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Teacher's Direct Approach Focused on the Student's Effective Perception

The lesson which is held by foundation teacher teaches about insects and mini beasts in particular (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012). The main purpose of the lesson is to identify differences and similarities of these insects, based on the previous knowledge from the classes, which were held two weeks earlier (SchoolWorld.tv, 2012). The lesson contained the following key points of the pupils’ perception of the natural science topic: a) pupils’ integration in groups, in order to assess the strategy of logical thinking and discussion of the peculiarities of mini beasts; b) multimedia tools and curriculum materials usage in order to increase pupils’ perception of the studied topic; c) LingvoScience aspects integration in order to explain insects’ features with the help of the verbs, which reflect their activities (SchoolWorld.tv, 2012).

The teacher uses direct educating approach, which is focused on the pupils’ perception of the topic (Hurst & Cooke, 2010). Therefore, the teacher’s strategies aimed to move pupils’ thinking knowledge base to the application level contains the following stages: a) to ask closed questions about insects’ common activities that elicit short predetermined answers, concluded that they crawl, fly, etc.; b) to use minimum wait time and move quickly from pupil to pupil in order to enable everyone to understand the question-answer framework; c) to illustrate an interest in pupils’ views and logic thinking with careful listening to responses about differences and similarities of the insects’ features; d) to withhold judgments, which can be possibly correlated with previous meta-cognition of the information and to accept pupils’ ideas during practical section of the class; e) to be flexible about timing, and to be able to adhere to a fixed routine, which has to contain theoretical question-answer presentation, practical modeling procedures and answer writing assessment coordination; f) to draw attention to the purpose and reasons for doing learning tasks during practical implementation of the gained knowledge that is based on laboratory studying of the insects’ activities and analyzing of the butterfly life cycle model (Hurst & Cooke, 2010; SchoolWorld.tv, 2012).

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These strategies require particular qualities, which the teacher has to possess in order to trigger the pupils’ effective perception and further positive assessment results.

Qualities the Teacher has to have in Order to Achieve Positive Learning Outcomes

In particular, classroom communication is limited to sessions, which are based on expository teaching that considers background information about mini beasts; directed on the teacher question-answer communication about differences and similarities of various insects’ body parts and activities; and open discussion and observation of the insects’ behavior and life cycles during the practical assessment (Marsch, 2010). Nevertheless, in the mandated program the teacher has to have the following qualities, which are targeted on the effective outcome results:

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1. Proficient and sufficient establishment of instructional and non instructional procedures (Stronge, 2007). The teacher briefly describes agenda of the lesson and demonstrates the application materials (Swennen & Klink, 2009).

2. Use of pupils’ assessment data and diagnostic data in instructional planning (Stronge, 2007). The teacher selectively calls pupils to answer the questions about the main discussing points of the insects’ body parts with the help of multimedia tool (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012; Swennen & Klink, 2009).

3. Scrutiny consideration of these assessments’ results and works samples, which were written on prepared sheets, in order to design and align the lesson plan in accordance with the curriculum guidelines (Stronge, 2007). The teacher diagnoses learning problems, monitors learning and gives quality feedback during the class discussion, practical section of the lesson and further assessment (Berry, 2008).

4. Effective implementation of the available materials into the learning process, incorporating of the multimedia technology to convey the designated message and other content areas of learning (Stronge, 2007). The teacher uses microscope tools for observing the tiny insects’ activities, modeling apparatus for assessment of the butterfly’s life cycle and magnifying glass for a closer look on the live insects that reside in the same favorable environment (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012).

5. Sufficient addressing of the different learning modalities and styles and anticipating pupils’ misconceptions and prior knowledge (Stronge, 2007). After the practical section of the lesson and prior to the written assessment, the teacher holds oral assessment, engaging pupils from different groups of practical classes and monitors their perception and memorizing (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012).

6. Proficient integration of essential questions about the topic, that are based on the state standards of pacing information and contain all necessary information available in an easily accessible area of the classroom (Stronge, 2007). The teacher has to reshape the assessment routine in order to receive pupils’ positive feedback from the learning experience (Hurst & Cooke, 2010).

Therefore, criteria-based curriculum that considers peculiarities of the pupils’ meta-cognition, and assessment results should be developed in accordance with mandated standards (Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

Pupils-Teacher Effective Communication Modeling in the Light of Curriculum Development

The lesson is built on the basic cognitive domain taxonomy, which focuses on logic answers of empirical and valuative questions (Marsch, 2010). There are the following levels of this taxonomy that consider effective communication between the teacher and pupils: 1) knowledge which requires pupils to recall information that is based on the previous experience (pupils’ background knowledge about insects’ body parts help them understand the topic of the subject); 2) comprehension which requires pupils’ perception of the information and its arranging, and description in their own words (pupils use basic notions about the issues, which are represented by science terms and definitions); 3) application which requires students to apply their knowledge, in accordance with standard to a particular situation (pupils select insects’ body parts during the multimedia practice); 4) analysis which requires pupils’ deep critical thinking about the constituent elements of communication (the teacher gives pupils interrogative suggestions to make their answers reasonable); 5) synthesis which requires students to combine these elements into new patterns or structures (the teacher prepares students to the assessment during practical section, while challenging them to be involved into the  lesson’s discussion); 6) evaluation which requires pupils to make judgments about the value and importance of a problem’s solution (the teacher emphasizes how practical section helps to understand theoretical section) (Marsch, 2010).

During these stages of communication, the teacher applies clinical method by probing the pupils’ reasoning about the problem when he/she asks questions about what has been previously known (McDevitt & Orurod, 2010). This method is effective during this natural science lesson, because it helps to exhibit a real-world connection of theoretical knowledge and practical experience (Berry, 2008).

Clinical method includes the following aspects of the effective teaching: a) class inclusion which is defined by the pupils’ recognition that particular insect belongs to a particular category and to one of its subcategories (for example, differences and similarities between dragonfly and grasshopper); b) scheme which determines an organized group of similar actions that are used repeatedly in response to questions (pupils start to understand all the main particular features of the insects, when information on these is methodically repeated during theoretical and practical sections); c) operation which is defined by an integrated system of logical thought processes (the teacher calls pupils to the blackboard and asks them to select particular body parts of the insects, which have to be memorized and processed by children) (McDevitt & Orurod, 2010).

Therefore, pupils-teacher interactional model plays an important part in the curriculum development, because it is based on the following key issues: method → objectives → method → content →evaluation (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). According to this sequence of the teaching aspects, all pupils have a role play, an ability to make multiple perspectives owing to the developed clarification of making values verbally, moral dilemmas are treated with augmentation role and content is described on the basis of situational basics (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Interpreting of this model into the natural science topic  about insects can be represented with the following sequence: a) pupils participate in theoretical and practical sections to increase their perception of the lesson objectives – they answer questions about general, well-known facts about insects; b) pupils know how to differentiate subgroups of the insects owing to LingvoScience interaction into class; c) pupils are divided into separate research groups and participate in the discussion groups; d) pupils study insects features with the help of magnifying glass and modeling simulation of butterfly’s life cycle (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012).

In spite of its methodological disadvantages, an interaction model has the following benefits: a) learning process is not described as a linear sequence, because the learning area includes LingvoScience perspective; b) curriculum elements vary according to incorporated learning areas and are included into assessment question-answer sheet; c) curriculum developer can pursue selective actions and place the practical section between theoretical acknowledgment (Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

Taking into account the abovementioned aspects, effective curriculum development should consist of the following stages:

1. Multiple Intelligence Knowledge which helps pupils to demonstrate their basic knowledge and integrate it into theoretical concepts (Berry, 2008; Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

2. Understanding which can be assessed with the help of the teacher’s interrogative suggestions and visual demonstrations (Swennen & Klink, 2009; Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

3. Applying which is assessed during practical section when pupils investigate in butterfly’s life cycle and try to find similar and different subgroups of insects in the simulated environment (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012; Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

4. Analyzing which is implemented during multimedia question-answer section when pupils can visually percept the differences between similar subgroups and their common features (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012; Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

5. Evaluating which reflects pupils’ different approach to the same task of learning (Berry, 2008).

After selection of the standardized curriculum, the teacher selects effective assessment, which is aimed at the positive pupils’ feedback of the lesson.  

Teacher's Estimation of the Important Aspects in Order to Select Effective Assessment

When the teacher selects cognitive process within the teaching methods, particular aspects of the pupils’ perception activities should be taken into account (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Therefore, effectiveness of assessment is based on pre-testing checks of the pupils’ involvement into learning experience (Stronge, 2007). Among the aspects of the pupils’ involvement are the following: a) attention, which is based on conscious focusing on a triggered stimulus; b) perception which is based on finding the meaning of the stimulus; c) encoding which represents information in the long-term memory; d) retrieval which helps to put the gained knowledge back into working memory (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

The teacher considers these as the main factors of the pupils’ sufficient feedback of the learning experience and uses particular strategies to trigger the important stimuli (McDevitt & Orurod, 2010). Butterfly’ life cycle demonstrations, multimedia charts descriptions of the insects’ activities helped to attract pupils’ attention (web page, Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Thought-provoking questions about the butterfly’s abilities to crawl and fly, thanks to having wings and legs, helped to emphasize the required perception of the material during question-to-answer sessions (web page; Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

Encoding and retrieval aspects play a major role in selection of the effective assessment schedule (Berry, 2008). Therefore, the teacher diagnoses pupils’ understanding, increases their motivation to learn, measures their achievement and develops their self-regulation (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). All these processes are implemented during flexible schedule of theoretical and practical sections (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012).

Verbal knowledge and nonverbal working memory are the samples of standardized subtest, which are used during the learning experience on natural science lesson (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). During these activities, pupils are asked to name the main parts of the insects’ bodies and show them on the multimedia board (web page). These subtests are incorporated into the aptitude test, which measures general abilities developed during the lesson (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). This test includes verbal and performance sections during which pupils give precise answers to the particular questions (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). The main questions of the verbal section are the following: a) How many legs do insects have? b) Which insect can crawl and fly at the same time? c) What are the main parts of the insects’ bodies in general? (SchoolsWorld.tv, 2012). These questions help to differentiate similarities and differences through the use of analogies during logical thinking (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Performance section includes demonstrations of the butterfly’s pictures with missing elements, which pupils need to select and place them correctly; and block design, when pupils are required to match patterns, which are named by the teacher (web page; Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

Taking into account that the lesson’s main purpose is to challenge pupils’ logical thinking and working memory processing, the teacher selects alternative assessment on the blank sheets (Berry, 2008). The evidence collected from this test can be used independently to understand students learning and as a supporting tool to the pupils’ learning progress (Berry, 2008). The teacher sufficiently designs black sheets which contain questions and answers sections (Berry, 2008). Moreover, the answer box includes multiple choice sections, as well (Stronge, 2007). This helps the teacher to monitor and diagnose learning problems and help pupils through giving quality feedback (Berry, 2008). Moreover, it saves the teacher’s time on the test-checking and effectiveness of pupils-teacher communication (Marsch, 2010). What is more, the separate section allows pupils to list vintage information that they have observed during the practical section of the lesson (Eggen & Orurod, 2010). These activities motivate pupils’ need to perform during the alternative assessment and stimulate them to create and apply a wide range of knowledge of memorizing and basic skills development (Berry, 2008).

Therefore, the main purpose of the alternative assessment is to trigger pupils’ logical thinking and possible guessing, when encoding process was not effective during the practical section (Marsch, 2010). The alternative assessment may include basic questions, which are based on the brief information acknowledged during the lesson (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). The list of the written alternative assessment can contain the following questions with multiply-choice answers: a) How many parts of the body do the insects have? b) What are these parts? c) What parts do insects have on their head? d) Why do large eyes called compound eyes? e) What does an insect use to taste, smell and feel things? f) At what temperatures limits the insects can be found? g) Why  the insects are called cold-blooded? h) What have the insects stored in their bodies when they live in a cold place? (Slade & Solomon, 2010).

The questions in the alternative assessment are aimed to answer the main questions of the lesson, which are the main objectives of the learning experience (Stronge, 2007). The teacher designs the lesson presentation on the grounds of assessment of these points and gives the additional background information that can be used by the pupils during theoretical and practical question-to-answer sessions, which are performed orally (Berry, 2008). The lesson plan is designed in accordance with the results of the learning experience and can summarize the main points of the lesson’s process. The lesson plan is shown in Appendix A.

Conclusion

The main purpose of the Natural Science lesson about mini beasts is to explain the differences and similarities of the insects. The teacher uses the direct approach sequence of the question-to-answer sessions that are aimed to increase the pupils’ perception of the lesson. Cognitive process lies within the teacher’s main strategies, and particular qualities should be possessed in order to receive the pupils’ effective feedback from the learning experience. Multimedia and modeling tools are used during practical section to increase the pupils’ involvement and challenge their logical thinking. Pupils-teacher communication involves cognitive domain taxonomy levels that are reinforced by clinical method of the pupils’ knowledge development. Benefits of the interaction model stages are used for the designing and implementation of the mandated, standardized curriculum. Its development is focused on monitoring and diagnosing pupils’ learning problems. However, curriculum schedule does not follow the linear process and allows the teacher to perform the flexible set of the learning experience actions. The teacher measures distortions of these problems and designs aptitude test and subtests to trigger the pupils’ abilities of pertaining attention, perception, encoding and retrieval of the required information. Blank sheet test is aimed to reinforce and sustain knowledge that was gained during theoretical and practical sections. Basic questions of the black sheet help to determine the effectiveness of the learning experience objectives. Moreover, it includes separate sections in which pupils can demonstrate their additional knowledge, obtained during observation and outside-class reading. Pupils-teacher communication is generally based on question-to-answer sessions during which children perform small test assessments that help them to reinforce the gained knowledge by the stages of repetition. Therefore, selected model of cognitive development helps to elicit pupils’ reasoning in relation to the set tasks and achieve good results. 

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