The Teachers Toolbox – Documents

Ways of Teaching without Talking

Presenting Students with New Material in Theory Lessons
Draft 1.0 Feb 2002- Geoff Petty

Introduction
Teaching falls into three phases, Present, Apply, and Review, each requiring appropriate methods ( PAR model).

Learning goals are explained

  • Objectives or goals are given
  • Advanced organiser
  • Persuasive account of the relevance
    and importance of the work

New material is presented

Knowledge, reasoning, theories etc are presented to students.
Abstract ideas are illustrated with concrete examples.

Skills are demonstrated e.g. how to use a formula,
or punctuate a sentence. This stresses both process and
product.

Learning Strategies

  • Listen to teacher talk
  • Watch a teacher or student demonstration
  • Watch a video
  • Use resources such as handouts, CD-Rom, Internet etc
  • Jigsaw or other cooperative learning strategies
  • Teaching without Talking strategies
  • Independent Learning
  • Teaching by asking (rather than teaching by telling) e.g. group discussion

Learning is checked in progress

  • Question and answer
  • Looking at students’ work
  • Quiz, test etc.
Students are given tasks that require them to apply the knowledge, theories, skills etc that have just been presented. This involves them in problem solving, making decisions, creating things such as posters or mindmaps.

Learning Strategies
When learning a practical skill
Practical task: (e.g. when learning a practical skill)

When learning cognitive skills

  • Group discussion
  • Case study
  • Exercises, questions, worksheet, essay, etc
  • Discussion to Develop an argument or answer a question etc
  • Decisions decisions game (good for learning concepts)
  • Student presentation
  • Critical evaluation of exemplars. E.g. are these sentences correctly punctuated?

Peer marking or marking exemplars Teacher should:

  • Check attention to task, behaviour etc
  • Check and correct work in progress quickly
  • Discover those who need help and provide this

Praise and encourage: effort, progress, completion etc not just high attainment

What was to be learned is summarised and clarified, with emphasis on the key points. Especially important at the start and finish of topics and lessons.

Learning strategies

  • Q&A: (Ask don’t tell, as this checks learning)
  • Create a mindmap, poster or handout that summarised the key points.
  • Key points reiterated
  • Advanced organisers
  • Stressing the importance and relevance of the work
  • Reviews at the beginning of a lesson
  • Short task at the beginning of a lesson
  • Key points at the end of a topic
  • Reviews at the end of a lesson
  • Peer explaining of key objectives followed by check by the teacher
  • Quiz; test; etc
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Using the list of teaching strategies

Consider creating a teaching strategy manual for your team:

A subject, unit, or course team can use the list as part of a strategy to:

1. Find methods which work in your subject

2. Choose particular strategies for particular topics or lessons etc

3. Pool your team’s best teaching strategies to add to the list

4. For given lessons, topics, sections of the syllabus or units etc, develop a Teaching Strategy Manual to go with the Scheme of Work. Share out the work to develop the strategies and their resources in detail. Ideally the Manual has a (suggested or required) activity for every lesson or at least every topic on the Scheme of Work.

5. Publish your Manual in electronic and/or document form.
Choose an active learning strategy

Assisting in the development of an ‘Active Scheme of Work’ or ‘Topic Plan’ which gives a student activity for every topic or substantial sub-topic so that students process the information given them. You can create an Active Scheme of Work in your team: You can create a Scheme of Work or Topic Plan which gives suitable activities for each stage in teaching a topic. This can be created by your team, so that your best methods are available to the whole team.

Tip1 – Assisting in the development of an ‘Active Scheme of Work’ or ‘Topic Plan’ which includes an activity for every topic or substantial sub-topic so that students process the information given them.

Tip2 – You can create a Scheme of Work or Topic Plan which gives suitable activities for each stage in teaching a topic. This can be created by your team, so that your best methods are available to the whole team.



Why use Active ‘presenting’ Strategies?

Research shows that it works:

All research shows that we learn by doing. That is, by applying what we have learned, in order to answer questions for example. This makes learners process the information and make their own sense of it. This is called ‘constructivism’.

Research emphatically shows that active methods:

  • create deeper learning and higher achievement
  • create better recall by students
  • develop high order reasoning skills in students
  • are more enjoyed by students

Active learning makes students form their own meaning of the material and come to their own understanding of it. This is what we call learning It checks learning:

  • You get feedback on whether students understand the material and can correct misunderstandings.
  • Students develop their reasoning skills, as well as the factual knowledge of the subject and practise the skills they will be assessed by. It makes your life easier:
  • It fosters active, constructive student participation
  • Your lessons have more impact, and are more interesting
  • It may give you a break, and a chance to mark the register!
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