Effective Teaching Methods
Part A: Answer the following questions in one to three paragraphs each:
• How did your own home and school experiences affect how you learned? How might your own experiences and attitudes influence how you will teach? What
might be some of your biases that you bring into the classroom, and what can you do to overcome them?
• Review the secondary narrative example in Chapter 1 of Good and Brophy. What are Ms. Chavez’s relative strengths and weaknesses?
• How can teachers improve their interaction patterns with low achievers without reducing their effectiveness with other students? Consider such issues as
individualization, teacher affect, thinking and decision-making, and classroom interaction, self-concept, assessment, etc. (You do not need to include all of these
areas in your response! Focus on two or three.)
• How can a teacher’s overemphasis on praise of right answers interfere with student learning?
• Give an example of some task-relevant prior knowledge that might be required before certain instructional objectives in your chosen subject matter can be taught successfully (i.e., specific reading ability, foundation of mathematical concepts, etc.).
Part B: Classroom Observation
The focus of Unit 1 has been individual differences, teaching behaviors, and teacher bias and expectation. As you observe classrooms for this unit, please keep this focus in mind.
The written requirements for the Unit 1 observation are as follows:
1. A page of introduction that includes:
• Date, time, and place of observation.
• Specific class being taught (subject and level), duration of class period, number of students in class.
• Lesson(s) or unit being taught on that day.
• General layout of seats, general description of the environment.
• Other factors that might impact the observation: unique characteristics of the class, the mood in the room or school as a whole, directly before or after a
holiday, end-of-term exam time, etc.
• A brief description of the teacher: male or female, how many years teaching, particular style of interaction, any unique traits.
2. Detailed answers (one or two paragraphs each) to the following questions:
• How did the teacher interact with the students in general? How did the teacher respond to individual learner differences? Give specific examples, if
• What were the expectations (spoken or unspoken) of the teacher toward individual students or toward the class as a whole? Did you detect any
indication of bias? Be specific.
• What behaviors of the teacher did you find effective? Which ones did you find ineffective? How do these behaviors match the key and helping
behaviors mentioned in the first chapter of the Borich text?
• How did students respond to the teacher, both in terms of participation as well as behaviors and attitudes? Did you find individual differences in student responsiveness? Give specific examples.
• What questions, comments, reflection, or insights do you have concerning this unit of study and observation?
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