Posts tagged ‘positive learning environment’

PPLE Module C : The Class Revolt


The overwhelming information for me was Steve’s advice “Above all else, just survive”.  It reminds me that the path of a pre-service teacher is likely to be filled with stumbles, great leaps of womankind and occasional bouts of falling on my face. To quote Shannon’s blog name – we are becoming “Teachers as Learners”  and this means recognising our start point as a place that WILL be improved upon. It also highlights that we must not make the incidental, personal. Remembering that the students are attached to their current teacher, allowing them the time to assimilate my presence in their education and accepting a temporary moniker as “the newbie” will help to smooth some of the transitional bumps that clearly lie ahead.  Steve’s suggested that the “fight/flight/ tackle the task” response is one that we can apply to all aspects of our lives.  (I have experienced several of these in the first weeks of the DipEd!) I will apply this to the students’ responses, as it may illustrate how different groups will respond to my teaching and allow me to view them from a different perspective.

Steve referred to different kinds of freedom in his lecture. It appeared that several of the students may have confused the types of freedom afforded them in an alternative schooling model. There are applications to all schooling models in the clarification. The freedom the students were given was NOT freedom from all control, responsibility or discipline. This is a notion I hope to convey early on to my students. On this note, my reading this week suggests an approach for pre-service teachers that is termed “Assertive Discipline”. It consists of giving students’ concise guidelines for behaviour and positively reinforcing their classroom choices. The parameters of classroom behaviour are narrower than a more experienced teacher might apply  but Desiderio suggests this is an appropriate approach for inexperienced teachers who have not yet built either rapport or reputation with their students. As far as classroom achievement and student  contentment were applied, there were not marked differences between the pre-service teacher using the “Assertive Discipline” approach and the mentor teacher who adopted a more relaxed teaching style. The students were well-directed in both cases, as to what their teachers expected. In turn, the teachers were consistent in their guidelines and the application of those principles. Hence, the students responded to clear, confident and consistent instruction, despite the different styles. Desiderio suggests that as the pre-service teacher gains more experience and presence, they can adopt other techniques for classroom management but that it is important, early on, to assume these deliberate measures to instill a more successful learning environment.

Sources

Desiderio, M.F. & Mullennix, C. (2005). Two Behavior Management Systems, One Classroom: Can Elementary Students Adapt? Educational Forum, 69, 4, pp. 383-391. Retrieved August 3, 2007 from EBSCO database. 

http://teachersaslearners.wordpress.com/

 

Advertisements

Steve’s Sticky Tape Tale

To what extent do you think that Steve convincingly demonstrated, in the lecture, his assertion that theory can make us better teachers?

Steve’s story occurred very early in his career – he was young, enthusiastic and by his own admission inexperienced. I think the entire lecture theatre could relate to those sentiments. As graduate students, most of us have some of the content knowledge in our chosen subject areas. We have three or more years under our belts in the “What” department. The “How” department is looking a tad understocked. I refer to the term PCK as mentioned in our text. In my mind I see “EduPaCK”. As in, what are we putting into our tool bag, our ‘edupack’ to make us better teachers? Clearly, had Steve been exposed to the different models of classroom management, he would have had a well of information from which to draw upon. He may NOT have reacted differently, but he would have made an informed choice.

What did you notice and what did you wonder as you read your chosen section of the Krause article?

(Section 1) The legal requirements placed upon teachers is quite extensive and can be far-reaching (cases have been brought against teachers and schools nearly twenty years later). This is the ‘business’ side of teaching and it is imperative we are familiar with all facets of our duty of care. Students are precious cargo and require our vigilance to ensure their safety. As a parent, that much was already clear to me, but the article highlighted the importance of ensuring our own transparency as teachers. This not only protects the students, but ourselves and professional colleagues.

In the lecture, Steve described five different models of classroom management. (Krause describes three.) If you had to choose one of these five to study in depth (and to become something of an expert on), which one would it be? And why?

As yet, I am undecided which model to choose, although I am drawn to the interventionist. The reason for this is plain and simple : this model got bad press in the tutorial (by the group in general). It interested me that the interventionist was seen as (overly) authoritarian. I believe the article wording directed some of this opinion but I also believe that there are many useful qualities to this model. I would highlight that much of Krause’s theories in this model related to a 1987 study by Frederick H. Jones. (Krause, p.459). Some of the techniques do not hold up to current scrutiny, especially the “Limit Setting through Body Language” techniques may be considered physically intimidating in the current environment. However, there are still some valuable tools for my ‘edupack’ that bear further scrutiny.

What thoughts did you have as you listened to Steve’s story about Nick, the boy in the Year 7 English class? To what extent did this story contribute to your developing understanding of how to promote effective learning environments?

The main thought as I listened to this story was that the manner in which Steve handled the matter was acceptable. He may have handled it differently with more experience but it proved effective on the day. Furthermore, Nick produced a poem that he may not have otherwise written. I did not understand the sticky tape. It is possible that Nick was protecting his raw emotions, it is equally possible it was another of his funny tricks and he left the classroom chuckling at the thought of Steve unravelling all that tape! Steve mentioned feeling ‘authentic’ on that day and ultimately that is what was translated to his students. It was an example that we must all find our authenticity as teachers, no matter what theories we have been exposed to, there will certainly be days that will require our own, clear voice. We need to learn to trust it.