Essay: Building on Lesson Plans
Number of words: 1574
An efficient learning environment is important in developing careers today. Teachers have devised ways of overcoming barriers in teaching borrowed from the past. This paper evaluates different questioning strategies; illustrate teaching in a culturally diverse environment and methods of assessing students. It also analyses standardized tests in learning institutions.
Learning is an essential tool in the development of students’ intelligence. In a class, the teacher needs to understand the needs of students. The needs of students that might influence their training and subsequent questioning strategies include cultural diversity of students, level of education of students, their age and language. Learning in a classroom can take various forms. A teacher might decide to use oral style of teaching, use of electronic devices or use role-playing systems. (Demirel, 2009). The process of learning in a classroom needs constant monitoring by teachers. Monitoring ensures satisfaction of all students learning needs and that their progress matches. Individuals can learn through self- directed process, through experience or by the help of teachers. A teacher might use oral questioning strategies in evaluating the learning progress of students.
Oral Questioning Strategies
Unlike written exams, oral questioning technique evaluates individuals learning progress. The process is usually not graded, but through such assessments, teachers are able to understand the needs of students. Oral questions are either directed to the whole class or on particular individuals. Oral questioning therefore ensures that teachers measure students’ knowledge, capabilities and level of comprehension. During oral questioning, teachers need to be sure to use a technique that works well for a certain group of individuals. Teachers need to use oral questioning as a core approach to planning (McTighe & O’Connor, 2009). Questions need to in order and of high quality to ensure effective analysis. Teachers need to formulate relevant questions and direct them to the right students. Culture and linguistic aspects of students is very relevant in teaching.
According to McTighe & O’Connor(2009), an effective questioning strategy is important for learning needs of students. Questioning strategies promotes the interaction between teachers and students. Through these interactions, teachers get to evaluate the thinking abilities, knowledge and reasoning abilities of students. Questioning strategies depending on the needs of students may take the following forms: the questions may be structured to develop learning process of students. This form of questions normally assists teachers in beginners’ classrooms. The strategy may be to develop learning process in students. This strategy employs the use of core questions and they ensure learning at intermediate levels. The last strategy is the development of questions to evaluate learning. This form of questioning is evaluative. It is best suited for advanced level classrooms.
The strategy of oral questions ensures learning through the following strategies. A teacher might use key questions as a technique for learning. Key questions are normally directed to classrooms. Core questions initiates students to thinking. Such questions might be directed in discussion groups or on classrooms. Use of key questions ensures students think critically and motivate students. The next type of questioning strategy is the use of Hinge point questions. The hinge Questioning approach is important at the point of formative assessment.
This approach is crucial in learning since it deepen thought by asking the ‘Why’ question (McTighe & O’Connor, 2009). The other approach to the questioning strategy involves the use of continuum questions. This form ensures that students develop questions in groups on a specific area. These questions may be placed in whiteboards for future referencing. The questions assist teachers in understanding the interest levels of students and to deepen their understanding on specific topics.
Cultural and linguistic Responsive Questioning
In a cultural and linguistic classroom, teachers might use the following methods in promoting learning. Teachers need to conduct a thorough self-assessment. Majority of teachers limit their scope by understanding only their cultures. This might affect the learning ability of students. It is vital for teachers to have knowledge on developing healthy relationships with their students. Self- assessment assists teachers to reflect on their responses thus; creating an environment for learning (Santamaria, 2009)
Another methods of ensuring learning process in such cultural diverse classrooms, is the use of various cultural sensitive materials. These instructional materials assist in development of cultural sensitive questions (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). The methods might include the use of open ended questions and use of multi -disciplinary units. Teacher additionally needs to develop a classroom atmosphere that respects diverse cultures and languages. Such an atmosphere ensures learning process through questioning.
Methods of assessing students
There are various techniques of assessing students’ performance in classrooms for teachers to employ. The methods may either take a summative or formative approach. Summative approaches to assessment, normally occurs at the end of the course or unit. The reasons for such assessment are to understand learning outcomes of students. A formative assessment on the other hand is a technique for monitoring learners’ progress. This approach assist teachers understand learners’ weak points and adjust their teaching styles (Brown, Bull, & Pendlebury, 2013). The assessment takes place at the beginning of the unit and all through the term. Formative assessment techniques may either be formal or informal. Informal techniques of assessment include surveys, wrappers, written reflections and observing checks to learner for understanding. Formal techniques of formative assessments include class activities, deliverables, quizzes and online assessments
The methods in respect to summative assessment, includes presentation of projects and paper reports, use of portfolios and use of exams. Written reflections as a means of assessing students always follow a learning activity. This approach yield immediate response to the learning process. The process provides an opportunity for teachers to understand the level of understanding on that particular subject. Surveys and polls is another important technique of understanding the performance of students. This approach provides information on individual behaviours and attitudes on certain topics (Brown, Bull, & Pendlebury, 2013). Quizzes on the other hand, are effective tools of analysing learning. The technique is useful in assessing knowledge level of students and in the creation of competition.
Papers and project presentation are perhaps familiar. This method of assessment gives students a deeper understanding of learning materials. Teachers use such presentation to analyse students’ knowledge acquisition as well as creativity. Projects are popular tools of assessment in colleges and other institutions of higher learning. Presentation of such assessments can either be online or through discussions. Instructors in such situations are able to guide students and correct where necessary. Exams are another set of important tools of assessment. Exams can either be at the beginning, mid-term or at the end of a course. Portfolios submission on the other hand is at the end of coursework. Portfolios provide insight on the performance of students during the semester in colleges. It is a very powerful tool of assessment since students can personally reflect on what they learnt.
According to Ladson-Billings (2009), a standardized test is a test given to all test takers in the same way. These types of tests can either be time-based or of high-stakes. The reasons for students undertaking standardized tests are to provide comprehensive details of performance across a wide area. These types of tests have a historical basis in the majority of countries. Countries like the U.K, China and the U.S.A use such tests. The design of such tests is to ensure that students answer essay, true or false and multiple-choice questions. Scoring assessments of these tests can either be through the use of computer systems or through evaluators.
The benefits of standardized questions are that it is easy to document the results empirically. Data from such tests are relatively reliable and variable. Such results may be replicate and generalization is easy. This form of assessment has been applauded for its fairness. It is a perception that all test takers encounter reasonably same conditions and those results are always fair. In relation to term-papers, projects and essay exams, complex assessment approaches yield value. The method of assessment in such situations is known as Authentic or Alternative assessment (Ladson-Billings, 2009). This approach of assessment uses oral defence as a basis for evaluation.
Teachers should not ignore the fact that not all students have the ability to take standard tests. Therefore, it is important for teachers to prepare students for such test in time. Teachers might use various ways in preparing students for these tests. A teacher needs to evaluate curriculum goals in order to prepare students for what will come in exams. They need to constantly monitor students’ performance, engage students in Alternative assessments and in explaining to the students the purpose of such exams.
McTighe, J., & O’Connor, K. (2009). Seven practices for effective learning. Kaleidoscope: Contemporary and Classic Readings in Education: Contemporary and Classic Readings in Education, 174.
Santamaria, L. J. (2009). Culturally responsive differentiated instruction: Narrowing gaps between best pedagogical practices benefiting all learners. The Teachers College Record, 111(1), 214-247.
Brown, G. A., Bull, J., & Pendlebury, M. (2013). Assessing student learning in higher education. Routledge.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). Critical Race Theory in Education. The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Education, 110.
Demirel, M. (2009). Lifelong learning and schools in the twenty-first century. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 1709-1716.
Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.