Chapter 4: Four Models of Teaching

  • 4 teaching models that enhance student thinking and learning
  • not teaching and telling, but questioning and involving students in processing information and increasing capabilities to learn more effectively in the future.

Model 1: Concept Development

  • Leads students through the process of organizing and refining information into categories and finally synthesizing the information by forming generalizations.
    • organize-->refine-->categorize-->synthesize-->generalizations
  • Effective in whole-class setting
  • Valuable at beginning of unit to determine students’ schema or as end-of-unit review
  • Used as a review, this model can be followed by a test to measure individual student learning, but the concept model should not provide a gradebook assessment

6 Steps in the Concept Development Model
  1. List as many items as possible. Must be specific (p.116) or Step 2 will be impossible.
    1. teacher question: “Tell me what you know about _.”
    2. teacher compiles response list
    3. goal = comprehensive database
    4. alternative to 1.b. = ask students to write 3 sentences about the topic and underline the most important words
  2. Group the items.
    1. teacher question: “Which of the items on our list seem to belong together because they are alike in some way?”
    2. query why the items go together
    3. indicate grouping combinations w/numbers, symbols, circles, color coding, or rewriting (this book did not include digital affordances but Linoit, a virtual bulletin board, would be perfect for a SmartBoard projection)
    4. some items may cross group but will be sorted out in Step 4
  3. Label the items by defining the reasons for grouping.
    1. teacher questions: “What would you call the groups that have been formed?” and “Why do you think the items in the group go together?”
    2. teacher discusses 1 group of items at a time, does not judge, accepts all student responses and encourages class discussion
  4. Regroup or Subsume individual items or whole groups under other groups.
    1. teacher questions: “Are there items in one group that you could place in another group?” and “Are there whole groups that could be placed under another one of the labels?”
    2. this step moves beyond superficial relationships to examine grouping from different perspectives
  5. Synthesize the information by summarizing the data and forming generalizations.
    1. teacher states: “Look at all of the groups we have made and make a statement about all of them.”
    2. teacher support on this step is critical until students become familiar with thinking processes involved in concept development
  6. Evaluate students’ progress by assessing their ability to generate a wide variety of items and to group those items flexibly.
    1. teacher considers: student progress for thinking skills involved in the model
    2. this step leads to further instructional decisions including reteaching or the design of further study of a concept

Model 2: Concept Attainment

  • Designed to help students define a concept by identifying those attributes absolutely essential to its meaning through comparison of examples and nonexamples.
    • define concept --> identify essential attributes --> comparisons of examples to nonexamples --> examine likenesses and differences => essential concept attributes = formulate a definition for the concept w/those identified attributes
  • appropriate within any discipline; excellent for abstract concepts, and best used in a whole-class setting

Preparing the Lesson: Teacher Responsibilities
  • choose a concept that can be clearly defined [example: commutative - math class]
  • write a definition [combining elements or having elements that combine in such a manner that the result is not affected by the order in which the elements occur]
  • select essential attributes [putting on 2 socks]
  • develop positive examples
    • each positive example must contain all of the attributes of the concept
  • develop nonexamples [putting a sock and a shoe on one foot]
    • each nonexample must contain some of the attributes in order to help students focus on essential attributes

9 Steps in the Concept Attainment Model
  1. Select and define a concept example:
    1. math class concept example: commutative
    2. math class concept definition: Select the attributes: must list defining attributes in order to check them against the examples before beginning the model
  2. Select the attributes: must list defining attributes to check them against the examples before beginning the model
    1. math class attributes: order or sequence of elements or events; and an intervening operation that does not change the original element or event
  3. Develop positive and negative (aka nonexamples) examples: could be represented pictorially, described verbally, or demonstrated
    1. math class positive example: putting on two socks
    2. math class nonexample: putting a sock and a shoe on one foot
  4. Introduce the process to the students: teacher gives explanation with specific directions, definitions, examples (see pp. 120-121)
    1. must define positive examples: each positive example must contain all of the attributes of the concept
    2. must define nonexamples: each nonexample must contain some of the attributes in order to help students focus on essential attributes
    3. must pay careful attention to process, especially on p. 121
  5. Present the Examples and list the attributes:
    1. begin with a positive example and list all student responses
      1. math class positive example: putting on two socks
      2. attributes: two, socks, feet, hands, legs
    2. second example is also positive; choose it carefully to eliminate some of the nonessential attributes from the first example
      1. math class second positive example: studying math and science
      2. attributes: math, science, paper, pencil, book
        1. teacher clarification: each positive example must contain all of the attributes of the concept
          1. attributes eliminated: math, science, paper, pencil and books, socks, feet, legs, hands
    3. next, then show a nonexample to help students focus on attributes they may have missed in the positive examples
      1. a nonexample: putting a sock and shoe on one foot
      2. introduce a second nonexample
      3. forced math students to examine that two activities could note be changed without affecting the results
  6. Develop a concept definition:
    1. teacher encourages students to state a definition using the list of attributes
    2. use nonexamples to help formulate the definition
      1. math class first definition: you can do either action first
  7. Give additional examples:
    1. used to check student understanding of the concept
    2. must identify as positive or nonexamples
    3. students explain choices
    4. students provide their own positive examples of the concept
  8. Discuss the process with the class:
    1. teacher reviews process of developing the definition
    2. students analyze likenesses and differences involving a concept
  9. Evaluate: does the process help with retention of information?

Model 3: Synectics

  • Structured group activity; students learn to think creatively and to solve problems using analogies and metaphor
  • designed to “make the familiar strange”
  • uses 3 types of analogies to view a familiar topic in an unfamiliar way
  • develops creative insight and deeper topic understanding via variety of perspectives
  • whole class approach
  • excellent for pre- and postprocess comparisons of writing
  • effective as an introductory activity or as closure to a unit of study and particularly effective in improving creative writing and the study of abstract ideas

Preparing the Lesson: Teacher Responsibilities
  • determining appropriateness of model for learning objective and choosing the analogies for Steps 2 through 5

7 Steps in the Synectics Model
  1. Describe the topic:
    1. teacher asks students to describe orally or in writing several sentences or a paragraph about a topic
    2. students underline important words or phrases
    3. teacher lists descriptive words/phrases
    4. teacher accepts all responses without evaluation
  2. Create direct analogies:
    1. students examine descriptive words to form an analogy between the words and an unrelated category
      1. Step 1 descriptive words on war
      2. Step 2 related to a list of plants
        1. analogy made between war and dogwood because plant had symbol of Christ on cross and in war blood is shed
        2. war : dogwood
  3. Describe personal analogies:
    1. teacher asks students to think about what it would feel like to be the object chosen in Step 2 (dogwood)
    2. students tell why they have that particular feeling: “How would it feel to be a dogwood?”
  4. Identify compressed conflicts:
    1. teacher asks class to review the list of words from Step 3 to find pairs of words which seem to “fight” or are in “opposition to each other” and to explain their reasoning
    2. class votes for the pair of words that represents the best compressed conflict
      1. evil - innocent
  5. Create a new direct analogy:
    1. teacher names another category (animal, machine...) for a direct analogy
      1. machine is new category
    2. class thinks of examples of that category best described by the compressed conflict chosen in Step 4
      1. evil - innocent is the compressed conflict from Step 2 war and Step 3 dogwood giving us evil - innocent in Step 4
    3. using machine as the new analogy, television is chosen as the best direct analogy
  6. Reexamine the original topic:
    1. students return to the original topic -- war -- and compare it to the last direct analogy -- television -- to the original topic -- war
    2. students write sentences or a paragraph describing the original topic -- war -- to the last direct analogy -- television
  7. Evaluate:
    1. teacher compares before and after writings to determine if synectics provides more creative insights and critical thinking

Model 4: Memory Model

  • link model associates or links new information to be memorized to something already known
  • not focused on rote memorization of facts/skills, but on logical association of facts with information already in the mind
  • teacher initially guides model by selecting/organizing information to be learned and explaining the process of making associations
  • model shifts to student-centered
  • evaluation is included in this model; students are assessed on their recall of information and ability to utilize the model (no rubric/s provided)
  • review association techniques periodically to promote memory retention

Preparing the Lesson: Teacher Responsibilities
  • identify the information to be memorized
  • students must be able to connect new learning to something already in their minds if “memory links” are to be established
  • teacher goal: developing student independence with this model

6 Steps in the Memory Model
  1. Select the information:
    1. define key concepts, facts, other information from studies
    2. teacher provides items for memorization
    3. students identify information by various methods
    4. first time use: teacher should generate the list of items to be learned
  2. Organize the material:
    1. categorize for link method alphabetically, numerically, chronologically, or in any appropriate grouping
  3. Develop associations:
    1. create strong visual images linking familiar information to new information
    2. get new information to “stick”
  4. Present associations to the class, modeling the process:
    1. teacher does a think aloud with memory links
    2. students give feedback
    3. students engage in memory link creation
  5. Practice using and developing associations:
    1. students given time to practice recall: verbal repetition, visualization, pair-share practice, drawing, writing key words...
    2. students quiz; class challenged for recall
    3. students practice the model as part of class or homework (or both)
  6. Evaluate:
    1. students recall information
    2. assessment on process, practice, recall
    3. student self-evaluation

Applying the Model (pp.135 - 138): this process is a form of storytelling with vivid associations
Objective: learning order of 13 original colonies
  1. Select information to be learned
  2. Organize information learning sequence
  3. Teacher-developed strong visual images
  4. Teacher explains objective
  5. Teacher Talk: storytelling with vivid associations for key words; students personalize images
  6. Students evaluated by several methods: listing, problem solving, answering a question, mapquests, timelines; self-evaluation

Chapter 5: Simulations

  • interactive instructional method to enhance student outcomes with lifelike problem solving worth learning as a working member of a system
  • simulation game = academic game in which students use prior knowledge in a specific subject to solve problems related to that discipline
  • may be used as introductory or culminating activities that follow extensive student research and classroom preparation
  • effective team-building icebreakers that develop empathy and understanding to social, cultural, economic, and political problems; effective in social studies curricula
  • simulations encourage high levels of class participation and interaction and should be brief, imaginative, and involve communication skills
  • work as “what if” scenario predictors with analytical and research skills development
  • build capacity to manage and cope with continuous change

9 Basic Steps in Selecting a Simulation

  1. What is the instructional objective? --> most critical decision in selection process
  2. What problem or process is represented? --> relate to course content/objectives
  3. Where in the course content should the simulation be placed? -->
    1. beginning (unit/course) to establish participatory culture for discussion
    2. end following lengthy preparatory process involving teacher lectures and student research
  4. How much class time will the exercise require? --> 1 class period or 1 block
  5. How many class members can participate? --> avoid small numbers
  6. Who will fill what roles? --> critical decision in determining high status roles
  7. What is the composition of teams? heterogeneity
  8. What does debriefing include? --> questions that determine if objectives are met
  9. What financial and classroom resources are needed? --> preview materials, physical space requirements and all other resources first

5 Steps in Designing a Simulation

  1. Define the educational objective. --> conceptual learning, skills acquisition, empathic insight?
  2. Define the model to be represented. --> people/organizations involved? create the environment and initial scenario
  3. Outline the dynamics of the model. --> roles of teacher and students, types of interactions among individuals, environment, and groups; behavior simulations sought?
  4. Delineate the rules of play. --> procedural rules (length/sequence of events), behavior required, restraints on goals, resource distribution/allocation, evaluation, feedback, conflict resolution
  5. List discussion questions for debriefing. --> reactions, perceptions, interpretations of actions of others; strategies in light of outcomes; cause and effect--done differently; comparisons of real v. virtual worlds

6 Steps in Implementing Simulations

  1. Role of Teacher --> observer, umpire but not active participant
  2. Student Assessment --> use teacher judgment; will grading distort student behaviors/outcomes?
  3. Simulation Assessment --> use debriefing guidelines
  4. Challenging Goal --> ensure students perceive a challenge
  5. Grouping --> 4-5 member teams self-selected; heterogeneous composition
  6. Debriefing --> thorough

Using Simulations in the Content Areas
  1. Social Sciences --> has greatest volume of literature in all disciplines
  2. Science --> 3 ways to use
    1. teach basic science content
    2. educate through science to develop basic skills and desirable attitudes
    3. teach about science and technology and their impact on modern society
  3. English --> literature is primarily silent; some ideas include Shakespearean new conference connected to a play; “Captions” (Jones, 1991, p. 185)
  4. Mathematics --> simplified real-world events or computer-generated data

Some Advantages of Using Simulations
  1. Student Interest
  2. Attitudinal Change --> more empathetic, tolerant, sensitive to needs/demands of others
  3. Skills Enhancement --> bargaining, persuasion, decision-making, analysis, relationships among ideas/people/events
  4. Cognitive Learning --> vicarious and realistic experience; knowledge relevance
  5. Variety and Change of Pace --> learning/teaching diversity
  6. Realistic Experiences --> e.g. “Caribou Hunt
  7. Problem-Solving Experiences --> math and vocational education benefits
  8. Transfer of Learning --> e.g. driver education simulations
  9. Responsive Environment --> immediate feedback from automatic simulator
  10. Safety --> safe to make errors without actual consequences
  11. Fun
  12. Democratic --> opportunities for focused conversation, intense dialog, consideration of social consequences of alternative policies/actions

Addressing Limitations and Concerns
  1. Unpredictability --> outcomes will vary
  2. Lack of Teacher Control --> low-level chaos and lack of certainty are present periodically
  3. Costs --> commercially developed simulations = costly
  4. Teacher Resistance --> exists
  5. Time --> time or hidden concerns/doubts re: academic value
  6. Availability --> current textbooks ignore simulations (but the new textbook is a techbook)
  7. Limited Participation --> students can be assigned roles for assessing progress and performance or recording results

Chapter 6: Learning Centers

  • work with individuals and small groups (with initial whole group instructions, usually for directions, behavioral expectations, grouping questions)
  • allow students to enrich, extend, practice, refine, and remediate learning independently while the teacher engages other students in the learning community
  • piches content to students with different intelligences, learning styles, and achievement levels so that learners are motivated/interested
  • teacher shifts to facilitative coaching role
  • (from personal experience with this learning/teaching model in the '70s and early '80, I can tell you that it is an interesting process that works, and you can run 4-5 learning centers simultaneously with rotations once you get used to the process; really quite good; I'm exploring creating digital learning centers with LiveBinders; check out this Top Ten Free Science Resources to get an idea of how it could work)

Learning Centers
  1. WHY?

    1. critical first step is identifying purpose
      1. ancillary to instruction v. integral component of the unit
      2. concentration on lower v. higher-order thinking skills
      3. learning styles, achievement levels, and/or interest areas
      4. use of time, space, recycled materials
      5. analyze data v. shuffle thinking
  2. WHO?

    1. students with different intelligences, learning styles, and achievement levels for cultivating engagement, motivation, and interest
    2. interview students about their perceptions on how they learn best or activities they prefer
      1. use open-ended questions on surveys and standardized learning style inventories to meet the learning needs of your individual, small group, and whole group profiles
    3. group/pair students heterogeneously (when you pilot; subsequently, you can let students self-select) to maximize collective intelligence to work at a center
  3. WHAT?
    1. drives value of center to students/teacher; inextricably linked to intended outcomes, objectives, or expectations for learning associated with a unit or discipline
    2. state purpose as part of the center itself; place intended outcome(s) and/or objective(s) above written directions or prominently on the center itself
    3. introduce center as whole-group instruction; learning by design = Wiggins/McTighe backward design (know end before you begin design)
    4. ask students to describe the center objective (reality check)
  4. WHERE?

    1. location is critical to successful use; consider environment in construction/placement; creatively consider 3-dimensional space, analysis of movement patterns, and identification of electrical outlet sources in planning and development
    2. most difficult challenge (if not working with 21st century affordances); suggestions:
      1. moveable blackboard
      2. student desks
      3. carts
      4. stands
      5. flat surface for equipment
      6. book displays
      7. project construction materials
      8. center backdrop
      9. room dividers
      10. bulletin boards
      11. hanging manila folders
  5. WHEN?

    1. after instruction in appropriate procedures and behaviors, learned essential class routines, unit introduction and guided practice activities have occurred
      1. 5 Steps for WHEN?
        1. introduce center, describe purpose, behavioral expectations, directions for use, and assessment
        2. discuss student issues/concerns; troubleshoot location for stations within the learning center
        3. have classmates observe a student modeling how to set up audio-visual equipment
        4. after center work is launched, when appropriated, point out positive examples of specific expectations being demonstrated; use precise descriptive language (don't say "good"; describe specifically how "good" or "excellent" looks from a project, product, team interaction, behavioral and/or content perspective)
        5. involve students in troubleshooting why a center is not working--academically or behaviorally; communicate your regard and respect for their ideas; acknowledge their concerns and make changes as needed
  6. HOW?

    1. how to use your centers is essential to their success and depend on your classroom management style and expectations, organization of the center itself, motivation and interest, development of self-directed, responsible behaviors when using centers as key factors affecting student use of centers
      1. 5 Components of a quality center:
        1. purpose and directions are written in clear language, backed up by audiotape directions (Vocaroo is a great simple tool and students with a good speaking voice could record)
          1. must be manageable steps for all readers, so link visual to audible information
          2. talk through expectations, especially for equipment use (safety issues)
        2. equipment and materials are available/obtainable without attention from teacher
        3. a recording sheet/form is used by students to document their work at a center
          1. the organized teacher provides a manila envelope or folders for students in one accessible location to students/teacher
          2. teachers need to keep detailed and copious anecdotal information (daily) during student observations; teachers need to develop/find numerous rubrics for each segment of the center as well as for assessment, formal, summative, and observational (RJ)
        4. hard copy supplies (as opposed to digital) are organized in bins, boxes, containers that are portable
        5. a specific location is designated for documentation associated with center use

Instructional Models in Centers

  1. Inductive Thinking: think/pair/share
    1. Individually read through the center activity
    2. record an individual response to the questions associated with the activity (think)
    3. get together to share responses with each other (pair)
    4. when all groups have completed the center, share responses through teacher questioning using numbered-heads-together or circle of knowledge (share)
      1. in center-based pairs:
        1. a group of 4 students form 2 pairs
        2. within each pair, one student solves the problem while the other partner coaches and encourages
        3. partners change roles and solve a second problem; the new coach provides encouragement
        4. after working through 2 problems, the 2 pairs check work together, record correct aswers for the team, reinforce the team, and move on to the next set of problems
  2. Cooperative Learning: students can be assigned to:
    1. record information
    2. facilitate the center's group
    3. manage equipment and materials use
    4. act as a teacher-student liasion (all roles should be explained/practiced before implementation)
  3. Synectics
    1. encourages students to use their imagination, insight, and intuition to develop metaphorical images expressed through metaphorical visualizationand unique descriptive language
  4. Concept Attainment (Chapter 4)
    1. begin with whole-group activities
    2. centers can be used to reinforce/rehearse understanding of specific concepts taught in a unit

Student Assessment

  • best way to send a message to students about center assessment is to pay attention to them working at a center (daily) and the products that emerge
  • centers = place where formative assessment process can be used primarily to inform instruction and extend what the teacher knows about how individual students learn
  • teacher assessment roles:
    • observation of students at work
    • examination of response record forms
    • conferences with students during and after center completion
    • teacher and student assessment of final project associated with aspects of center work
  • teacher overall role(s):
    • ranges from high supervision and involvement with specific students
    • circulating for brief conferences with all students
    • "management by walking around" mode to observe students and make anecdotal notations about students about their successes, difficulties, and work habits (on/off task must be documented)
    • observations can (should) form an integral assessment component and requires an organized system for recording and language must be detailed and specific