In celebration of National and International Teachers' Day. “Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies” is the World Teachers' Day slogan for 2015.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
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We will ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems. ... Incheon Declaration, WEF 2015
In a capsule an effective teacher is generally
An expert in all four areas of teaching, namely, subject matter, classroom management, instruction, and diagnostics in teaching;
One who has a personal educational philosophy regarding beliefs, assumptions and convictions regarding his role as a teacher;
Married, and most likely a woman in her middle age – 40 and above; (Women dominate men in the teaching profession, 4 to 1)
A college performer, but not necessarily an honor student and campus leader;
One whose initial career was not set to teaching - in fact did not take up formal undergraduate education subjects and training;
A postgraduate degree holder with a master’s degree at least, in any specific field in natural and social sciences, and other disciplines;
A “mix-brain” that is, a person whose logical and creative hemispheres of the brain are effectively put to use in tandem;
A model person with personal attributes, virtues, and teaching methods that nurture favorable teacher-student relationship;
One who draws inspiration from both within and outside the school, such as members of his family;
A cheerful, willing and motivated person always in pursuit of continued professional growth.
The characteristics of an effective teacher are described in a book written by Dr. Flordeliza Clemente-Reyes, Unveiling Teaching Expertise – A Showcase of 69 Outstanding Teachers in the Philippines. The book summarizes the results of a nationwide research initiated and funded by the Commission on Higher Education in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and various colleges and universities.
Profiling the outstanding teacher from the 69 finest teachers of the country was conducted on 28 private and 12 state universities distributed in 12 regions of the country. Twenty-eight of these teachers are Metrobank Outstanding Teachers and were automatically included in the list, while the other 41 were chosen by a composite team from CHED, the National Council of Educational Innovators (NCEI), with the support of NGOs, with De La Salle University as its research base. At the time of the study these teachers were handling courses in PAASCU Level-3 accredited colleges and universities, or Centers of Excellence, or both, and have earned the reputation of being outstanding teachers in their respective institutions.
The key to effectiveness in teaching is a holistic approach whereby there is a mutual and orderly interaction in the teaching-learning process. AVR
Four Areas of Expertise of the Outstanding Teacher
The expert teacher has been found to possess four types of expertise, namely:
1. Subject matter expertise, which means that the teacher has a mastery of content-specific knowledge and the organization of this knowledge for effective instruction.
2. Classroom management expertise, that is, the expert teacher maintains a high level of on-task students’ classroom behavior, which prevents or eliminates learning disruptions, while it creates an environment conducive to learning.
3. Instructional expertise, which means that the teacher has both implicit and explicit knowledge on various teaching strategies and methods to attain predefined instructional objectives.
4. Diagnostic expertise, which refers to the ability of the teacher to know both the class and individual needs and goals, abilities, achievement levels, motives, personality attributes, and emotions, which influence instruction and learning.
Holistic Mentor-Learner Interaction
The key to effectiveness in teaching is a holistic approach whereby there is a mutual and orderly interaction in the teaching-learning process, with the teacher placing a high premium on the development of thinking and understanding. Educators attribute teaching expertise to the teachers’ affectionate interactions with the learners, and to their efforts towards developing learners’ responsibility for learning. There are of course many other factors that influence effectiveness in teaching because of the wide diversity in culture, affected by certain economic, ecological and political conditions.
Lesson: Personal Evaluation as a teacher
In the first part of this article I presented the Profile of an Effective Teacher. This time I will try to explain effectiveness in teaching with the use of appropriate expertise models based on the same book of Dr. Flordeliza Clemente-Reyes, Unveiling Teaching Expertise: A Showcase of 69 Outstanding Teachers in the Philippines, a CHED sponsored project and publication.
Teaching expertise – like intelligence – is an abstract term because of its varying composites and the many factors that characterize it. There are two compositions however which are used as basis in relating it to effectiveness in teaching. These are the following:
Essentials – Requisites or “musts” for the attainment of teaching expertise; and
Enhancers – teaching practices and behaviors contributory to teaching expertise.
What then is effective teaching? How is it differentiated from responsible teaching? These are questions often asked in qualitative analysis of teaching.
Expertise is divided into six domains, namely
1.Subject matter expertise – All of the experts demonstrates a very thorough knowledge of subject matter, which facilitates effective organization of content to promote learning
Thorough/excellent knowledge of content – All of the expert teachers possesses a thorough mastery of what they teach. They are experts in their field, they are well-read, their explanations are spontaneous. They know formulas by heart. Facts are at their fingertips. They have good knowledge on present issues.
Being up-to-date with the latest developments in their fields – The experts are updated and very knowledgeable, explain new alternative ways of solving a problem.
Knowledge of the interrelationships among the structural elements or concepts of the subject matter -
The expert teachers have a clear, coherent view of the course content in terms of interrelationships among the various topics comprising it. All of them conduct their lessons coherently, such that subtopics form into a meaningful whole.
Knowledge of the relationship of the lesson with other courses or disciplines – An ecology teacher treats the subject as a multidisciplinary issue. Another expert, a philosophy teacher, relates phenomenology with psychology. History of art is also the story of a civilization. What is the similarity in the use of parenthesis in mathematical statements and when used as punctuation mark?
Knowledge of practical application and concrete, interesting examples to clarify abstract ideas/concepts – All of the expert teachers have readily available examples which are clear, simple, and interesting, to clarify issues or ideas.
2. Classroom Management Expertise – This is the ability of the teacher to prepare for and provide a physical learning environment. Students engage actively in class, time is properly managed, and students behave accordingly. A highly desirable study ethic prevails in class.
Efficient handling of routine activities and time management – All expert teachers manage classroom routine and time efficiently. The teacher is familiar with the names of his students, and knows who is absent, who is a fast or slow learner. More than half of the experts (58%) do not check attendance because the students are properly monitored and absenteeism does not pose a problem. Classes start and end on time. The teacher employs different ways of maximizing class time, such as the use of OHP, and other instructional devises, including handouts.
Maintenance of students’ on-task behavior - 92% of the experts use this enhancer. They use socialization techniques, encourage students to recite, motivate, and check their progress. There is never a dull moment in the classroom for an expert teacher.
Absence of class disruptions – The expert teachers make sure that the class does not suffer from unnecessary disruption. The experts are not reactive to disruptive situations; they are proactive, meaning they anticipate and prevent such situations to happen – or they can immediately remedy the situation from getting worse.
3.Instructional Expertise – The expert teachers demonstrate facility in the use of varied instructional strategies, demonstrate knowledge of different teaching strategies, adopt group dynamics, and are particular in instructional clarity. They have the ability to simplify and clearly present lessons.
Use of varied teaching strategies – 90% of the expert teachers use varied teaching strategies. They employ other than lecture and recitation, song and movement, role-playing, pantomime, choral; reading visual imagery, concept mapping, brainstorming, contest, simulation, oral debate, cooperative learning etc.
Use of varied instructional equipment and materials to enhance education – 83% of the expert teachers use other instructional equipment, devices, and materials (other than chalk and blackboard) to enhance their teaching. These include OHP, computer, tape recorder, slide projector, PowerPoint, videos and audiotapes, specimens, drawings, cartoons and many others.
Instructional clarity – The students must have a clear understanding of the lesson. This is a primordial rule among the experts. The teacher clarifies at the onset the objective and coverage of the lesson beforehand. The lesson must be well organized, easy-to-follow, and direct to the point.
4.Communication Expertise – The experts are skillful in oral communication such as fluency, good diction, articulation and clear language, pleasant voice, and the like, coupled with expressive use of nonverbal language, such as facial expressions, hand and arm gestures, etc as natural visual aids. Communication is a two-way affair, characterized by attentive listening and openness to students’ questions and opinions. But the common denominator for this enhancer is skillful use of the language, which facilitates interactive and participative classroom atmosphere.
Expressive non-verbal or body language – The expert teachers are every expressive in driving home a point through their voice, facial expression - that she herself is the visual aid.
Excellent oral communication skills – 88.4% of the expert teachers are very fluent, articulate and have good voice quality, like a DJ. They use English and Pilipino. Even if a teacher is intelligent, if she lacks facility in the use of the language, she will not be effective.
Provision of two-way communication – All the experts provide for two-way communication in the classroom, although they differ in that some experts speak more expressively or emphatically than others.
5. Diagnostic Expertise – The expert teacher spots and readily identifies students who experience learning difficulties. Thus he makes provisions to encourage students, or to prevent the occurrence of learning difficulties, as may be the case.
o Sensitivity to students’ learning problems/difficulties – The expert teacher uses unconventional means of checking her students’ understanding about a lesson, by intentionally giving a wrong information. She pauses and ask, “What is wrong with this?”
o Anticipation of probable problems or misconceptions – The expert teacher is a good chess player – she anticipates the next move of her opponent, and possible an error. In the classroom she is kinder, but the same principle applies in anticipating the reaction of the students, more so wrong impressions about a topic.
6.Relational Expertise – refers to the teachers’ relations skills in the classroom, which facilitate the establishment of high rapport with the class, and the provision of facilitative approaches to learning. These make the students relaxed, self-confident, and affirmed.
Non-threatening disposition - A pleasant disposition as shown on the videotape characterize the 69 expert teachers as having very pleasing personalities. They are non-threatening, non-intimidating, and are patient. They are accommodating, approachable, and friendly.
Enthusiasm – Teaching is acting – real acting. She puts feeling in her work. “The teacher is very lively and enthusiastic throughout the lecture. There has never been a dull moment,” comment the students.
Providing a psychologically safe learning environment –The expert teachers are concerned of their students with TLC. It is apparent that the students feel the same to their teachers. They interact, they laugh together, the teacher gives encouraging words, and knows how to deal with them formally and informally.
Making learning pleasant and enjoyable – Expert teachers use entertainment strategies in teaching. He applies humor. Discussion is light. There is interaction. The students are free to express their talents without fear. The expert teacher uses basic theatre techniques, such as , “Name that tune,” expression of emotions, indoor and outdoor games.
Classroom humor – Filipinos are fond of humor. HIV is “hair is vanishing.” Pilipino for family planning, English of balot. Expert teachers chose pleasant and clean jokes. There are 27 of the experts could ignite laughter in class through jokes and anecdotes. Humor built in the lecture though is more natural.
Magnetism/Charisma – 53 or 77% expert teachers exude magnetism, charisma, or dynamism, while they are articulate and expressive. They are spontaneous, they attract students ands sustain their interest.
High rapport with students – All of the expert teachers hold high rapport with their students. Reciprocally the students appear pleased and happy with their teachers. Deeper than that, there is mutual trust. There is camaraderie. “My students feel comfortable with me. They treat me like a father.”
Affectionate interaction with students – 42 expert teachers are affectionate in dealing with their students during classroom instruction.” They consider their students special and important. They do not treat their students like numbered items. It is the extra effort of the teacher, especially in difficult situations that creates affection.
The expert teachers are concerned not only with the development of the intellectual capability and maturity of the learners but also with the students’ moral development. Responsible teaching is therefore, an essential element of teaching. The expert teachers
integrate values in teaching,
communicate their belief in the students’ capacity for learning,
facilitate development of understanding and draw out generalizations and insights,
provide students opportunities to assume an active role in the learning process and to be responsible for their own learning, and
select and implement teaching strategies, learning activities and instructional materials.
Learner-centeredness – 84% of the expert teachers generally value learner-centered over teacher-centered practices. They assume the role of learning facilitators. They encourage discussions, students’ questions, group dynamics, case analysis, field trips, and the like. The experts
adjust to student personalities
are sensitive to students’ needs
consider each student as unique
know the students
put students’ welfare above his own
Developing students’ responsibility for learning – 84% of the experts draw out from students’ understanding and appreciation of the lesson through activities that actively engage the latter in the learning process. Instead of giving her opinion on the matter, the teacher throws back the problem to the student, so that the student can think critically and independently.
Values integration – Most of the expert teachers integrate values in their teaching. They offer to new teachers the role to
strengthen personal human values
lead people to Christ
imbibe gospel values
maintain high moral values
The illustration below puts in capsule all the attributes of A Filipino Model of Teaching Expertise, distinguishing the Essentials and the Enhancers.