By: Mario MA
I believe effective instruction is not just good teaching. A particular lesson might be too advanced for a particular group of students, or it may be that some students already know the material being taught. Some students may be learning the lesson quite well, while others are missing key concepts and falling behind because they lack prerequisite skills for new learning. About using video, teacher would have no way to know who needed additional help, and would have no way to provide it in any case. There would be no way to question students to find out if they were getting the main points and then to reteach any concepts students were failing to grasp.
Teacher with lack of class management & experience would have no way to motivate students to pay attention to the lesson or to really try to learn whatever he is covering. If students were failing to pay attention or were misbehaving, the teacher would have no way to do anything about it. Finally, the teacher would never know at the end of the lesson whether or not students actually learned the main concepts or skills.
Teachers must be concerned with many elements of instruction in addition to the lesson itself. Teachers must attend to ways of adapting instruction to students’ levels of knowledge, motivating students to learn, managing student behavior, grouping students for instruction, and testing and evaluating students. These functions are carried out at two levels. At the school level, the principal and/or central administrators may establish policies concerning grouping of students (e.g., tracking), provision and allocation of special education and remedial resources, and grading, evaluation, and promotion practices. At the classroom level, teachers control the grouping of students within the class, teaching techniques, classroom management methods, informal incentives, frequency and form of quizzes and tests, and so on. These elements of school and classroom organization are at least as important for student achievement as the quality of teachers’ lessons.
The following factors & idea presents a way of effective instruction which attempts to identify the critical elements of schools and classroom organization and their interrelationships are as following:
A- Quality of Instruction.
The degree to which information or skills are presented so that students can easily learn them. Quality of instruction is largely a product of the quality of the curriculum and of the lesson presentation itself. Quality of instruction refers to the activities we think of first when we think of teaching: lecturing, discussing, and calling on students, and so on. It also includes the curriculum and books, software, or other materials. When instruction is high in quality, the information being presented makes sense to students, is interesting to them, is easy to remember and apply.
B- Appropriate Levels of Instruction:
The degree to which the teacher make sure that students are ready to learn a new lesson (that is, they have the necessary skills and knowledge to learn it) but have not already learned the lesson. In other words, the level of instruction is appropriate when a lesson is nether neither too difficult nor too easy for students. I believe the most difficult problem of school is accommodating instruction to the needs of students with different levels of prior knowledge and different learning rates. If a teacher presents a lesson on long division to a heterogeneous class, some students may fail to learn it because they have not mastered such prerequisite skills as subtraction, multiplication, or simple division. At the same time, there may be some students who know how to divide before the lesson begins, or learn to do so very rapidly. If the teacher sets a pace of instruction appropriate to the needs of the students lacking prerequisite skills, then the rapid learners’ time will be largely wasted. If the instructional pace is too rapid, the students lacking prerequisite skills will be left behind.
The degree to which the teacher makes sure that all class students are motivated to work on instructional tasks and to learn the material being presented. The problem here I noticed is that teachers will focus on those students in the middle of the pack who have both the capacity to improve and room to improve. They will be less likely to focus on those at the bottom of the class who may have difficulty learning, nor those at the top of the class who don’t need the teacher’s attention to each a relatively high standard of performance.
The degree to which students are given enough time to learn the material being taught. Instruction takes time. More time spent teaching a subject appropriateness of instruction, and incentives for learning are all high, then more time on instruction is likely to pay off in greater learning. The amount of time available for learning depends largely on two factors:
1) Allocated time
2) Engaged time.
Allocated time is the time scheduled by the teacher for a particular lesson or subject and then actually used for instructional activities. Allocated time is mostly under the direct control of the school and teacher.
In contrast, Engaged time, the time students actually engage in learning tasks, is not under the direct control of the school or the teacher. Engaged time, or time-on-task, is largely a product of quality of instruction, student motivation, and allocated time. Thus, allocated time is an alterable element of instruction (like quality, appropriateness, and incentive), but engaged time is a mediating variable linking alterable variables with student achievement.
The above four elements (Quality, Appropriateness, Incentive, Time) have one important characteristic: All four must be adequate for instruction to be effective. Again, effective instruction is not just good teaching. No matter how high the quality of instruction, students will not learn a lesson if they lack the necessary prior skills or information, if they lack the motivation, or if they lack the time they need to learn the lesson. On the other hand, if the quality of instruction is low, then it may makes little difference how much students know, how motivated they are, or how much time they have. Each of the above elements is like a link in a chain, and the chain is only as strong as it’s parted!
Conclusion: Teaching is an act of creation, and Effective teaching is an art and must be sensitive to context and to the particular needs of a given group of students. The most important implication of the above factors that teachers need to focus on each of the four elements of effective instruction – quality, appropriateness, incentive, and time – if they expect to make a substantial difference in student achievements.