Right from ancient times, human tendency to develop skills and grow by processing and sharing information has shaped our world enormously and has been the backbone for immense development. Though the methodologies used at different times would have differed based on the objectives but teaching- learning process has followed a common thread of giving and receiving knowledge.
The teaching process generally includes stages presenting, explaining, reviewing and assessing. All the four stages are very important and should deal in detail as each stage is building on the previous one and understanding of the topic by the students also follow a parallel path. Getting detail into each stage we will see what it constitutes of and how it is linked with other stages.
Whenever a fresh idea (either totally fresh or getting build on previous one) is introduced, it should be presented in a very effective and clear manner as it sets the foundation, creates interest and helps create a mental space in student’s mind. A brief on the topic is more welcoming and assist students to connect to their lives. Clubbing it with explanations or details which anyways will come in explain stage can pull the students off or create fear about the topic or aversion. Thus stressing on this area by creating a hook is very important to start teaching. This stage also provides a chance for teacher to understand his/her students and know what the prior knowledge they have of the topic being taught.
This looks like the most loved stage as it provide teachers a chance to share their knowledge and experience. It’s an opportunity to showcase too, however when catering to children having varied abilities, it is best to breakdown the stages and while explaining have regular check of understanding and learning. This can be done by using ‘check for understanding questions’ , ‘raising flags’,’ temperature check techniques’ or many creative classroom strategies which can provide the teacher a signal about how much have students understood and what are areas which aren’t clear.
To have a check at whether whatever is been explained is getting captured or not is what review helps in. It can be of two types. One can be ongoing review and second can be at multiple intervals. What we spoke of in the explain part is more ongoing review, in which while explaining part is happening, the teacher is informing her teaching based on the ongoing review. However the review at regular milestones can cover the bulk coverage of topic in one go and for all the students. This review can assist in reviewing the plan ahead in a more robust way as it can be data driven and can give broader picture.
Review is also very crucial stage to build the learning gaps. The expectation what the teacher had when started to how much is met, review can help the teacher see where are the students lacking and why. Also this is the stage where different skills of students can be acknowledged and recognized.
Assessments are tests designed to check the learning at the end of the teaching. How assessments are made, is very important and unfortunately, not a lot of stress is placed in this area too. It is very crucial to select the questions which can test the true understanding of the topic taught. Assessments can play an important role in knowing what students know, knowing what students don’t know, identifying learning gaps and many more insights can be drawn on the basis of how well the assessments are made.
The 4 stages discussed are intertwined and it’s very easy to either mix them up or skip over one other when in the flow of teaching. Thus being aware of which stage you are in and what you want to achieve from your students from that stage can help the teachers inform their teaching methods regularly.
By Ritika Arora : Educational Specialist