Being a teacher, I think teaching and learning is an ongoing process (Watkins and Drury,
Trying to understand the process of learning and how people learn is an area
into which much research has been carried, but agreement about what this should
include is hard to pin down.
The science of learning, depends on the art of
teaching and they both are inseparable (Feldman and McPhee, 2008). An
awareness of the learning process provides powerful insights and enables
teachers to effectively match their teaching with their students’ content,
needs and situation.
Teachers need to use their knowledge of
students’ level of understanding, as well as subject content to make professional judgments about classroom practice, and delivering an
effective lesson plan. However, it is my firm belief that teaching is
incomplete without a robust understanding of the learning process to align
their understanding with that of a student. The
current movement towards more student-centred learning stems from the theories
of constructivism and social constructivism (PDQ Core Resources, 2016). That is that students learn best when they are
actively; involved in their learning and creating their own meaning around a
subject either individually or socially as a group.
science has proven that students learn new ideas by relating them to their
prior knowledge, and then transferring them into their long-term memory
For me as a
teacher this means that teachers should make sure that students have—or should
provide students with—the background knowledge needed for understanding new
content. Students without proper background knowledge and who lack instructional
guidance (Vygotsky, 1978), can be easily overwhelmed in the
Student’s ability to retain information
increases if they are given the chance to practice retrieving it from their
long term memories (Kolb, 1984) and think about its meaning.
For example while nobody likes rote or
“drill and kill” assignments, repeated. I believe deliberate,
meaningful practices of content can both cement student learning and make it
easier for students to remember content in the future, enabling them to tackle
increasingly complex challenges.
According to this theory a carefully sequenced curriculum can
build student knowledge over the course of a school career, enabling students
to solve increasingly complex problems. Teachers can also help develop these
skills by providing a clear and specific feedback about the tasks rather than
on the student or her performance. Such feedback is
an important component of formative assessment.
The basic purpose of any assessment
is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching ability accordingly. Teachers use
assessments to measure how much our students have learnt up to a particular
point in time. This is called “assessment of learning” (Harlen, 2007)
or what we use to see whether our students are meeting the standards set up by
Cambridge International Examinations. It limits the chance of creativity.
It merely focusses to increase students’ scores on high-stakes exams such as
the O/A levels. Although “assessment of learning” or
“summative assessment” is important if we are to ascribe grades to students and
provide accountability, one should also focus more on “assessment for learning”
(Brown, 2005) or “formative assessment”. This is useful in the middle of a
module, since it gives the students a feedback at the right time, which they
can use to improve their future performance (William and Thompson, 2008).
Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills develop through
feedback and depends heavily upon background knowledge, this plays a key role
in developing higher order thinking skills
(Biggs and Collis, 1982).
Motivation helps a student
to learn (Ames, 1992). In my opinion ideally, any course content a student
finds fascinating, and enjoys is the course which the students will be
motivated to engage in.
Motivation is a complicated
phenomenon and depends on multiple factors, if a student settles with a
particular academic setting, and believes his expertise in the said field can
be developed with effort. I think there are a variety of steps for teachers to
make sure that students feel a sense of belonging in class and that their
effort is worthwhile. For example, giving credit for participation, engage
students in decision making and avoid controlling student behavior.
Personally I think we can
help elevate the prestige and rigor of the profession that we call teaching by
employing the best provided scientific methods and principles outlined above.