Teachingpractices are preferred styles used by individual teachers to conveyinformation to their students. The same way individuals havepreferred learning styles, teachers also have a preference forteaching styles that work best when creating and deliveringinstructions. Teaching styles depend on various factors such as age,available resources and instructor`s personality among others. Theteaching style reflects classroom management, facilitation of studentinteractions, delivery of content and tools used in the course.
Currently,I use the most common teaching methods known as demonstration style.This teaching technique is the best and can be used with both largeand small groups of students. It involves teaching throughexperiments or examples to proof or explain ideas in a better way. Asa result, students may find it easy to visualize the sequences ofevents that may be hidden in theoretical narratives. In this type ofsetting, the classroom is teacher-directed and therefore, I have toplan, shape as well as guide the learning process. It involvesanalyzing of the course materials and preparation of a sequence ofinstructional practices to help students acquire the requiredknowledge and skills. This approach provides learners with a step-by- step process to tackle complex tasks (James 58).
Thisapproach of teaching assists students in many ways. First, it permitstheory teaching along with practice. For this reason, it acts as avaluable option to assist student “learn by doing.” The step-by–step demonstration allows students to relate to the presentedinformation, and this is beneficial when applying knowledge throughinteraction. Research shows how this teaching practice is capable ofbreaking concepts into similar and dissimilar characteristics, thusallowing learners to understand and solve complex issues in a simplerway. At the same time, this strategy of teaching engages the studentintrinsically and helps to attract and hold the attention of thestudents to fundamental elements (James 58).
This type of teaching requires one to acts a role model to studentsthrough the demonstration of skills, process and behavior.Consequently, this assists students to experience the presentation ina clear manner through prepared visuals or tactile aids. Compared toreading,
thedemonstration method can be interesting since students have theopportunity to acquire and develop scientific skills promoted bypredicting and making records of their observations. Using thisstrategy, the teacher acts as a demonstrator and the students try toinstigate the demonstrated activities. Ultimately, the students trytheir skills all the integrated activities should be rehearsed andrevised (Hamm 4).
Mostly,demonstrations are accompanied by explanations. The Step-by-stepdemonstrations make it simpler for low capability students. Thismethod activates the curiosity of the students making them develop aninterest, and this motivates them to participate actively in theclassroom. As a result, the students can feel a sense of belongingand encourage them to be more active in the process of learning.
Duringthe process of explanations, students can ask the teacher anyquestions and at the same time, the teacher asks questions whileperforming demonstrations. This method of teaching challenges highcapability students to ask questions and this will help otherstudents understand better the classroom concepts. However, if thelow capability students don’t understand the demonstration can berepeated. Furthermore, they can be helped and corrected by theirpeers during and after the demonstration. As a teacher, this iscrucial as you can observe physically how the learning of thestudents. Thus, one can know what practice works and what does notwork for the students (James 58).
Generally,in this method of teaching the subject matter is presented in a waythat can be easily understood. Therefore, the teachers can observestudent’s reaction and whether they are attentive or not.Therefore, it is easy to modify and try a different approach in thenext lesson. Additionally, providing students with homework is anopportunity for them to extend their learning beyond the classroom.
Onthe other hand, this teaching method may detract from the waystudents learn in many ways. First, using demonstration is hard tosatisfy all the ability ranges. Therefore, it is can be said to beonly suitable for intelligent students, while the low capabilitylearner may lag behind in the demonstration. The speed of theexperiment or demonstration whether too fast or too slow might causea problem to the students, and sometimes may end up becoming a silentreceiver of information (Hamm 4).
Anotherway this teaching practice may detract student is by ignoringindividual differences of the learners. This method of teaching isnot child centered and lacks provision for any individualdifferences. As a result, all students both high capability and slowlearners have to proceed at the same speed. A good classroomdemonstration requires one to capture the interest of the studentsfrom the beginning. Therefore, high capability student may switch offif they are familiar with the demonstration. Moreover, in a largeclass, the student may not see the demonstration (Moll 111).
Inthis type of learning, most students tend to study by themselves, andthus, it offers no scope for collective work. Mostly, the timetablemay lack provision for individual work. This method greatly requiresthe teacher to supervise and provide guidance, as well as, follow upon work. Students need help when studying by themselves.
Dueto the above-mentioned limitations of observation method ofinstruction, implementation of differentiated instruction strategieslearned throughout the course will be of greatly beneficial toboth the teachers and the students. Differentiated instruction isresponsive to learning preference, readiness and interests of thestudent. To begin with, execution of differentiated instructionstrategies will help the teacher to deliver lessons that aredesigned according to the student’s learning styles. Therefore,teachers will know their students well to come up with tasks andexperiences that will enhance their learning capacity. Teachers willdo a better job when they tailor their instruction approach to matchthe learning needs of the learners. Instead of utilizing theone-fits-all technique other methods including, teaching in smallgroups or one- on- one lesson. As a result, the students will becomemore engaged in the process of learning. Besides, the strugglingstudents will receive extra support and allowed to demonstrate theirknowledge in different ways (Hamm 4).
Sincethe teacher will differentiate the content design according to thelevels of intellectual behavior ranging from high-order thinkingskills to lower-order thinking skills, he/she will find it easier toevaluate and amend the contents of the lessons to meet the needs ofthe students. In this case, those students with some mastery about alesson may be asked to analyze and apply the content, those with highlevels of mastery may complete tasks and those unfamiliar may areneeded to complete tasks lower levels. Using differentiatedinstruction will help to group student based on shared interest,topic and assignment capability since each one of them has theirpreferred style of learning (Moll 111).
Additionally,teachers will do a better job if they can manage the classroom in away that enables a safe and supportive environment. This includesarranging furniture to support both group work and individual.Differentiated learning will help teachers to provide learners withthe proper support and challenge required for learning. In this case,implementation of differentiated instruction strategies will involveresource management to ensure quality learning occurs daily. Withefficient time management, the teacher will be able to developschedules that will clearly identify when activities will be done.Using this method of teaching will make it easy to put consistentlyinto effect routines, thereby reducing significantly behavioraldistractions. Finally, differentiated instructions will help teachersto improve the quality, as well as the quantity of practice providedin the classroom. Once, the designed routines operate effectively,then, they will be able to focus and teach in their own way usingsmall groups (Moll 111).
Inconclusion, the traditional teaching strategies have been found todetract student-learning process. The main limitation mentioned inthis paper is that they ignore individual differences of thelearners. This method of teaching is not child centered and lacksprovision for any individual differences. Therefore, there is a needto make all students both high capability and slow learners to learncomfortable at their own pace. Differentiated instructions andassessment is not all about grades. This is because teachers try tofigure out and understand the individual needs of students and whatthey can do. This process means that the teaching is differentiated,and changes should be made in classrooms, to depart from thetraditional teaching practices.
Moll,Anne M. DifferentiatedInstruction Guide for Inclusive Teaching.Port Chester: Dude Pub, 2003. Print.
Hamm,Mary. ActivatingAssessment for All Students: andInformative Methods in Math and Science.Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2013. Print.
James,Roger. TheTechniques of Instruction.Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Gower, 1995. Print.