In a follow-up report to Alexander et al. , (1992) OFSTED found that in over eighty per cent of schools the teachers were generalists, with semi-specialist teaching being undertaken in 15 per cent of schools and the only specialist teaching being undertaken by bought-in part-time teachers. The student teacher will require finding out how curriculum leadership is exercised in the school so that he or she can approach the most suitable teachers in the school with regard to his or her own planning and completion of schemes and activities. Dean and Pollard and Tann recognize a number of specific skills an effective teacher needs.
These include: observing and interpreting children’s behavior; organization and control; communication skills; planning skills; investigative skills; analytical skills; and evaluative skills. There are four main strategies for raising achievement. They are: A planned curriculum that has both wideness and depth; Schemes of work that break down the curriculum into controllable chunks; Effective lesson plans; Differentiation, so that each child is competent to work to his or her own potential and not perform tasks that are either too easy or too difficult. A planned curriculum
Planning is crucially important but the results of the planning need to be imitates in manageable chunks of work. It can be the case, in your school, that the long-term plan with its broad curriculum map, the medium-term plan with its collapse of work in term or half-term chunks and the short-term weekly and daily planning are enough to identify all the important and manageable sections of the curriculum. QCA are producing all kinds of schemes of work, as are many local authorities, and it is also true to say that OFSTED like to see schemes of work as an essential part of school planning.
You may disagree and feel that this is just another layer of paperwork that you could well do without. Schemes of work This is what is to be taught and it is functional in that it can provide a summary of what has to be covered in each subject. Every scheme of work needs to show progression in terms of content from year to year, and so as to be effective it will also need to be competent to: Provide a support within which to work; Help to encourage continuity and progression; Give confidence and form teacher security;
Help measure success or failure in terms of what is being taught within the agreed curriculum; Confirm to staff what it is that they must actually be teaching. QCA schemes of work can be used as they are or can be adapted to suit the specific needs of individual schools. It is significant to have a rational plan in which the details of teaching and learning can be easily translated into classroom practice, as knowing what is to be taught, how it is to be taught and when it is to be taught is one of the keys to increasing standards and improving pupil achievement.
It is also significant to make sure that teachers are given a prospect, within a not too dictatorial scheme of work, to convert what they have into their own creative classroom practice. Doing this will mean that they are capable to retain confidence in their own abilities. Lesson plans As with short-term planning, the scheme of work, no matter how detailed, has to be broken down into lessons taking up a fixed amount of class teaching time. These need to be reachable, simple and easily understood.
It is also significant that they can be referred to quickly, as a reminder for the teacher who wrote them, as well as being a source of information and stability that will facilitate other teachers who might take the class to teach to the same curriculum using the same content. This will lessen uncertainty to a rational level and increase the prospect of children being provided with an suitable level of high quality teaching. Lesson planning, which is the short-range part of the planning process, takes time and it is right to say that numerous teachers are expressing concerns regarding the amount of time it takes.
This is a valid argument and it will persist to be worrying for as long as the curriculum is challenging and complex. The problem can simply be reduced if teachers find it probable to devote a minimum amount of time to maximum effect so that the educational requirements of all the children are met. It is not possible to suggest a ultimate method of writing short-term plans in terms of what is going to happen in each lesson. All schools will have plans that are related, but equally all schools will have considerable differences in how they produce short-term plans.
It is possible, however, to suggest sure areas of knowledge that have to be covered. Differentiation Teachers should differentiate their teaching to provide for the varied and complex needs of all the children in their class. This fundamentally means setting tasks that meet the needs of all the children, and there are numerous strategies that can be used. These will include: Setting a task and allowing diverse children longer to complete it; Setting a task but changing the instructions and vocabulary that is used for diverse children;
Permitting children to respond in diverse ways and at different levels to a task; Asking different levels of questions of different children; Using different criterion to measure success; Accepting different outcomes for the same task depending on capability; Using different resources; Offering different levels of support. Conducting Discipline and Effective Control Without control you cannot use all those skills that pass on and share the knowledge base of the curriculum. It is also significant on other, related levels.
Rogers in You Know the fair Rule (1991) suggests that consistent, firm and fair teachers will desire to use control and discipline to ‘lead, guide, direct, manage or face up to a student about behavior that interrupts the rights of others, be they teachers or students’, going on to suggest that the aim of discipline is to guide a student towards self control and personal responsibility (1991:10). Children have to see the requirement to respect the rights of others and recognize how their actions affect them.
They also require taking responsibility for their own actions and recognizing the balance between freedom and constraint and tolerance and intolerance. In any school, one of the most significant lessons that have to be taught and learnt is how to get on with other children and with adults. This will entail teachers modeling the kind of behavior that they want. What it shouldn’t do is make teachers think that they are weakening if what they do does not have an effect on those children who, as of all kinds of inner conflicts, tensions, low self-esteem and anger, do not perform in ways that allow teaching and learning to take place.
It is not always the fault of teachers and we must stop them taking this kind of blanket blame for the failings in other areas of society outside the school. Most individuals learn more as they mature and extend socially. Teachers require making sure that children learn and develop the skills associated with: Increasing accountability; Acceptance; Control of aggravation and anger; Making more composite social relationships; Persistent with the development of their own individual personalities and social skills.
We all require being able to recognize what is right and wrong and all those complex behavior strategies that tell us what is the right and wrong way to work in different social circumstances. This will entail such issues as: Good manners; How to speak to others; How to control critical emotions such as anger and aggression. It is also associated to how individual children become responsive of the rights of others and move towards a less selfish and more sharing relationships with each other. Conclusion There is competent, successful and outstanding teaching. The magic of good teaching is that it transforms: it changes people for the better.
Though there are always difficulties in teaching well, the worst of these are, often, not so much owed to lack of teaching expertise as to teachers trying to persuade conflicting demands from different client groups. This conclusion does not deny that teaching is a complex business. But, at levels of competence, there is little doubt that normal human talents for communication, making relationships and so forth can be refined as professional abilities, sufficient for successful teaching. Educational success will take place from competent performance in situations where teachers’ and learners’ goals are harmonious with wider public values.
In circumstances where public expectations exceed or lag behind teachers’ own expectations, or where they do match up to social realities, it will be more challenging agreeing criterion for success than deciding on duly effective categories of skill. Competent teaching must be committed to a value-driven, professional ideal, linked particularly to notions of what it means to be good or ‘excellent’ learners. They must have a professional knowledge of the major options for ‘good practice’ possible for them. They must be familiar with the theoretical back-up for these options.
From this commitment and knowledge—all things being equal—will develop the skills, techniques and strategies which they will set up pragmatically. Teachers will have a sensitivity to local factors, the socio-cultural needs of pupils and the expectations of parents. These factors will change the way teaching skills etc. are deployed.
Alexander, R. J. , Rose, J. and Woodhead, C. (1992) Curriculum Organisation and Classroom Practice in Primary Schools. London: Routledge
Barnes, D. , Britton, J. And Torbe, M. (1990) Language, the Learner and the School, 4th ed. , Portsmouth, NH, Boynton-Cook/Heinemann.