The fundamental principle behind every effective teacher is the drive to create a passion for learning within their students, to stimulate their interest, to guide them in knowledge acquisition and learning. Effective teachers do this by offering students varied learning activities, teaching approaches and resources. As teachers we seek to nurture the student under our care by encouraging them to meet their full potential. There are several factors which have to be taken into consideration when addressing the issue of an effective teacher who has the ability to bring about learning outcomes. In this essay I will be highlighting the link between an effective teacher and an effective learners, the impact of planning and the teacher personal qualities has on a teacher’s effectiveness.
There are many theories surrounding how people learn. (Race 1994:20) states that there are four primary processes involved in learning, a desire to learn, learning by doing, learning from feedback and making sense of what has been learned. Effective learning therefore according to Carnell (2006) means ‘that young people notice and understand their learning and are strategic in ways that will support their learning both currently and in the future’ (Carnell 2006:63). The teacher assist students in becoming effective learners by guiding them through the techniques of extracting information, ideas, knowledge and using them more effectively. Joyce & Showers state ‘effective learners draw information, ideas and wisdom from their teachers and use learning resources effectively…’ (Joyce & Showers 1988:10). Teachers play a significant role as motivators for their students to become effective learners by encouraging them to be engaged or interested in their learning by providing them with constructive feedback, by motivating and helping them to review their learning. Teachers not only need to motivate their pupils but also challenge them when ever possible, making their classroom, an environment where effective learning to take place.
The construction model concentrates on the individual focusing on their learning. The construction theory encourages learning through discussion, discovery, connection making and open-ended learning. This model expects learners to construct their own understanding of the learning. (Petty 2006:30) argues that this model ‘… requires reasoning and not just reproduction’. This style of learning encourages teachers to be creative in their lessons by using games, using cards, etc. The teacher is seen as the facilitator of the learning with the responsibility of the learning being place on the learner. The co-construction model explores learning through collaboration with others by working within a group. This model focuses on promoting learning by using dialogue and building on existing knowledge. Student effective learning takes place when the student takes responsibility for their own learning in order to bring about change. (Watkins et.al 1996) states:
Effective learners have therefore gained understanding of the process necessary to become effective learners. This had been described as meta-learning …
Meta-learning plays a vital part in effective learning, it forces the learner to reflect about they learn. As a teacher I encourage my students in becoming effective learners by designing activities using resources they enjoy to encourage learning and assist them in their meta-cognitive development. Meta-cognition according to (Wenden 1998:34) states:
Meta-cognitive knowledge as the ‘facts learners acquire about their own cognitive processes as they are applied and used to gain knowledge and acquire skills in varied situations
According to Watkins et al (1996) as teachers, when planning lessons, need to ensure that they in cooperate collaborative learning, active learning, learners responsibility and learning about learning (also know as Meta-learning). Watkins et al (1996) states in order for effective...
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