Learning & Teaching

Learning and Teaching

Learning & teaching strategies used in literature

written by bunpeiris

Meeting the needs of learners in planning teaching and learning
The teachers may avoid possible adverse effects resulting from the collision between the teaching style of the teacher and learning style of the learner by making way for the 21st century learner-centered methodology.
The learners do thrive, flower and bloom in the interactive lessons, i.e. when the learners become active participants. Such a classroom environment and such a teaching methodology suit all the learners.
Therein we shift from teacher-centered (TCT)/lecture-oriented passive learner classrooms to learner-centered (LCT)/discussion & activity-oriented active learner classrooms where the teacher’s role should be that of a facilitator or learning mediator. (Minter, 2011) elaborates the differences.

Focus is on both students and instructor
Focus is on instructor
Students interact with instructor and other students
Instructor models
Students answer each other’s questions using instructor as an information source
Instructor answers students’ questions
Students have some choice of topics
Instructor chooses topics
Students evaluate their own learning along with instructor’s evaluations
Instructor only evaluates student learning
Classroom is often noisy and busy
Classroom is basically quiet and controlled.
(Minter, 2011) goes on to say: ‘However, John Dewey was not proposing a complete “learner-centered” approach at the detriment of reducing the importance of the subject matter. He was proposing a balance rather than a LCT/TCT dichotomy, i.e., we need both approaches in order to be effective in our instructions’.

Literature comes alive when kids have a chance to interpret & to interact. It allows kids to not only see themselves as active readers, but as people who can make meaning”
Barry Hoonon

‘Barry Hoonan believes teaching is much like poetry. It is crafted, it is magical, and it is powerful when shared. As an act of creation, teaching illuminates the tiny details of living and learning. Entering literature discussion groups as a teacher, Mr. Hoonan sees himself as an improvisational artist, listening and responding to student comments and questions. He is on the spot and ready to take the disparate pieces and help students put them together. Moving in and out of group discussions, his ultimate goal is to help students become independent thinkers and learners’. (Annenberg Learner, 2013)
Why Jean Valjean of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables was imprisoned for 19yrs for stealing a loaf of bread? [a literary work]
Why was that a 13 year school girl given a disproportionate punishment for stealing 8 coconuts? [real life situation]
Why did Julian Paul Assange publish U.S. military and diplomatic documents in WikiLeaks? [real life situation]
Why did Edward Snowden leak top-secret USA & UK government mass surveillance programs to the press? [real life situation]
Why does the Teacher of Literature make all these varied questions?
Because as Wisconsin Teacher Education Standard No 1 of 10 says the teacher (University of Wisconsin, 2013)
[a] understands the central concepts [Knowledge of the teacher]
[b] can create interdisciplinary learning experience that allow the learners to integrate knowledge, skills & methods of inquiry from several subject areas.
[Skills of the teacher]
[c] is enthusiastic of disciplines he teaches and sees connections to everyday life
[Dispositions of the teacher]

Furthermore, it is an application of real life situations to a literary work.
Approaches to learning and teaching to meet the needs of learners
Make way for the natural learning process of the human race.
As David Kolb theorized in his Experiential Learning Style, when the humans learn they complete four phase learning process. The phases, as (McCarthy, Bernice, 2013) elaborated
Concrete experience: an incidence takes place.
Reflective Observation: the learner tires to figure out what exactly has happened.
Abstract Conceptualization: what can I induce from this
Active Experimentation: how can I use this elsewhere
(McCarthy, Bernice, 2013) goes onto elaborate her Four-Step Lesson Plan:
1. Motivation: find out what students already know, activate old knowledge,
identify/create the need for new knowledge, get students ready to approach the unfamiliar through the familiar
2. Information: gaining new information, defining the scope of new knowledge
3. Practice: manipulate new information, activates a move from guided to free and from easy to difficult, practise new knowledge
4. Application: apply new knowledge, use new information in a larger context.
Be conscious of Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
The teachers need to consider the different cognitive development of students since they could be of different experiences even if they are in same age range.
Bring in the relevance to the lesson
Elaboration of a lesson with a real-life situation makes lesson interesting to the learners. Furthermore examples with real-life situations make the lesson easier for the learners.

Engaging and motivating learners
Teacher’s enthusiasm
The starting point is the teacher’s enthusiasm on the subject. Excitement that thrives in the class as a result of teacher’s enthusiasm is contagious: all get involved. A teacher who enjoys teaching his subject is bound to arouse the excitement of the learners making the learners partners.

Furthermore, engaging and motivating the learners can be made simple by teacher making the learners partners. With such a view the teacher needs to
[a] lay bare the learning objective or course goal and their collective plan to achieve.
[b] make the students see the value in the lesson/subject
[c] make the learners believe the goals can be reached

A change in the learning environment
A field trip or simply outdoor class could breeze in fresh impetus to the learning process of the learners.

Collective learning processes
Some Learners raise their performances levels while working in group activities: interaction with others make them better learners than when they rely on their cognition.

Catering to all three styles of learning
Although, humans do learn, indeed by making use of all five senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. However there are learning styles (learning style is an individual’s natural or habitual pattern of acquiring and processing information in learning situations). i.e.
(a) visual (what is seen: printed materials, facial expression, body language)
(b) auditory (heard & said: spoken words, sounds)
(c) kinesthetic (felt: emotions, actions, movement, taste, smell).

Then again, though learners learn in all three learning styles, most of the learners have a leaning towards one of the three learning styles. In this concept, the majority of the learners can be categorized into visual learners or auditory learners or kinesthetic learners.
A lesson plan that has something for everybody, i.e. enriched with features that appeal to all learner types, is bound to motivate and engage all.

Annenberg Learner, 2013. The Teacher’s Role in a Literary Community. [Online] Available at: http://www.learner.org/libraries/makingmeaning/makingmeaning/teachers/index.html [Accessed 12th August 2013].
McCarthy, Bernice, 2013. The Four Step Lesson Plan. [Online] Available at: http://faculty.academyart.edu/resource/4step.html [Accessed 12 August 2013].
Minter, M.K., 2011. Learner-Centered (LCI) Vs. Teacher-Centered (TCI). [Online] Available at: http://journals.cluteonline.com/index.php/AJBE/article/viewFile/4225/4296 [Accessed 13 August 2013].
University of Wisconsin, 2013. Wisconsin Teacher Education Standards. [Online] Available at: http://www.uwlax.edu/des/DESPortfolio/2.KSD_Standards.pdf [Accessed 12th August 2013].

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