Last blog I have talked about what kind of factors that should be taken into account when implementing small class learning (SCL). As showed last time, we clearly find that both teacher’s personality and teaching strategy are the vital factors of impementing an effetive SCL. However, as we metioned before, there were still some teachers using the traditional teaching methods in teaching small size class. Thus, we are going to discuss what kind of teaching strategy that teachers should be used in SCL.
Firstly, IUP (no date) mentioned that it is important for teachers to know the teaching strategy of SCL. Otherwise, SCL would not exert any positive effect on students. In this article, it pointed out that it is important to divide students in group rather than individually. Moreover, it displayed a lot of teaching strategy which were considered in terms of students. For example, it is important to praise students in order to stimulate learning in their subjects. Moreover, when carrying out group disussion, it pointed out that teachers can let students to decide the questions. Because students sometimes may even know more about the relevant information about them.
Then, UCF (no date) also emphasized the importance of teaching strategy in SCL. It proposed that before teachers are deciding what kind of activities should be carried out in SCL, teachers should be firstly recognized different learning strategy of different students. As different students possess different learning style, teachers should considered those learning strategy into account. Moreover, instead of spoon-fed education, teachers should integrate higher-level thinking skills into learning, such as target synthesis and evaluation skills. It is also indicated that it is important to let students become active in learning.
Lastly, Zahorik, J. et al.(2000) showed that someteaching behaviors were positively correlated to students academic result. For example, spendinng more time teaching than managing the classroom and spending more time in discussion. Moreover, working as a group is also a behavior which was positively correlated to students academic performance as well. Besides, this study also displayed that some teaching behavior were negatively correlated to students academic result, such as covered more content in depth and oftenly involved students in problem solving, creating, and experimenting.
From the above, we can clearly see that three of the sources share one similarity : working as a group rather than individually. In fact, however, not all students are suitable in a teaching group. Therefore, UCF (no date) pointed out teachers should take different learning strategies into account before implementing SCL. Still, result from Zahorik, J. et al.(2000) showed that working as a group would enhance students academic performance. Thus, this blog suggested that group studying could be one of the teaching strategy can be used in SCL.
IUP (no date). Improving Learning in Small Classes. Retrieved 15 November 2013, from http://www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=68233
UCF (no date). Small/Seminar Classes. Retrievd 15 November 2013, from http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/teachingandlearningresources/learningenvironments/smallclass.php