How do people learn?
A cohort is made up of all different students who learn and retain information differently. The role of a teacher is quite complex, as they need to be skilful in accommodating to diverse learners. To put it briefly, people learn differently! There are different methods of learning; some students learn via a cognitive approach, where their new knowledge is built upon their prior knowledge. A part from learning through audio, visual, written and verbal, some students learn through prompting, cues, modelling the task or the breakdown of tasks. Student learning can be achieved through Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD can be define as the gap between what the learner is able to achieve on his/her own, compared to what the learner can achieve with help (Margetts and Woolfolk, 2013).
How should I teach? What are the viable concepts and styles of my teaching? What pedagogies do I want to employ?
My ultimate goal in my teaching career is to successful accommodate to student diversity, as well as modify lesson plans based on class diversity. In order to achieve this goal, I need to have a thorough understanding of different pedagogies that I can use in the classroom and the different learners I will encounter. I will come across students of differing socioeconomic status, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, multicultural, gender differentiation, physical, emotional, social and mental health issues, and students with low levels of literacy (Barrington, 2018). Therefore, it is important that how I teach revolves around whom I am teaching and adheres to the Australian Teaching Standard of knowing students and how they learn. A few methods of teaching I have learnt throughout my educational unit so far, is that content taught should be clear and direct, I should employ visual, verbal, written and practical aids into the classroom, I should breakdown the work for students by setting small and manageable goals, I should set a routine to support students with ADHD, have some variety within the classroom whilst maintaining a routine for students who flourish in routine, and I should provide timely and appropriate feedback to support learning (Barrington, 2018).
How do I motivate the unmotivated learner?
Students can be unmotivated for a number of different reasons – some may struggle with intrinsic motivation where their self-efficacy plays a major role in how they cooperate in the classroom. Additionally, some students thrive off extrinsic motivation and will therefore struggle without it. In order to motivate the unmotivated learner, I will build a rapport with the student to learn the reason behind their lack of motivation. Doing this will help me understand the student’s preferred style of learning so that I can then modify my lessons to suit their learner needs. Additionally to this, I believe in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and that a student’s self-actualization is dependant on a number of factors including their physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation needs (McLeod, 2018). By ensuring these needs are being met, I can increase the intrinsic motivation of my students.
What is my role as a teacher?
As I teacher, I believe that I need to provide a quality learning experience for the student’s right to an education. Focusing on Vygotsky’s ZPD, I believe it is my job to unlock the potential within students by providing assistance and building their knowledge to become independent learners (McLeod, 2018). As a teacher, I will focus student’s attention on specific areas of content and the task attached to the content, I will accommodate to learner diversity through visual, verbal, written and practical elements, I will teach at an appropriate pace, give timely and effective feedback to further develop student learning, and I will outline what students can do in assessments as opposed to what they cant (Barrington, 2018).
What is the role of my students? What type of students do I expect to teach?
As I teacher, I believe it is my duty to teach students how to pay attention to content, recall what is being taught and use what they have learnt in their practice. I believe the role of students is to check their understanding through their assessment as well as model their teacher’s work ethic (Barrington, 2018).
What will students learn in my class? How will I measure the success of my students?
Students are expected to learn the syllabus outcomes that outline what is required of them. In order to measure the success of my students, I will assess them. The purpose of assessment is to support student learning (Barrington, 2018). Throughout the term, I will formatively assess them through reflective blogs, concept maps to represent their understanding or summarising the lesson in a paragraph. I will measure the success of my students through summative assessments, also. This will include a mid-term exam, a final project or a paper due.
Barrington, T. (2018) Lecture 2 Learner Diversity (Strathfield). Australia: Australian Catholic University
Margetts, K., & Woolfolk, A. (2013). Educational Psychology (3rd ed.,). Australia: Pearson.
McLeod, S. (2018). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html