Deliver Classroom Education Effectively
There are many factors that influence the effectiveness of education: the curriculum; the information that is included or excluded; the skills and knowledge that the student begins with; choice of physical resources; delivery techniques; the student’s commitment and aptitude; and the teacher’s teaching abilities.
The overriding factor, however, is the teacher's ability to communicate effectively. This is not solely a skill of choosing the most appropriate words to use, but also relies on the ability of the teacher to develop a teaching-learning relationship with the students, that is dependent on two-way communication. If the teacher cannot communicate effectively to facilitate and encourage learning, the content of a course or training session will simply not be absorbed as intended. On the other hand, learning is improved when the student is able to communicate his/her needs and understanding.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
- Interpersonal Communication in Education
- Basic principles of communication
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Factors affecting communication
- Self-awareness and communication
- Reactive patterns
- Teacher student ratios
- Factors affecting communication in a classroom
- Student diversity
- Student expectations
- Teacher's needs and expectations
- Society and culture
- Communication and education approaches
- Teacher-centred and student-centred learning
- Verbal skills for classroom teaching
- Questioning skills
- Lecturing or giving a talk
- Elements of lecturing.
- Listening Skills
- Stages of listening
- Key elements of listening in a classroom
- Obstacles to listening
- Lack of interest
- Selective attention
- Listening skills
- Active listening
- Empathic listening
- Responding to received communications.
- Understanding Motivation
- What is motivation
- Variables of motivation
- Theories of motivation
- Maslow's theory of motivation
- Primary motivator, Unlearned motivators
- Secondary or learned motivators
- Motivation and anxiety
- Motivation and distress.
- Motivational factors
- Internal and external incentives
- Relational nature of incentives
- Enhancing intrinsic motivators
- Social reinforcers as incentives
- Influence of groups on individual motivation
- Social loafing.
- Applying Motivation to Education
- Motivation and goals
- Vicious and virtuous cycles
- Practical applications
- Assessing a person's current situation
- Dealing with emotions
- Identifying existing barriers to learning
- Establishing goals and priorities
- Locating and applying useful resources.
- Stress Management
- Flight or fight response
- Long term problems
- What happens when a person is stressed
- Stress management program.
- Conflict Management
- What is conflict
- Conflict handling techniques
- Dealing with anger in others
- Modifying anger
- Role play and conflict management.
- Mediation and Negotiation
- What is negotiation?
- Establishment groups
- Community groups
- Joint problem solving approach
- Effective negotiating behaviour
- Mediator's responsibilities
- Attributes of a good facilitator
- Balance of power
- Power imbalance
- Group work and discussion
- Conflict training exercises.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Explain the role of communication between individuals in optimising the benefit of education.
- Describe and use strategies to improve listening in order to correctly understand what another person is communicating to you.
- Explain motivation as a factor in the teaching-learning situation and in the cultivation of an inquisitive approach to learning.
- Select and cultivate motivational factors appropriate to particular classroom situations.
- Describe practical techniques which can be used by an educator to motivate their students.
- Describe practical techniques that can be used by an educator for managing their own stress, and also assisting students in stress management.
- Identify, analyse and devise methods for dealing with conflict in an education setting.
- Explain how to apply practical techniques to facilitate mediation in conflict situations in an educational setting.
How to Have a Sustainable Career in Education
Education is changing. There is a strong sense throughout the whole world that education is critical to success in any industry; but also a serious lack of understanding on the part of parents, students, employers and politicians. They frequently do not properly understand how people learn and what the potential benefits and limitations of learning can be. Teachers do tend to understand learning, but over recent decades, there has been a move of power away from teachers controlling what is taught, to politicians and everyone else in society competing for influence over what and how education is delivered. In short, education has become increasingly politicised and often as a result, people who work in education are stressed and frustrated.
In many developed countries, trends have emerged to develop education as a “self funded” industry, an “export earning industry” or “solution to unemployment”. In some respects, moves like this can be seen as simply “hijacking” a service that should be tending to higher and more important purposes.
It is very likely that the nature and scope of education will evolve and change dramatically over coming decades, as the recent problems are recognised and responded to. The rate and nature of changes in education at all levels, from pre-school to university, are unpredictable. The one certainty is that education as an industry and employer of educators will survive.
If you seek a career in education, it is wise to develop broad skills and an attitude that is prepared for change and a nature that is capable to adapt.
Excerpt from Course
VERBAL SKILLS FOR CLASSROOM TEACHING
There are many strategies that can be used to teach successfully, and they can be used in many different combinations of verbal and non-verbal, or of student or teacher guided strategies. However, all teachers rely on some basic verbal strategies for teaching. These include the following:
To elicit information from students about the course content, their feelings or ideas about the content, or to encourage students to think more deeply about their own ideas, teachers use questioning. This strategy allows the teacher to determine how well and much the student recalls of material that has been covered, and how well that student can communicate that knowledge.
Questions can range from closed ended questions requiring a specific answer to open ended questions that invite the student to share thoughts and ideas in his or her own way. They can be questions that can be answered from memory, or questions that require a student to arrive at conclusions, principles, ideas or solutions on their own. They can be ‘divergent’ questions, those that require the student to think creatively and imaginatively about the concepts to come up with something new.
Research shows, however, that most teachers tend to use closed questions that emphasise recall of information (Turney, Eltis, Hatton, Owens, Towler, Wright and Williams, 1985).
This is a key component of all kinds of instruction, and to be successful, should be clear, precise and as simple as possible. Not all teachers are good at explaining. Some give long-winded explanations, including related but inessential information that can end up confusing – or boring – the student. A good explanation helps students relate unknown or new information to what they already know. A good explainer will also encourage students to communicate lack of understanding or confusion, so that further explanation or clarification can be given. However, the success of an explanation depends on the student’s receptivity, as much as on the teacher’s skill.
The way that a teacher introduces each lesson can set the tone and pace of that lesson by either preparing the students for learning, or not doing so. Opening a lesson with a new concept, for instance, is not a good strategy, as students may not be paying full attention or interested, and may be confused as to the significance of that information. It is best to open every lesson in a way that stimulates student interest and attention. To gain students’ attention, you might consider startling statement, humour, an intriguing question, showing an image and so on.
Just as a good speech ends on the same note that it began, pulling together what was covered, a lesson ending should take the student back to the beginning, perhaps by briefly reviewing what has been covered.
This refers to any strategy that encourages a student to behave in a particular way, such as answering questions, or making an effort at a task. Reinforcers can come in any form, such as ticks, high grades, praise, a smile, attention, encouragement, and so on. Appropriate and effective use of reinforcement requires the teacher to be observant, to notice desirable student behaviour, and to respond to it in a positive manner. Some students will need more reinforcement than others to become motivated or confident, but all tend to respond well to appropriate and sincere reinforcement. Meaningless praise is neither motivating nor productive.
Conveying information through lecturing is another basic skill, and is discussed separately, in the next section.
As you study this course, consider how the strategies, practices and processes discussed can be applied to your teaching or training situations. Also consider how can also use the course to enable students to improve more effectively, both in a classroom and in the workplace.