There is much to be learned about improving instruction by examining initiatives within the U.S. that provide educators with the best-practice examples they might need. , which grew out of the Noyce Foundation's Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative, is exemplary as a professional resource for educators passionate about improving students' mathematics learning and performance. This site features tools for educators, problems of the month, classroom videos, Common Core resources, and performance assessment tasks. The Ohio Department of Education developed a (Common Core State Standards) as of June 2010.
The process of differentiation is challenging for educators, as it requires developing skills to teach in a flexible manner that responds to the unique needs of learners. Often total lessons or the pace of individual lessons need to be adjusted "on-the-fly." Teacher-led group instruction is only one model of instruction. So, teachers also need to know about additional resources beyond what's in the textbook or available in print format that can be used to help learners. For example, students can also learn from each other in collaborative groups, or from virtual instructors in online settings, or by working alone using software or apps. They can get different perspectives on a topic from viewing podcasts.
With all this in mind, Carole Frederick Steele (2009) would add that teachers need to be adept at improvising, interpreting events in progress, testing hypotheses, demonstrating respect, showing passion for teaching and learning, and helping students understand complexity. Fortunately, she reminded us that "No teacher is likely to excel at every aspect of teaching....What experts attend to and ignore is markedly different from what beginners notice. The growth continuum ranges from initial ignorance (unaware) to comprehension (aware) to competent application (capable) to great expertise (inspired)," paralleling Bloom's taxonomy. "Lack of awareness occurs before Bloom's categories. The awareness stage is a fair match for Bloom's stage of knowledge and understanding. Teachers at the capable stage use application and analysis well. Educators who reach the inspired stage have become skilled at synthesis and evaluation in regard to their thinking about teaching and learning" (Introduction section).
The fundamental challenges of the teaching profession are also well-articulated in Connecticut's , which includes "six domains and 46 indicators that identify the foundational skills and competencies that pertain to all teachers, regardless of the subject matter, field or age group they teach" (p. 2). They are useful for teacher preparation programs, beginning teachers, and experienced teachers. For example, among professional responsibilities, the Connecticut Department of Education (2010) indicated "Continually engaging in reflection, self-evaluation and professional development to enhance their understandings of content, pedagogical skills, resources and the impact of their actions on student learning" (p. 10). Collaboration and proactive communication with colleagues, administrators, students, and families are featured elements, as are understanding the legal rights of individuals with disabilities, and the role that race, gender, and culture might have on professional interactions with students, families, and colleagues, and ethical uses of technology.
For instance, if you're writing an argumentative essay — that is, one that argues a specific point with the hope of persuading the reader into agreement — it can be helpful to focus on summarizing your argument in the introductory paragraph (or paragraphs) of the essay.
Every teacher should have some knowledge on how students learn and be able to connect research to what they do in the classroom. In the , the Deans for Impact (2015) provide a valuable summary of cognitive science research on how learning takes place. In it you'll find cognitive principles and practical implications for the classroom related to six key questions on how students understand new ideas, learn and retain new information, and solve problems; how learning transfers to new situations; what motivates students to learn; and common misconceptions about how students think and learn (About section). Likewise, the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (2017) in New South Wales, Australia elaborates on research that teachers really need to understand about cognitive load theory: what it is, how the human brain learns, the evidence base for the theory, and implications for teaching. For example, when teaching, you'll learn about the effect of using worked examples with novices and learners who gain expertise, the effect of redundancy (unnecessary information might actually lead to instructional failure), the negative effect of split-attention (processing multiple separate sources of information simultaneously in order to understand the material), and the benefit of using supporting visual and auditory modalities.
includes several two-minute videos from math educators around the world who are sharing how they approach teaching various topics. For example, teachers have uploaded how they introduce sine and cosine graphs, teach inquiry, algebraic literacy, prime numbers, proportions, probability, proof, and how they teach using Cuisenaire rods or using one question lessons.
Diversity plays a significant role in classroom management. Disabilities and cultural differences impact behavioral differences. It important to know the nature of a disability. For example, an autistic child might require consistency in his/her schedule as disruptions in routine might trigger inappropriate behaviors. In responding to students with disabilities, some learners might need individualized plans for behavior management. Ideas might be to develop a behavior progress monitoring form with categories such as "Brought supplies, Worked productively, Was respectful of others" for various time frames (e.g., periods in a school day) or to develop a behavioral contract. In terms of cultural differences, teachers and all learners in a class should be aware of each others' interaction styles. What is acceptable in one culture might not be in another. For example, there are cultural differences in what is acceptable in speaking to others (e.g., one at a time, and loud voice), levels of physical activity and verbal discourse needed with thinking and learning, attitudes about sharing and respecting physical space, authority figures, what constitutes an authority figure and the manner in which deference is shown to authority figures (Voltz, Sims, & Nelson, 2010, pp. 52-55).
From an instructional styles perspective, Silver, Strong, and Perini (2007) noted that teachers who use mastery strategies focus on increasing students' abilities to remember and summarize. "They motivate by providing a clear sequence, speedy feedback, and a strong sense of expanding competence and measurable success." When focusing on interpersonal strategies, teachers use "teams, partnerships, and coaching" to help students better relate to the curriculum and each other. Understanding strategies help students to reason and use evidence and logic. Teachers "motivate by arousing curiosity using mysteries, problems, clues, and opportunities to analyze and debate." Self-expressive strategies highlight students' imagination and creativity. Teachers employ "imagery, metaphor, pattern, and what ifs to motivate students' drive toward individuality and originality." Finally, it's possible to use all four styles at the same time to achieve a balanced approach to learning (sec: Part One: Introduction, Figure B).
Per Kratochwill (n.d., Introduction section), "Although there is no agreed-upon definition of classroom management, the framework offered by Evertson and Weinstein (2006) represents a current and widely accepted view. According to Evertson and Weinstein, classroom management has two distinct purposes: “It not only seeks to establish and sustain an orderly environment so students can engage in meaningful academic learning, it also aims to enhance student social and moral growth” (p. 4). It's more than organizing the physical space for student safety and easy access to materials. It's more than deciding how you will manage classroom procedures, instructional groups and student behavior. It means creating a classroom environment of respect and rapport, and a culture for learning (Danielson, 2007, ch. 1).
In journalism, there is usually a great effort made to focus on the pure facts of the story, rather than the writer's opinion, so the introductory passages of a journalistic essay tends to be somewhat descriptive, rather than argumentative or persuasive.