Outline of Suggested Practices for Teaching By: Dawn Deming
I TAUGHT I SAID I I DON’T STRIPE TAUGHT HIM. HEAR HIM HOW TO I DIDN’T SAY WHISTLING WHISTLE HE LEARNED ITFrom Checking for Understanding, King Features Syndicate.
―Good teaching is the creating of those circumstances that lead to significant learning in others.‖ --Finkel, Teaching with Your Mouth Shut
Thinking back over your whole life, what were the two or three most significant learning experiences you ever had? List the moments (or events) in which you discovered something of lasting significance in your life.
Did it take place in a classroom? Did it take place in a school? Was a professional teacher instrumental in making the learning experience happen? Was a teacher-like figure (e.g., coach, minister, school counselor, theater director) instrumental in making the learning experience happen? If the answer to 3 or 4 is ―yes,‖ then what did the teacher (or other person) actually do to help you learn? In general, what factors were instrumental in bringing about the learning?
Join – How we join with our students Engage – How we motivate them to learn Integrate – How the class integrates their knowledge with ours and their experience with ours so that they might practice and apply it.
Think about a time when you became awarethat your teaching was going very well. Itwas a moment that confirmed you were in theright calling. Tell us what you were teachingand what specifically happened that madeyou sense that you were in the flow. Beginwith this phrase: ―As I looked at the students,I realized….‖
Think about a time when you were inthe classroom and became aware thatyou were in default mode. You knew itwas going badly, but you could notchange what you were doing. Describea particular incident.
Who or what enabled learning?-Motivation, a mentor/expert/coach, experience, reading practice, total emersion. What is the mood in the classroom? Where is the action? Who is in charge? Do you know that students are learning?
―Long-lasting learning that foreveralters our grasp of the world,deepening it, widening it,generalizing it, sharpening it.‖--Finkel, Teaching with Your MouthShut
Risk free environmentWillingness to discloseGifted facilitation listening presence attentivenessRigorousthinking/speaking
Motivation or personal importance Development of self-efficacy of the learner How student feels about the learning Brain-friendly environment Sense of belonging Support for achievement Sense of empowerment Tileston 10 Best Teaching Practices • Creating community • Managing the mob • Encouraging learner participation • Engaging learners in lecture
5 common elements: Intriguing question or problem Guidance in helping the students understand the significance of the question Engages students in some higher-order intellectual activity: encouraging them to compare, apply, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize, but, never only to listen and remember. Often that means asking student to make and defend judgments and then providing them with some basis for making the decision. Environment also helps students answer the question. Leaves students with a question: ―What’s the next question?‖ Ken Bain
―Teachers should not assume that transfer will automatically occur after students acquire a sufficient base of information. Significant and efficient transfer occurs only if we teach to achieve it.‖ David Sousa. How the Brain Learns (1995)
Association Refer to previous lessons Ask about personal experiences Ask students to predict behaviors or events Be consistent and give it time. • Ask open-ended questions. • Utilize peer discussion. • Lower ―talk time‖; increase ―practice time‖. • Move away from the podium. • Provide clear instructions. • Walk around the room during group activities. • Be out of sight during ―think time‖.
Use visuals when teaching Use visual organizers Show students the patterns in learning Use metaphors
Use direct instruction, with guiding learning through application and practice Employ peer tutoring, in which students help each other practice the learning Use group discussions, brainstorming, & Socratic seminars. Verbalize while learning, and encourage students to verbalize as well Use cooperative learning activities that provide for student interaction.
Need the opportunity to be mobile Want to feel, smell, and taste everything May want to touch their neighbor as well Like to take things apart to see how they work
1. Use short, ungraded writing to deepen thinking (and to let people prepare before speaking up: Have students write for five minutes, then have them read their writing aloud, or list their main ideas on the board. For homework, have students write the questions they have about the reading: ―What are you wondering about? What does this make you think of?‖ Use helpers to free yourself up to notice more discussion dynamics Model the life attitude of vulnerably asking questions by wondering aloud, not knowing: Put on the board or in a PowerPoint document a question for which you don’t have the answer
2. Slow the flow, probe deeper: Use groups and assign each a different question,problem, or section of reading to report on. Probe for more meaning by 1) extending wait time,* 2) repeating the question, and 3) asking for more: ―What did you say, Melanie? Hmm, interesting—why do you think that?‖ ―Good. Can you say what your reasoning is?‖ Ask people to ―say back‖ the opposing view to the other’s satisfaction before they disagree. Transfer responsibility away from you to class
Most teachers wait less than one second after asking a question.
3. Balance students’ voices: ―Others we’ve heard from less?‖ ―If it’s already been said, how would you say it?‖ ―Whose opinion on this topic would you like to hear?‖ Encourage even when off track: ―Good, thanks for getting us going,‖ ―Yes, more, what else?‖ remind people ―No question is stupid.‖
4. Track themes to bring discussion back on track or reframe it: Put guiding questions or ideas on screen or board, then to move people on: ―Which one are we addressing to now?‖ Prompt for links: ―Wait, what was the connection between this and Jack’s question?‖ Use evidence to support or challenge ideas: ―Do these lines answer Kanisha’s question?‖ Offer your own discoveries to encourage reframing: ―Oh, I just realized! Maybe Hector is the real hero of the poem.‖ ―What if we solved the problem this way?‖
5. Comment explicitly on group dynamics: ―Please, folks, I can’t hear her.‖ ―Let her finish.‖ ―One at a time.‖ ―How many feel we need more structure? How many want more freewheeling discussion?‖ ―What can we do to encourage those reluctant to contribute to share their thoughts?‖ At midterm, email individuals, ―I’d really like to hear from you more in class. As your writing shows, others could gain from the greater diversity you’d bring. Participation counts too . . .‖
6. Summarize what was learned (while valuing uncertainty, depending on the content): ―Did you learn anything, or are you left thinking about anything?‖ ―What struck you?‖ ―What do you want to remember?‖ In general, use open questions (―what‖ and ―why‖) over closed questions (―Is this clear?‖ or ―Does that make sense?‖) to give practice at putting complex ideas into language. At end of class, give a ―minute paper‖ or ask for the ―muddiest point‖ and begin the next discussion by reviewing what students wrote about.
―...no thought, no idea, can possibly be conveyed as an idea from one person to another. When it is told, it is, to the one to whom it is told, another given fact, not an idea. ...Only by wrestling with the conditions of the problem at first hand, seeking and finding his own way out, does he think.‖ John Dewey, Democracy and education an introduction to the philosophy of education, p 188.
Bain, Ken. 2004. What the Best College Teachers Do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Dewey, J. (2006). Democracy and education an introduction to the philosophy of education. [S.l.]: Public Domain Books. Finkel, D. L. (2000). Teaching with Your Mouth Shut. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers. Sousa, D. A. (2006). How the brain learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Tileston, D. W. (2000). 10 best teaching practices: how brain research, learning styles, and standards define teaching competencies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Torosyan, PhD., R. (2009, December). Reminders for improving classroom discipline. Building Student Engagement: 15 Strategies for the College Classroom. Retrieved June 12, 2011, from http://www.jsums.edu/jsuoaa/resources/Building%20Student%20Engagement% 2015%20Strategies.pdf Woodard, B. S. (2007, November 7). Improving Learning: Best practices for teaching in the library. Lecture presented at CARLI I-Share Instruction Forum in Heartland Community College. Retrieved June 12, 2011.