Category Archives: Education & Teaching Learning World

about educatuion issues, laguage teaching, and teaching learning in general

Control the Environment

I interviewed some students of the class that I would teach at the school. My focus question was about the method of their English teacher in teaching. They told me how usually the teacher in the class.

“Firstly, the teacher greets us, then, asks our condition, and finally explains the lesson. She uses the whiteboard to explain. However, she seems like doesn’t care to us. So, some of us give full attention, some of us play the blackberry, and even there are students who just sleep. The teacher never complains us.”

I was actually sad to know the condition of the class. Honestly, I was also afraid if the students would do so when I taught them. Because of that, I want to make the class better. At least, all students in the class involve in the learning and teaching process. Here I feel the need for self-determination. I was motivated to control class environment. Then, I tried to apply students centered learning by jigsaw activity. Maybe some students did not like this method because they have to move and move, but I saw their enthusiasm and serious when explaining the topic they got to their friends. There were no students who sleep anymore although there are students who still have time to check their black berry for a moment. I think I was success to make them be involved in the class teaching and learning process.

Reflection of School Experience Part 2 in the  fifth semester

 

A story about making a Question

(Important to Read, for you, Great Generation of Educators)

This is only a kind of learning reflection after I attend my course, Language Testing and Assessment. On that day, my lecturer taught us about how to test reading. We were asked to make a construct of reading. Simply, we had to make 4 questions to test reading after the lecturer finished his explanation.
Firstly, he gave us a text. Then, we made questions from that text in group of 4. The discussion process was very interesting. And the presentation was more interesting. The groups check the works each other. We seemed like fight and shoot each other, like in a big and hot war. We thought critically to comment other group’s work and convince other group when they comment or tackle our work. It seems negative, but we can say that it is just a game. We even feel no offense after the presentation done. I felt having new spirit in this course. Whereas, some weeks before I was down and want to give up in this course because the material is too much and such as an abstract thing which hard to be understood. However, on that meeting, I got new spirit. I really felt a need to learn this course seriously because it teaches me all about language testing and assessment. I need it as I will be an educator, Insha’Allah.
During the presentation on that day, I found some cases in creating test questions, such as:
– The distracter in choices of multiple choice task tests is not meaningful (too easy to guess), not balance (example: if the answer expected from a question of similar vocabulary is adjective, all choices must be adjective).
– The question creates possibility of too general answers from the students. It happens in essay test task. The solution is by giving the alternative answers, like make it into multiple choices.
– The answer can be found without reading the given text.
Those cases influence the quality of the test item and its reliability. So, we as the educator or subjects who will be test rater, should concern on the common cases like I stated above.
Really, I am interested in that class.

“Many people say that reading is the easiest test to give. However, to create a good quality reading test item is not easy.”

“Graduate background” is One Challenge for Teacher Candidate

By: Endang Sriwahyuni

Let’s imagine something firstly here. If you are a headmaster of a school, then there are two men register to be teacher in your school, which characteristic you will choose? Easily say it the name A and B. A was graduated from faculty of English Education who has very good basic in teaching and all about pedagogy. While B, was graduated from English Literature (pure science of English) who has very good English competence. Both of them are from the best and popular university of the country and were graduated with best mark.  So, which one you will choose?

If we use the first one, of course it is safe because he is prepared to be teacher with all his skill and education background. However, sometime the case of education graduate is only focuses on the pedagogy or teaching technique, but less concern on content.

If we choose the second one, we will provide students the teacher with good quality of content knowledge. Unfortunately he is not prepared as a teacher so he never gets the subject of teaching technique.

People with pure science graduate  is considered better than education science graduate. Especially in Indonesia, it is because pure science is more popular than education science.  So, many cleaver people prefer to pure science to dig up the content knowledge. If finally they are interested to teach, just follow some easy steps then they can teach at any schools they want.

The headmaster feel safe by providing teacher who have large knowledge because

he/she will transfer that knowledge to students. (Hmmmm… Does it guarantee that they can convey the material well as never get teaching technique course?) I have experience on it. My physic teacher when I was in senior high school graduate from physic pure science of one of popular university of this country. He mater the material very well, but, unfortunately, he could not teach the students well. Maybe because he did not knoe the method or technique of teaching. However, people will solve it easily. Nowadays there are so many workshops about being good teacher, so the teacher with pure science background can join it to improve their teaching skill. Hmmm.. even I got this kind of information directly from the teacher who has pure science background when I was in school observation. Unfortunately, he teaches better than another teachers who have teaching education in the same major.

It is a one challenge for us, the teacher candidates in the future. What we need to master is not only the skill to teach students well, but also the content knowledge. Because however, the purpose of teaching is not to show how well we teach but how can we transfer the knowledge or help students in learning the material we teach.

Inspired by PETA class of week 3

Supporting resources:

(http://sepenggalperjalanan.blogspot.com/2008/04/basis-no_23.html)

(http://www.mtsnranto.co.cc/2009/10/guru-siapa-dia-paulo-freire-tokoh.html)

Pictures:

http://im-balance.blogspot.com/2010/03/opportunity-cost-adalah-biaya-yang.html

http://www.newbloging.com/2010/05/5-top-game-di-facebook.html

The Importance of Feedback

Feedback /ˈfiːdbak/ is information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement. That is based on the oxford dictionary online definition. In teaching, feedback is also one of component. It means the respond of teacher toward students’ assessment, task, or performance.

Why does it important for students?

It is because feedback can be spirit burner for the students to improve their competence. For example, when they get bad mark, they know that they get bed mark and be spirit to improve it. Or, keep fighting to get good mark.

With feedback, students can know in which part they make mistake so that they can learn more and next time will not do the same mistake.

Feedback that is also component of effective teaching (see my previous posting

https://endangsriwahyunie.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/191/ ). As the sense of teaching is helping students learning, and learning itself is process from “do not know” to “know” even unde

rstand, so feedback is the tool. It helps students to make their selves better in improving knowledge.

The teacher has to concern on it. Feedback is not only the words “you are good” but also the explanation of responds toward students’ product or performance. With feedback, the teacher can help students to do improvement. See this video for additional imformation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA4rdmVPba4

Picture:

http://blog.99designs.com/2010/05/12/feedback-for-designers-99designs/

http://software.gsfc.nasa.gov/process.cfm

The Essential of Effective Teaching: Key Behaviors

By: Endang Sriwahyuni

Based on the research conducted by T. Good and J. Brophy in 1987, there are five key behaviors that become the essential of effective teaching, they are lesson clarity, instructional variety, teacher task orientation, engagement in the learning process, and student success rate.  Let’s enjoy reading this writing.

Lesson clarity is indicated when the teacher make the points of explanation clearly to students and give concept in step by step order.

Instructional Variety means that the teacher uses the following way.  Using attention gaining device (for example begins with challenging question, visual or examples that must be different with previous lesson activity), showing enthusiasm (through eyes contact, voice, and gesture), varying model of presentation, using variety of reward and punishment, incorporate students idea participation in some aspects of instruction, and varies type of questions (e.g. match question to behavior and complexity of the lesson objective. Vary the complexity of lesson objectives in accord with the unit plan).

Teacher task orientation refers to the allocation order of classroom time management. There some question teachers have in applying this key behavior. They are about how much time will teacher spend (for presentating, asking question, and encourage students to think independently), (organizing ifr teaching and getting students ready to learn), and (assessing learner performance). In this case, the teacher develop lesson plan that reflect the most relevant feature of the curriculum and select the most appropriate instructional model for the objective being taught.

Engagement in learning process is key behavior that refers to the following indicators. (1) Elicit the behavior immediately after the instructional stimuli. (2) Provides opportunity for feedback in a non evaluative atmosphere. (3) Using individual and group activities. (4) Using meaningful verbal praise to get and keep students actively participating in the learning process. (5) Monitoring seatwork and check frequently the progress during independent practice.

Students rate indicated with teacher who establishes unit and lesson content that reflects prior learning, ahow model of correct answer and how to attain it after first crude response is given, divides instructional stimuli into small chunk, plans transition to new material in easy to grasp steps, and varies the pace at which stimuli are presented.

In other that, there are helping behaviors that can be used in combination to implement the key behavior. They are: using students ideas and contribution, structuring (comments of teacher to organize what will come and what have done), questioning (to attract students directly involved in material taught), Probing (teacher statement that encourage students to elaborate the argument or answer), and teacher affect (good face expression, gesture, voice intonation, and general movement of teacher in teaching).

Adapted from: PETA course handout chapter 1 week 5

Pictures:

http://skullsmokers.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/saatnya-mudik-sembunyikan-file-file-rahasia-dari-keluarga/

http://ecep.uark.edu/6427.php

Experience of a Teacher Candidate: Wanna be an Effective Teacher

By: Endang Sriwahyuni

(a writing based on my experience)

82 School  is still known as the high class school until my last week there in teaching assistance program, even maybe till now. Most of students always ignore the existence of the teacher in the class. When the teacher teach them, they sometime just talking with other, playing their cellphone, wearing headphone (maybe listening to music), or even fall asleep. Some teachers said that this is a usual case. It happens because the students are from high social economic family, rich people, so, they accustomed to do so, obeying nothing. Teacher can’t do anything to regulate students. Actually, I’m questioning on that point. Does students’ social economy status is the reason they ignore the teacher? Does the effectiveness of learning condition in class influence it?

In the third grade, the teacher tended to use lesson clarity, although not all indicators are within it. The instructional strategies he used were direct instruction. He opened the class, stated that he would explain in summary about English text types with power point. After that, they would have a test which shown in presentation slide, and they’ve to answer it in the given answer sheet. The result will be used for measuring the ability of students and for finally it became reference to explain more the text type that many students don’t understand. Many of them couldn’t differentiate between report and description, narrative and recount, etc. Then, my team were commanded to make a presentation of text types differences to teach 3rd grade students. In my opinion, that’s way is effective because it tries to make students really clear in the differences of the text. It means that teacher want to have a meaningful teaching and learning process. Unfortunately, there is a part which makes it rather not effective. When teacher explain in summary, many of students didn’t give attention, ignoring. It is maybe because the teacher only read what has been written in the slides. In other that, giving 2 minutes for answering questions of one text, then slide move automatically is not really wise, because the difficulties of each text is different. If I were a teacher in that condition, I will use the same way, but more considering the time split for each question, and in explaining students the summarize of the text type, I prefer to use acronym, for example, for generic structure of narrative is OCR by showing my thumb, seems like saying “okay” to someone named “R”. So, students will more easily remember :).

Experience in 3rd grade still not answers my question yet. Luckily, my team got opportunity to teach 2 classes of first grade. The teacher left us in the class. We taught about the English text type for class X, they’re procedure, narrative, and recount. First, we elicit students to update status, what come in mind toward those three text type. We also give simple messaging game to reduce their sleepiness. We didn’t explain directly the lesson, but giving some pictures and question that relate with the text type first. We combined the opinion and knowledge from students, then, restated and concluded. In every end of text type explanation, we ask them to reflect what we’ve explained. Finally, we gave them a group game to arrange given sentences and phrases in the paper pieces into generic structure, language feature and characteristics of each type, and present the result. We used “Engagement in the learning process” and also direct instruction to have effective teaching. This way is totally different with how their teacher taught them in procedure text who tended to use individual study. In my opinion, our teaching is effective because their reflection show their understanding toward our explanation. Even, majority of students were enthusiastic in following this class. I think because they felt involved and have role in learning process, not like usual who only listen to what teacher explain. However, updating status took much times because their first impression, before they knew how colorful are our teaching, is rather underestimate. So, they’re not enthusiastic.

Therefore, now I can answer my question. Students’ social economic class isn’t reason of why they ignore the teacher. It depends on how teacher can create effective teaching to create effective learning. I’m happy because my team can engage ’82 students with all of their status into our lesson. Hundred thank for our lecturers… 🙂

 

Picture:

http://rezki0910.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/effective-teacher-commands-establishing-classroom-control/

A Teacher Needs to Know the Models of Learning

By: Endang Sriwahyuni

 

The core job of a teacher is teaching, so, is it important to know the model of learning in the class? Hmmm… . Absolutely it is yes. Why? because teaching is a media to guide students learning. So, the teacher needs to know the models of learning. The aim of it is to conduct various learning activities in the class.

Based on the book written by Watkins, Carnell, and Lodge entitled “Effective Learning in Classroom”, there are three models of learning, they’re reception, construction, and co-construction.

Reception is model of learning where there is transmission of knowledge from the external source (for example is teacher) to the receiver (students). So, learning here is being taught. The teacher gives students the concept and knowledge while students are only receiving it purely.

Construction is totally different with reception because in this model, students construct by their selves the meaning of concept of knowledge through discussion, discovery, open-ended learning, making connections, etc. Here, learning means an individual sense-making.

Co-construction model let students or learners to interact with other learners then collaboratively building knowledge. It can be in form of group discussion, jigsaw, etc.

 

With those three models of learning, the class activity will

make the students’ thought be balance as they ever taught directly by teacher like the common happen in school, they ever sharp the individual sense-making, and even they ever cooperate with others in establish the knowledge. It will be very enjoyable learning in the class if there are various activities applied. So, teacher need to know, even master and apply the three models of learning for students.

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