Setting the Stage (1)
11:4 And the mixed multitude that was among them
fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also
wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to
11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in
Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and
the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic:
11:6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing
at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. …
Setting the Stage (2)
And remember ye said: "O Moses! we
cannot endure one kind of food (always);
so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for
us of what the earth groweth, -its potherbs, and cucumbers, Its garlic, lentils,
and onions …(Quran 2v61)
Nothing is pleasant that is
not spiced with variety
What is Stimulus Variation?
This skill is concerned with the changes or
variations in teaching style to avoid boredom.
Stimulus refers to an agent, action, or condition
that elicits, accelerates or rouses to
physiological or psychological action, activity or
Variation deals with the approach of changing
such stimulus to bring variety into the classroom
and avoid boredom.
The skill of stimulus variation involves
deliberate change in attention drawing behavior
of the teacher in order to secure and sustain
students’ attention to what is being taught.
What is Stimulus Variation? (2)
It is the skills to stimulate the students, increase
their active participation, enthusiasm and spirit
It is a way of enhancing children learning by
helping them remain attentive.
A stimulus situation that changes in different
ways is one of the most powerful influences in
maintaining orienting activity by the students.
A teacher must develop the skills to attract and
hold the attention of students throughout the
Making Students Attend to Instruction
Intensity: A louder sound, a brighter light can
capture any one’s attention, but continuity of
loudness and brightness tend to have a quick
decreasing effect in attracting attention.
Contrast: Anything that contrasts with other things
in the surrounding environment attracts attention.
Movement: A moving object/thing attracts attention
more in comparison to stationary one.
Instructional Materials: Instructional materials
are powerful to attract and hold students’ attention.
enthusiastic, stimulating, energetic, and expressive
behaviour gets more attention than dull and
Component Skills Stimulus Variation
Teacher’s movement: Varying movements within the
classroom for pedagogic purpose. E.g. writing on the
board, movement to the student who is responding to
some question, conducting experiment, etc.
Teacher’s Gestures: Purposeful movements of the
parts of the body of the teacher to communicate certain
meaningful ideas to the students. These include
movements of head, hand and body parts to arrest
Changes in Speech Pattern Silence / Pause: This is
the use of pitch in voice projection to indicate relative
importance of information. These include variation in
volume or accent of voice to avoid boredom.
Component Skills Stimulus Variation (2)
Pausing: Silence by the teacher for a moment. Can
attract students’ attention and increase their desire to
listen. Silence can indicate that what has just been
said/done is important or unacceptable.
Change in Audio-Visual Sequence: Continuous
change in the sequence of using audio visual aids
concentrates the attention of the pupil upon the teacher.
Use visual, audio, and sometimes audio-visual
Vary Methodology: Change in teaching methodology.
E.g. combining use of demonstrations, group work,
individual projects, dramatization, and giving students
opportunities to read, write, speak, etc.
Component Skills Stimulus Variation (3)
Variation in Questioning: Questions should be
varied, from low to high order questions.
Ensure you ask question at various levels.
When students ask questions do not directly answer
the question, refer the question to other students.
Develop listening skill. Let the student finish his/her
question first so as to give time for you to prepare
for a suitable and right answer.
Do not cut off the student’s question or explanation
Component Skills Stimulus Variation (4)
Focusing: Used to concentrate the attentions of the
students on some specific point or event. Used when
the teacher wants to direct the students’ attention to a
particular point which they are required to observe.
Focusing can be obtained through verbal
communication or gesture or both. In three ways:
verbal focusing (look here” listen to me” “note it
carefully” “this is very important”),
gesture focusing (pointing towards some object with
fingers or underlining the important words on the
board, and highlighting on the projector)
verbal and gesture focusing
Component Skills Stimulus Variation (5)
Varying of Non-verbal Gestures: Teacher should be
able to use hands, eyes, body or even clap, stamp feet
as a way of maintaining pupils interest in the lesson.
Over use of gestures might end up becoming a habit
and then defeat the purpose of being a stimulus.
Student movement: The teacher can change the focus
of attention by involving students in physically doing
something, like in experiments, handling apparatus, or
Variation in Sensory Channels: Varying the senses
that students are using. Touch, see, smell, or feel. The
introduction of addition sensory modes in a lesson will
make the lesson interesting.
Component Skills Stimulus Variation (6)
Oral to Visual; Oral-Visual Switching: Giving
information to the class using oral or visual medium.
Essential for the teacher to change medium to sustain
Oral to Visual: While explaining points one shows a
model (oral to visual) and after showing the chart
again start speaking (visual to oral).
Oral-Oral visual: While speaking one shows
objects, charts and models and explains their various
parts. It is switching from oral to oral-visual.
Visual oral – visual. The teacher shifts focus from
the visual stimulus to verbal (oral), then to visual.
Component Skills Stimulus Variation (7)
Variation in Interaction Style: Interaction style can be
used as stimulus, for example teacher/student or
student/student or student /teacher.
Teacher-Students Interaction Style: The teacher has a
dialogue with the whole class, communicates to the
students as a whole, not to individual students;
Teacher-Student Interaction Style: The teacher has a
dialogue with a certain student, communicates the
students as individuals;
Students-Students Interaction Style: The teacher is
not involved in the students' activities; functioning as
an observer, he lets the students discuss in groups.
Flander’s Interaction Analysis Categories (FIAC)
Teacher Category number
1. Accepts feeling: Accepts and clarifies an attitude or
the feeling (positive or negative) tone of students in a
2. Praises or encourages: Praises or encourages
students’ action or behavior. Jokes that release
tension, but not at the expense of another individual.
Accepts or uses ideas of pupils: Clarifying or
building or developing ideas suggested by a student
and teachers extensions of pupil.
4. Asks questions: Asking question about content to
procedure, based on teacher ideas, with the intent that
a students will answer.
Flander’s Interaction Analysis Categories (FIAC) 2
Teacher Category number
5. Lecturing: Giving facts or opinions about content
or procedures; expressing his own ideas, giving his
own explanation, or citing an authority other than a
6. Giving directions: Directions, commands or
orders to which a pupil is expected to comply.
7. Criticising or justifying authority: Statements
intended to change pupil behavior from nonacceptable to acceptable pattern; bawling someone
out; stating why the teacher is doing what he is
during; extreme self-reliance.
Flander’s Interaction Analysis Categories (FIAC) 3
Students’ Category number
8. Pupil-talk response: Talk by pupils in response to
teacher. Teacher initiates the contact or solicits
pupil statement or structures the situation. Freedom
to express own ideas is limited.
9. Pupil-talk Initiation: Talk by pupils, which they
initiate. Expressing own ideas; initiating a new
topic; freedom to develop opinions and a line of
thought, kike asking thoughtful questions; going
beyond the existing structure.
10. Silence or confusion: Pauses, short periods of
confusion in which communication cannot be
understood by the observer.
Sameness is the mother of
disgust, variety the cure
Mudasiru Olalere Yusuf (PhD)
Department of Educational Technology,
University of Ilorin, Nigeria
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;