Effective Teaching

Effective Teaching

Effective Teaching

Effective Teaching


In the 19th century, teacher training institutions were called "normal schools" because it was assumed there was only one way to teach--the "norm". Today there is no single style of teaching endorsed by everyone. The authors draw on their considerable experience of teacher training and research into classrooms to explore several dimensions of teaching. They show how teachers can improve their competence and meet their aspirations, both individually and with their colleagues. Effective Teachingwill be very useful to trainee and experienced teachers, deans, teacher educators and assessors.


Effective teaching lies at the very heart of the effective school. What it is and how to nurture it is something we try to explore in this book, but whatever one's notions of what constitutes 'effective' teaching, few would doubt that it is essential if schools are to flourish. What is more important, however, is that time spent not only improving the quality of what each individual teacher does, but also the effectiveness of the whole school, is a wise investment.

The major aim of this book, therefore, is to help both newcomers and experienced professionals gain further insights into their own teaching and that of others. Teaching is a set of craft skills, values, beliefs and practices that can be added to and improved at all stages even of a long career. There are teachers close to retirement who are still willing to innovate, to look closely at what they do in the classroom, at what their pupils learn, and to reflect alone or with others on how to improve their practice.

The intention is that, by reading the text and trying out some of the practical activities, teachers will be able to improve their own classroom practice. If people work together as a group, whether they are experienced teachers in the same school, tutors and student trainees on an initial training programme, or some combination of these, then this will be even better. the emphasis is on both activity and reflection, for one without the other would be less effective. All the activities can be done by individuals or by groups of students or experienced teachers, either in discussion or with children on their own or in someone else's classroom. the use of jargon is minimised, though not omitted entirely, as from time to time it can help to have a specific term that covers some key concept.

The book is organised in the following six units:

In Unit 1 there is consideration of what constitutes effective teaching.

Unit 2 describes an approach to teaching based on nine dimensions of classroom practice at different levels of competence, as well as a framework for discussing teaching.

Unit 3 explores how children learn and how teachers can plan teaching strategies to meet their needs.

Unit 4 deals with classroom organisation and management.

Unit 5 concentrates on instructional design and how teachers' subject knowledge, understanding of children, beliefs and statutory obligations affect it.

Unit 6 looks at whole-school issues and how teachers in a school can plan and secure minor or radical changes.

There is no favouring of a single approach to teaching, therefore, even though we often put forward models we have ourselves developed. the emphasis is on teachers exploring the issues, considering alternatives, trying out ideas and then finding their own best way forward in the light of their own experience and that of others.

How to use this book

The six units constitute substantial course material in the field of effective teaching. the activities and text are suitable for in-service and professional studies courses as well as for individual use.

The text may be read as a book in its own right; all the activities can be undertaken either by individual teachers or by members of a group working together on the topic. the discussion activities are intended to be worked on individually but also lend themselves to group discussion when completed. the practical activities are designed to be done in the teacher's own classroom or by student

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