives on teaching
. The focus is on the relationship between students and teachers. Teachers have both a direct and an indirect influence on students. As a result they contribute to the learning environment of these students. For example, teaching behavior, teaching styles and student perception of the learning environment have been studied and found to be related to student learning (Bennet, 1976; Brophy & Good, 1986; Fraser et al., 1991). According to Moos (1979) the relationship between students and teachers is an important dimension of class climate. Moos distinguishes three dimensions of classroom atmosphere. These three dimensions are relationships within the classroom, personal development and goal orientation, and maintenance and changes within the system. From an interpersonal perspective, it is the first dimension which interests us. This dimension represents the nature of personal relationships within the classroom, particularly the support a teacher offers his students. Involvement and affiliation are also classified under this dimension. Based on these three dimensions, Maslowski (2003) describes class climate as ‘the collective perceptions of students with respect to the mutual relationships within the classroom, the organization of the lessons and the learning tasks of the students’. It is important to mention that the relationship between students and teachers is closely related to the classroom climate. Within the system theoretical perspective of communication, it is assumed that the behaviors of participants mutually influence each other. The behaviour of the teacher influences that of his students, whereas at the same time the behaviour of the students influences that of the teacher. In the classroom, the effects of this circular communication process can be seen for example in the creation and maintenance of a good classroom climate, and the behaviours that determine the quality of relationships and feelings. The link between teacher behaviour and student behaviour (Wubbels & Levy, (1993) suggests that teachers can benefit directly from knowing how their interpersonal behaviour affects student behaviour. This mutual relationship is therefore an essential topic in this study. The complex character of classroom environment implies that multiple perceptions are necessary to get a comprehensive image of the education process. Since perceptions are the result of an interaction between the person and his environment, they reveal how someone experiences a classroom situation. • Considering the teacher as an actor in the interpersonal relationship, this study focuses on his perception of the situation. Most teachers perceive the classroom environment more positively than their students (Brekelmans, 1989). This may be because teachers complete the questionnaire from a more idealistic perception of the context than students do. Their answers can also be geared more towards the socially desirable or they can underestimate their influence on students. In relation to this, Brekelmans (1989) points out the difference between actual and ideal perceptions. Our study is restricted to actual perception. Teachers describe how they experience the actual educational situation. An additional explanation for the fact that teachers have a more positive perception of the classroom environment than students have, may be caused by differential power relationships. The fact that students’ classroom attendance is essentially involuntary can also be an important factor Primary focus on content rather than the learners
Perspectives are neither good nor bad. They are simply philosophical orientations to knowledge, learning, and the role and responsibility of being a teacher. Therefore it is important to remember that each of these perspectives represents a legitimate view of teaching when enacted appropriately. Conversely, each of these perspectives holds the potential for poor teaching. However if teachers are to improve, they must reflect on what they do, why they do it, and on what grounds those actions and intentions are justified. Besides resisting a ‘One size fits all’ approach to development and evaluation, how can these perspectives help in that process?
For several years now, educators of adults have been admonished to reflect critically on the underlying assumptions and values that give direction and justification to their work. For many of us this is not an easy task. What is it that we are to reflect upon? How are our underlying values and assumptions to be identified? In other words, the objects of critical reflection are not self-evident. Indeed, it is something of a twist to look not only at our teaching, but at the very lenses through which we view our teaching. In our work with educators we use these perspectives as a means of helping people identify, articulate, and, if necessary, justify their approach to teaching. In this process it also helps them thoughtfully revisit assumptions and beliefs they hold regarding learning, knowledge, and teaching. I believe this is what faculty development should be, rather than the mastery of technique. Throughout the process, pre-conceived notions of “good teaching” are challenged as educators are asked to consider what teaching means to them.
QUESTION NO. 02
Groups are made to perform certain activities in class room according to the teaching plan. What are the various ways of forming groups in classroom? Justify the use of group work in English Language classroom.
What is Group Work:
Like anything in education, grouping works best when it is planned and used thoughtfully. Simply seating students in groups of four or five does not mean students are engaged with each other. It could simply mean they are going to play and talk to each other, rather than complete class work. That is why it is important to plan group work and the types of groups you will be using. Grouping students should allow, and even force, students to work together. It should build their communication skills and it should help them learn how to respectfully hold each other accountable.
Types Of Groups
There are two main types of groups that teachers use when having their students work cooperatively. The first type of grouping is heterogeneous grouping. This means grouping students of different ability levels together. The definition could also be expanded to include grouping together students of different ages and races. In my classroom, I always think of it as groups of students of differing ability levels. The key word is different. I use heterogeneous grouping more frequently at the beginning of the school year so my students get to know each other and use it less frequently as the year progresses. The second type of grouping is homogenous grouping. It simply means grouping together students that are similar.
Who Benefits From Grouping?
When used thoughtfully, all students benefit from grouping. The key is that there must be a plan and a purpose behind group work. Simply seating students together does not constitute group work. It might just mean you are creating a classroom management problem! Teachers also benefit from group work. It allows you time to work with students in a small group setting rather than teaching the class as a whole. This will let you work more intensely with students, as well as get to know them better. Familiarize yourself with a few classroom management techniques for group work before setting your students loose. Otherwise group work will not benefit anyone.
Planning For Group Work
When planning for group work, consider what you want your students to get out of it. Do you want your students of higher ability levels to help those with lower ability levels? (Just be careful here and know your students. Make sure they will all benefit from this.) Do you want to have students of lower ability levels grouped together so you can work with them in a smaller group setting? Do you simply want your students to get to know each other and start building community in your class? Your purpose should drive your groups. Ways of Forming Groups in the Classroom
Here are a few fun ways of forming groups in the classroom, they are mainly focused on teaching primary and elementary school classrooms. You can use these grouping activities to form groups for a number of games on this site.
1. Puzzle Pieces:
Get enough interesting pictures from magazines for the number groups you want to form (5 pictures for 5 group). Cut each picture up into the number of students you would like in each group (4 pieces for 4 students in each group). Then shuffle the pieces and give each one to each student, their task is to then walk around the room finding the other students to complete the puzzle their piece belongs in. The completed puzzle will become their group.
2. Hit the target card game:
Give each student 1 playing card (Ace = 1, Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 13), specify a target number, this number would be based on the level of mathematical understanding your students have. Tell the students that they need to form a group of a specific number of students, and using the numbers on their cards along with the mathematical symbols (x / = -) they need to make a sum with the answer as close to the target number as possible (if the target number is 34, you could get close to 34 with; 5 x 3 + 9 + 11 = 35). Tell the student they all have to form a group and a sum that is as close as possible, using the cards they have, to equaling the target number. You could focus on a few target numbers before telling the students that the groups they have formed will be their groups for the following activity.
3. Similar interests:
This can be used as a getting to know you game before another activity using the formed groups. It’s a fun and easy game to play. Give the students a topic or theme, the students then have to form groups of similar interest relating to that topic or theme. It’s up to you whether you specify how many students need to go into each group, maybe you could start with any number and at the end specify a number based on how many you need in each group for the next activity. Here are some ideas of themes or topics: Form a group of people with the same: – Favorite color – Favorite TV show – Number of family members – Favorite pet – Eye color – Favorite style of music This list could go forever, I’m sure you’ll think of a lot more ideas.
4. Complete the sentence:
This game is great to develop comprehension and reading skills and perhaps could be used to form groups for a literacy based activity. It’s similar to the puzzle piece game but uses sentences instead of pictures. Find some sentences (5 sentences for 5 groups). Separate the sentence into sections based on the number of students you want in each group (5 sections for 5 in each group). Give each section of the sentence to each student in the class and ask them to walk around the room and try to complete the sentence. If we give these ways of forming groups in the classroom we would learn see what works the best for class. They are certainly very helpful. for all class levels. Especially for the language class rooms.