Role of the Teacher
on your teaching style.
what extent do you prefer to direct the learning activities in your classroom?
To what extent do you guide your students to direct their own learning?
To what extent do state tests control how you teach?
To what extent do you use learning centers?
To what extent do you use small group instruction?
If you use small group instruction what are the other students doing?
To what extent do you use a lecture method?
How do you know what your students have learned, and what they understand
as a result of the learning
experiences you've provided for them?
Read Meaningful, Engaged
Learning from the NCREL Web site.
Children are natural learners. Preschoolers acquire language and motor
skills at a rapid rate. Most three and
year olds will proudly tell you how smart they are. Yet when students
enter school we begin to see students who
struggle with learning, and who each year become less and less interested
in learning and more and more
disruptive. Schools are supposed to inspire learning, to motivate students
to want to learn, and to provide rich
resources and tools that enhance the learning experience.
the teacher has been the imparter of knowledge. As a profession, for generations
we have followed
a model in which we either tell the students (lecture) what we want them
to know, or we assign chapters in a
book that tell what we want them to know. Consequently text book publishershave
had great control over
educational content. In this model publishers provide "Teacher's
Guides" and learning is scripted by others.
We then test students to see if they have acquired the "facts"
that have been presented and grade them on
a bell shaped curve. Then we move on to the next topic. In this model
technology is seen as a tool for drill and
practice or to test comprehension.
Constructivist model requires us to engage our students in the learning
process. The teacher becomes the
facilitator of learning who guides and points students to appropriate
resources and information. Learning is no
longer the memorization of facts for a test with scores recorded and compared
on a bell shaped curve so that some
students are excellent, some are failures, and most are average. In this
model students at the bottom end of the
curve lose their self-esteem and consequently their motivation to learn.
In the Constructivist model learning is
continuous, and concepts are revistied in a spiraling curriculum. All
learners move form what they currently know
and understand to the next level on knowledge and understanding continuously
throughout their lives.
a look at the examples below. On the left the teacher imparts knowledge
to the student. The student is tested
and scored placed on the bell shaped curve. In the Constructivist model
both students and teachers are life-long
learners. The teacher becomes the facilitator and learning is constantly
assessed and reassessed by both students
and teacher toward the goal on constant learning as in the Formative Assessment