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ENGLISH 105

Hand-out 1: Teaching and Learning Process


A LITTLE REFLECTION
People have been continuously wondering how the teaching profession can be the noblest among all
professions. Every time that my students ask me this question, my answer had always been simple: Teachers
change lives. This above all makes teaching a special profession. Yes, teachers do not design and build
buildings. Teachers do not cure the sick and help in curing the sick. Teachers do not cook food in restaurants.
Teachers do not have glamorous lives and seldom that they are featured in the spotlight. But teachers are
behind all the architects, engineers, doctors, nurses, actors and actresses. Take them out of the world and no
one can become architects, engineers, doctors, nurses, actors and actresses.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
TEACHING
The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of
satisfying it afterwards.
-Anatole France
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher
inspires.
William Arthur Ward
In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.
-Phil Collins
True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then,
having
facilitated
their
crossing,
joyfully
collapse,
encouraging
them
to
create
their
own.
Nikos Kazantzakis
TEACHING-the occupation, profession, or work of a teacher; ideas or principles taught by an authority
-related to token, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek deiknunai show, and
Latin dicere say.
***These twelve principles are intended as guidelines to faculty and administrators interested in the
improvement of teaching and learning. The list is derived, in part, from a study co-sponsored by the American
Association for Higher Education and the Education Commission of the States (AAHE Bulletin, March 1987).
That study reported seven principles of good practice and six powerful forces in higher education which has
been extracted from fifty years of research on teaching and learning in higher education. The study was
conducted by a team of prominent educators, including Alexander W. Astin, Howard Bowen, Carol H Boyer, K
Patricia Cross, Kenneth Eble, Russel Edgerton, Jerry Gaff, Joseph Katz, C. Robert Pace, Marvin W. Peterson,
and Richard C. Richardson Jr.
We have added five principles, based on our review of the literature (including review articles such as T.M.
Shermin et.al. "The quest for excellence in university teaching" in the Journal of Higher Education, Vol 58, No
1, 1987, pp.66-84; and John Centra et. Al. "A guide to evaluating teaching for promotion and tenure", 1987, a
publication of Syracuse University).
1. Teachers' knowledge of the subject matter is essential to the implementation of important teaching
tasks
Teachers who know their subject matter thoroughly can be more effective and efficient at organizing the
subject matter, connecting the subject with the students' previous knowledge, finding useful analogies and
examples, presenting current thinking on the subject, and establishing appropriate emphases.
2. Active involvement of the learner enhances learning
Learning is an active process which requires that the learner work with and apply new material to past
knowledge and to everyday life. Some of the methods that encourage active learning in the classroom are:
discussion, practice sessions, structured exercises, team projects, and research projects. In the words of
William James:
Teaching without an accompanying experience is like filling a lamp with water. Something has been
poured in, but the result is not illuminating.
3. Interaction between teachers and students is the most important factor in student motivation and
involvement
Interaction between students and faculty, particularly informal interaction, is one of the most important
factors in student motivation for learning. The opportunity to know a few faculty well often enhances students'
intellectual commitment and provides valuable role modelling.
4. Students benefit from taking responsibility for their learning
Students are more motivated when they take control of their own learning. This is the belief which has
stimulated active interest in self-directed learning.
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ENGLISH 105
Hand-out 1: Teaching and Learning Process

5. There are many roads to learning


Students learn in different ways and vary in their abilities to perform certain tasks. Understanding that
each student has unique strengths and weaknesses related to the ways in which they approach learning is an
important component of effective education. Providing a variety of learning activities for a class enables
individual students to choose the activity which is the most effective for them at the moment.
6. Expect more and you will achieve more
Simply stated, if an educator conveys to students that he or she believes in their ability to succeed
learning is enhanced.
7. Learning is enhanced in an atmosphere of cooperation
Learning is enhanced when it is perceived as a collaborative and cooperative effort between students.
The opportunity to share ideas without threat of ridicule and the freedom to respond to the ideas of others
increases complexity of thinking and deepens understanding.
8. Material must be meaningful
If new material is presented in a pattern or framework that the learner can perceive, it is more readily
learned and retained. New material will be more easily learned if the learner is helped to see its relationship to
what s/he already knows. Material which is seen by the learner as relevant to his or her own problems and
experiences will be more readily learned.
9. Both teaching and learning are enhanced by descriptive feedback
Without feedback neither learner nor teacher can improve because they will not know what they need
to know or to what extent they are fulfilling their goals. The learners' behavior will more quickly reach the
objectives if they are informed (or given feedback) frequently about the correctness of their responses. Correct
responses should be immediately reinforced to increase the "permanence" of learning. A positive reinforcer is
anything that will increase the probability that the desired behavior will be repeated. A smile or comment to let
the learner know he or she has successfully completed the task is especially good because awareness of
successful completion is, in itself, the most effective of all reinforces.
Feedback about progress is helpful because learning is facilitated when the learner is aware that he or she is
progressing towards the goals.
10. Critical feedback is only useful if the learner has alternatives to pursue
There is no use giving teachers or students feedback about their performances unless they can do
something about it, that is, unless they have some alternative course of action or behaviour.
11. Time plus energy equals learning
Lectures or seminars that are cancelled will not help the learner. Conversely, teachers who arrive at
their lecture or small group setting a little before the scheduled time and stay around for a few minutes
afterward provide opportunities for valuable interaction between students and teachers. Office hours also help
students to arrange time to talk with teachers. Students must learn how to organize their time so that they can
find time to study. And the curriculum must be organized to allow students time to study.
12. Experience usually improves teaching
Experience is associated with increasing teacher effectiveness for some teachers, probably for those
teachers who obtain feedback about their teaching and who are flexible enough to modify their methods in
response to the feedback.
https://www.uoguelph.ca/tss/id/ta/tahb/tah8g.html
LEARNING
Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding
others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers.
Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
Any fool can know. The point is to understand. Albert Einstein
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin
Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. Socrates
All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind. ~Martin H. Fischer
Theory and Research-based Principles of Learning
The following list presents the basic principles that underlie effective learning. These principles are
distilled from research from a variety of disciplines.
1. Students prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.
Students come into our courses with knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes gained in other courses and
through daily life. As students bring this knowledge to bear in our classrooms, it influences how they filter and
interpret what they are learning. If students prior knowledge is robust and accurate and activated at the
appropriate time, it provides a strong foundation for building new knowledge. However, when knowledge is
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Hand-out 1: Teaching and Learning Process

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

inert, insufficient for the task, activated inappropriately, or inaccurate, it can interfere with or impede new
learning.
How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know.
Students naturally make connections between pieces of knowledge. When those connections form
knowledge structures that are accurately and meaningfully organized, students are better able to retrieve and
apply their knowledge effectively and efficiently. In contrast, when knowledge is connected in inaccurate or
random ways, students can fail to retrieve or apply it appropriately.
Students motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn.
As students enter college and gain greater autonomy over what, when, and how they study and learn,
motivation plays a critical role in guiding the direction, intensity, persistence, and quality of the learning
behaviors in which they engage. When students find positive value in a learning goal or activity, expect to
successfully achieve a desired learning outcome, and perceive support from their environment, they are likely
to be strongly motivated to learn.
To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know
when to apply what they have learned.
Students must develop not only the component skills and knowledge necessary to perform complex
tasks, they must also practice combining and integrating them to develop greater fluency and automaticity.
Finally, students must learn when and how to apply the skills and knowledge they learn. As instructors, it is
important that we develop conscious awareness of these elements of mastery so as to help our students learn
more effectively.
Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students learning.
Learning and performance are best fostered when students engage in practice that focuses on a
specific goal or criterion, targets an appropriate level of challenge, and is of sufficient quantity and frequency to
meet the performance criteria. Practice must be coupled with feedback that explicitly communicates about
some aspect(s) of students performance relative to specific target criteria, provides information to help
students progress in meeting those criteria, and is given at a time and frequency that allows it to be useful.
Students current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of
the course to impact learning.
Students are not only intellectual but also social and emotional beings, and they are still developing the
full range of intellectual, social, and emotional skills. While we cannot control the developmental process, we
can shape the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical aspects of classroom climate in developmentally
appropriate ways. In fact, many studies have shown that the climate we create has implications for our
students. A negative climate may impede learning and performance, but a positive climate can energize
students learning.
To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to
learning.
Learners may engage in a variety of metacognitive processes to monitor and control their learning
assessing the task at hand, evaluating their own strengths and weaknesses, planning their approach, applying
and monitoring various strategies, and reflecting on the degree to which their current approach is
working. Unfortunately, students tend not to engage in these processes naturally. When students develop the
skills to engage these processes, they gain intellectual habits that not only improve their performance but also
their effectiveness as learners.
http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/principles/learning.h
CHECKPOINT:
Read the given question. Construct an answer based on your own experiences. Give an honest answer.
Your answer should be in complete sentences. A minimum of three sentences and a maximum of seven
sentences is expected. Encode your answer in a short bond paper. Do not forget to write your name and the
date of submission.
My Reflection 1
Taking into consideration the principles of learning and teaching discussed above and your own experiences
from high school and elementary, what principle of learning and teaching can you impart to others? Explain
your principle of teaching and learning. You can cite examples or situations if it would allow you to make your
explanations more meaningful.
HARD DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION:
November 28, 2014