Effective Teaching and Learning: Teachers' and Students' Perspectives

Effective Teaching and Learning: Teachers' and Students' Perspectives

Effective Teaching and Learning: Teachers' and Students' Perspectives

Effective Teaching and Learning: Teachers' and Students' Perspectives

Synopsis

This book examines how teachers and students actually go about their classroom business. It carefully avoids the assumptions of policy-makers and theorists about what ought to be happening and focuses on what is happening. In doing so, Cooper and McIntyre offer:

• a detailed look at how teachers are responding to the National Curriculum

• a unique insight into secondary school students as learners

• a grounded analysis of teaching and learning strategies drawing on the psychological theories of Bruner and Vygotsky

The book follows on from Donald McIntyre's previous book Making Sense of Teaching and will be of interest to student teachers, teachers studying for advanced degrees and academics involved in teacher education.

Excerpt

This book is about how teachers and pupils try to teach and to learn effectively in classrooms. It explores their understandings of effective teaching and learning as these inform and are reflected in their classroom practices. It goes on to examine the ways in which teachers' and pupils' strategies reflect common or conflicting concerns, and how they work more or less effectively together to promote the pupils' learning.

These concerns with what teachers and pupils try to achieve in their classroom work, and with how they try to achieve these things, offer an important perspective on the work of schools. Most obviously, any serious attempts to improve the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in schools must start from an understanding of what people in classrooms do at present. More specifically, the initial and continuing professional education of teachers needs to be informed by understandings both of how experienced teachers do their work and of the ways in which pupils set about their classroom learning. Similarly, the curriculum frameworks within which teachers are asked to plan and conduct their teaching, and the assessment and reporting frameworks through which both teachers and pupils are held accountable for their work, will be sensible and useful only in so far as they take account of how teachers and pupils do their work and of why they work as they do.

Sadly, these rather obvious truths are not always recognized. The quality of the work of schools, and especially the effectiveness with which pupils learn and are taught, have in many countries become increasingly important and contentious political issues in recent years. In Britain, for example, politicians' dissatisfaction with the quality and effectiveness of schooling has purportedly been the reason for radical changes in the nature and structuring of school curricula, in the assessment and reporting of pupils' attainments, in the management of schools and in teacher education.

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