Well in any active learning strategy the key challenge is obviously assessing the level of engagement and how well the students overall engage. To measure the actual learning may be via the engagements which is assessed or any deliberations which result thereafter.
There may be some that are reluctant which may require additional support from the facilitators
•24 February 2021, 11:44 AM•Edited by the author on 24 February 2021, 11:45 AM
Thank you for your input. I looked up the word in the Teach Framework document to review how to evidence positive student engagement. I noticed that it is directly related to creating a supportive learning environment. With classroom culture.
This also encompasses the teacher's actions, e.g. treating students with respect, responding to students' needs, using positive language with students and not showing gender or minority bias... This gives me food for thought about how active teaching requires me to be aware of what I struggle to see, hence the importance of another teacher being able to observe my practice or we can teach simultaneously.
Naz, that is right. Assessing level of engagement of students is quite tricky with some students. Some may be very first in completing task and then proceed to engage in their private issues. In a large class it may be challenging to reach all the groups and pairs and see what they are engaged in. You might suggest some ways you have found successful in assessing engagement during your work experience
Assessment the level of engagement can be difficult. I might look out for formal assessment strategies like 3-2-1 or temperature line where students will have to state or explain what they understood or what might be puzzling from the concept.
I find it difficult to define critical thinking, that observable methodology mobilises students' thinking. How good questions are asked to mobilise thinking and observing how students respond would be one way to see if critical thinking is occurring.
Critical thinking would be difficult to define, but I might look at the learners' participation in discussions on matters that require application of taught content and gauge their ability to link and apply the knowledge bits.
I agree with you Ngatia that the way the teacher is interacting with the learners may tell if critical thinking is underway. So, here it means teachers have to make sure the learners are engaged as much as they can. When preparing lesson this is the time to think about how you can make learners enjoy your lesson.
Critical thinking is quite difficult to observe because it is in the mind. However observing how a learner handles an activity or responds to a question will indicated aspect of critical thinking. So the teacher should allow learners to talk by asking open ended questions. The teacher should give learners activities such as role play debates and even peer teaching.
I think when I ask students a higher order open ended question and perhaps they give a simplistic response and then I probe further for the direction requiring critical thinking, I can measure students level of critical thinking from their responses.
It's difficult to determine the individual student's level of of understanding during active teaching. The teacher can may be monitor the students during independent or group work especially if the lesson was a practical one to see if they are following the procedures as outlined.
It is subtly difficult to define feasibility or get implemented in classroom because it can be very subjective. The measuring index of effectiveness of flexible is how it assists in achieving learning outcomes. I witnessed classroom where a teacher was engaging in something out rightly unrelated to learning activities in the quise of bein flexible
Thank you all for your great contributions. The teacher needs to be creative and plan varied activities in order to be able to involve all learners and attain the common features of active inclusive teaching.
Assessment of learners in a large group can be difficult and consuming. However, the teacher can improvise ways to assess large groups of students but the issue is that will the teacher be able to monitor all the students effectively and point out students who need more assistance? The teacher might try but it can be time consuming.
Engaging students as a group is a good way to promote participation. But the issue is how will the teacher be sure that all students are actively involved. One way is to ask each of the group members questions.
Critical thinking is a challenge and it does not happen over night. The teacher need to lead the learners to think critically by making use of Bloom's taxonomy when planning the teaching and learning activities. Ask open-ended question, let learners motivate their answers and encourage group discussions.
Encourage using What / When / Why / How /Where questions
I do agree that critical thinking does not happen over night BUT if you plan your lesson and think about the QUESTIONS you would like to ask during the lessons .When keep asking a variety of questions ,making predictions in your lessons, giving learning experience to the students to share and use their prior knowledge related to what has been taught it will surely develop critical thinking amongst the students whether they are in small groups or peer groups or in pairs.
Children have to experience the different types of questioning ,how? the teacher itself has to use the variety of questions in his/daily teaching.
say I wanted to give a Shared reading on the page of the Cinderella story - where she is alone in the Kitchen tidying up the kitchen
1. Who helped her to go to the ball?
2. Whey was she said ?
3. Do you think the fairy god mother did the right thing ? why?
4. What happen if she did not tidy up the Kitchen?
5.Why do you think she wanted to go to the ball too?
6.How do you feel when you are told not go to something you want to go too, like Cinderella?
7. Do you think her stepsisters should have taken Cinderella? Why?
You can ask different types of questions each day instead of repeating the same type like what ? who? everyday if you want to create critical thinking amongst your children depending on your lesson.
The teaching asking different types of questions in each lesson will also help the understanding for meaning of the child, also allow critical thinking .
It is very difficult for a teacher to make judgement on lesson facilitation when he or she is a lone in the class. In the teachers mind, he or she may think that the content is well presented but the learners may not be getting the concept.
when articulation of the objectives are not clearly defined, then the message will not be home so it is important to have an extra teacher in class to assist in learning especially small children and the need of open ended questions when learning is taking place.
Yes Catherine, you are right, there is need for teacher peer observation but in most cases it may be difficult with teacher shortage in many countries. Perhaps we may try stating clear instructional objectives and observing students as we teach, use question and answer strategy and sometimes written CAT or with kids some exercises which could tell us whether they have learnt or not. We could take video of us teaching and critique our own performance. Reflection and self assessment could also be used.
We could get as many ideas as possible from others sharing of how they go about it.
I find Critical thinking is difficult to define .We all know critical thinking should exist in effective teaching. Critical thinking is when the teacher should assist and allow the child to think out of the box or to be able to analyse lesson taught and be able to able to their own understanding or relate to their own experience.
But the question we should ask ourselves as educators or when I was still a Primary school teacher how often did we create or develop Critical thinking in our teaching ?
Did we use a variety of questions? or did we just ask Lateral questions over and over again?
Did we all allow predictions? Did we give time to make connections to their environment when we were teaching a lesson?
The children been able to answer the variety of questions provide by the teacher from easy questions ,to inferred questions and applied questions ,and providing thinking tasks in lesson surely support critical thing in classroom .
When children can ask variety of questions in the classroom or make predictions also develops critical thinking in the classroom. Therefore when learning for meaning exists through the variety of questions provided by teacher or students, predictions made and engagement of teacher and students in the discussions will help us to observe that critical thinking is existing
This, which most times come in the form of assessment can be difficult in a large class but the teacher can apply various methods such as the project method, questioning and answer sessions pair/group work and observation while teaching.
I found Autonomy difficult to define as a child maybe quiet in the classroom engage in his/her work but maybe it is not the assigned work. I might look and check that the work the child is busy doing is the expected work. I would encourage children to do extra work if finishing early but I will also ensure that the work is what expected. So I think it is always important to check whatever the children are doing in the classroom.
I think that the most difficult part to define is actually how to quickly check levels of engagement in a large class. I think having memebers in a group then moving around the class can assist in observing if all learners are actually ' present' , listening and participating actively. Making an effort to have most if not all students speak up if able to or write what they have understood then check can help a teacher to kmow if they actually participated.
I would look out for the use of application questions in which the students can use the knowledge in a different but similar situation or where a student is required to give reasons for their response to a specific question.
I think it would be difficult to define autonomy in the inclusive classroom, particularly where the learners are supposed to be given choices (of activities). The range of these choices can be quite overwhelming for teachers handling large classes.
working in a classroom that has a group of students with different personalities may be bring a different challenges. What I find hard to assess is students' critical thinking skills. That is a skill that is not easily brought in students who are a little slower than others. This may take more time and may need a series of questions/activities to assess. In the more advanced students we can easily assess their critical thinking through hands-on challenges.
It is difficult to define critical thinking especially because I teach a foreign language. Lessons are taught within a context and students are given the necessary vocabulary needed when focusing on a particular topic. Maybe they are using critical thinking skills when they form questions to ask their classmates and respond to these questions during cross-class questioning.
The aspect of active teaching which is difficult to define would be 'critical thinking'. Students at school first language is Spanish and at school, instructions and lessons are prepared and done in English. We do integrate it but when it comes for students to think critically they are not willing to do so. I need to research and find ways on how to motivate them and have them interact, brainstorm and think more than what they are expected but some just don't want to participate. I think that if my students would try to think critical it would be a great help for them and prepare them to be open and ready to participate and share their ideas with others.
That is true critical thinking also is another one. Totally we need to do some research before and be prepare to ask questions. We will help them in starting a discussion where everyone will be included.
Critical thinking may be quite difficult to define as it may be hard to determine if a student is thinking critically.
It will require a teacher to ask the type of questions that will encourage the student to think deeply and provide an answer that demonstrates an appropriate level of understanding, some analytical thought, make certain inferences and even make predictions or judgements.
If a student seems unable to engage in critical thinking or responses seem simplistic or one-dimensional, a teacher can make certain suggestions, prompt and even demonstrate for the student. This can assist the student to think further or maybe encourage more investigation which can lead to critical thinking.