The dominant teaching method in many Universities is still lecturing. and the ratio of lectures to all other teaching methods can be as high as 2:1 and occasionally no teaching method other than lecturing is used at all.
Is this reliance on lecturing an effective way for Universities to achieve the educational objectives they set themselves? Is this reliance on lecturing an efficient use of the lecturer's time and energy and of students' time and energy? Does it give students a rich and rewarding educational experience?
Cheryl Frose's insight:
If this position is research supported in post-secondary, can it be effective in K-12?
The human brain is a mysterious entity that scientists have been exploring for decades particulalry since the 1950s. Among the early pioneers in brain study were scientists Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry whose hemispheric experiments paved the way for some amazing discoveries in cognitive science.However, now with the advance of technology it becomes way easier to study the brain than ever before , Howard Gardner and Daniel Goleman are the guys to turn to for some recent researches in this field.
I know we are teachers and not cognitive scientists but I think that a basic knowledge about our brain, how it works, and how it develops could help us understand our kids and students learning behaviours and therefore cater more effectively to their learning needs. Just very briefly,here are some very interesting brain facts I found on Jump Start, the original article has more facts but I selected just the most interesting
In the mid-1950s, humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow created a theory of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs that motivate individuals to move consciously or subconsciously through levels or tiers based on our inner and outer satisfaction of those met or unmet needs. As a parent and educator, I find this theory eternally relevant for students and adults, especially in our classrooms.
After studying it over the past couple of years, my graduate and undergraduate students have decided that every classroom should display a wall-sized diagram of the pyramid, as students and teachers alike place pins and post-its on the varying tiers based on their own feelings, behaviors and needs. What do actual brain-compatible strategies look like on this pyramid?
So what defines deeper learning? This group has identified six competencies: mastering content, critical thinking, effective written and oral communication, collaboration, learning how to learn, and developing academic mindsets.
Checking for understanding is the foundation of teaching.
Whether you’re using formative assessment for data to personalize learning within a unit, or more summative data to refine a curriculum map, the ability to quickly and easily check for understanding is a critical part of what you do.
Student-centered approaches to learning respond to each student’s needs and interests, making use of new tools for doing so.
Critical and distinct elements of student-centered approaches to learning challenge the current schooling and education paradigm:
Embracing the adolescent’s experience and learning theory as the starting point of education;Harnessing the full range of learning experiences at all times of the day, week, and year;Expanding and reshaping the role of the educator; andDetermining progression based upon mastery.
Any assessment is designed to provide a snapshot of student understand—the more snapshots, the more complete the full picture of knowledge.
On its best day, an assessment will be 100% effective, telling you exactly what a student understands. More commonly, the return will be significantly lower as the wording of questions, the student’s sense of self-efficacy, or other factors diminish their assessment performance. It sounds obvious, but a student is a human being with an entire universe of personal problems, distraction, and related challenges in recalling the information in the form the assessment demands.
This makes a strong argument for frequent assessment, as it can be too easy to over-react and “remediate” students who may be banging against the limits of the assessment’s design rather than their own understanding. Rather than re-teaching, sometimes all that is necessary is re-measuring.
It is a huge burden (for both teachers and students) to design, write, complete, grade, and absorb the data into an instructional design sequence on a consistent basis. So why not frequent, simple assessments?
Cheryl Frose's insight:
Exit Cards, Self-Checks...by any name, frequent assessment is also useful!
Students must be at the center of learning, but making this happen is no simple task. Learners accustomed to sitting passively while their teachers dole out knowledge may initially be unready to take on more active roles in the classroom.
We cannot simply throw students in the deep end of the learning pool and expect them to swim. Educators must teach the noncognitive or "soft" skills that are the foundation of independent learning.
We suggest three strengths teachers should seek to develop in their students so that they can assume more responsibility as learners: self-regulation, persistence, and collaboration.
I have a confession to make. I was wrong. You see, I once thought that teaching was lecturing, and I thought that because that is how my graduate mentors taught me to teach.
But I was wrong. Studies have shown that lecturing has little to do with teaching. A University of Maryland study found that right after a physics lecture, almost none of the students could answer the question: “What was the lecture you just heard about?” Another physics professor simply asked students about the material that he had presented only 15 minutes earlier, and he found that only ten percent showed any sign of remembering it (Freedman, 2012).
Most teachers and current textbooks offer varied approaches to the material to be learned so the teaching can be brain-compatible with the varied student learning styles. It is only logical that respect for these individual learning styles be incorporated into assessment forms.
Hattie's Index Of Teaching & Learning Strategies: 39 Effect Sizes In Ascending Order
Statistically speaking, the strength of the relationship between two variables. John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says ‘effect sizes’ are the best way of answering the question ‘what has the greatest influence on student learning?’
This article was first published as part of a project focused on building the knowledge base for student-centered approaches to learning. The article emphasizes the limiting nature of print and the need to embrace technology to create more student-centered opportunities for learning, To illustrate the point, we decided to create a digital version of the article in an accessible format and apply the UDL principles to transform the static, print article into an interactive, learning experience. As you read in this UDL environment, you experience exactly the kind of “student-centered learning in the digital age” that the article promotes.
Cheryl Frose's insight:
Actually experience the UDL principles in this 'article' Interesting!
UDL Studio, a free digital tool (funded largely by the Carnegie foundation) has recently been released by CAST. UDL studio is underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning . UDL studio is underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning . UDL Studio joins other successful digital tools created by CAST. See for example my blog post on LEA Meets Book Builder.UDL Studioenables anyone to create media-rich resources, to actively engage and motivate students, and to respond flexibly to the needs of each learner; thereby ensuring quality and equality in access to learning for all.
UDL Studio offers templates to scaffold you or your students as you create content using multimodal elements, such as text, image¸ video, audio, and animation. You can explore the project library to view previous projects created by UDL studio users...
We really like the tips and resources page which asks you to reflect carefully on how the use of the digital tool enhances children’s understanding of text; enriches the reading experience; and represents information in an engaging manner.
The following lesson is part of a larger unit on using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles when designing classroom curriculum. This lesson focuses on the various components of a lesson plan and the UDL supports, options and strategies included in each part of the lesson in order to create barrier-free learning. At the end of this lesson educators will be able to list and plan for the essential components of a lesson, identify and eliminate barriers in a lesson and implement a successful UDL lesson.
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