At the core of it, what is responsive teaching? To answer the question, let’s analyse this article.
What happens when the teaching input is completed yet half of the class is unable to answer the hinge point question? Sadly, most teachers would continue with the lesson as initially planned. Thus, leaving half of the students in the classroom lost in the sea. Indeed, this leads to the creation of a weak foundation. Hence, making it more difficult for learners to catch up the buildup concepts of such lessons in the future.
In as much as it may be tempting for the teacher to proceed with the lesson, they stop. Furthermore, they should try to remediate the situation by working to have as many students as possible on board. There are three things they can do at this point: Consider pre-planning of high-quality questions, monitor the learning of every student and have a plan for dealing with “what if scenarios”.
Student feedback while still in the classroom.
Most learning institutions do spend time on a regular basis training teachers on the principles of responsive teaching. And how to deal with feedback and follow-ups. Though this may sound like the right approach, it is not complete. Also, it comes with specific constraints that do nothing to address the core of the problem.
Best practice recommends every teacher to focus on simple techniques that will encourage the participation of all students. And get feedback in real time so that the teacher can know if the delivery method is indeed working for the students. Such a strategy should focus on systematic planning and learning and not just on lesson planning as it has always been the case. It should also feature how teachers can respond to student feedback while still in the classroom.
Logical development of knowledge
It is of immense importance for a teacher to have a logical development of knowledge to not just deliver efficiently to the learners. But also to be in a position to get feedback and act accordingly to ensure every student is still on track. Indeed, this calls for planning what to teach students. Plus, how to prepare them, the order to deliver the information and why do it in that manner. It should also feature a few questions congruent to the learning flow. With responses that will help the teacher evaluate how good the students are getting along with the concepts of the lesson.
Gauging student feedback
In gauging how pupils respond during the lesson, there are two fundamental principles a teacher can use: there should be simultaneous interaction and individual accountability. In cooperative learning, synchronous communication is amongst the students while personal responsibility is between the learner and the teacher. A reasonable approach would be to have all the student respond to a question on a whiteboard (individual accountability) and then the whole class show their answer simultaneously (simultaneous interaction), and the teacher monitors the learning of all the students.
The bottom line
It is not always a good idea for teachers to ask individual student questions as a means of gauging the class’ comprehension of the lesson. The sample size in such a situation is tiny, and it may not represent the truth about all the students in the classroom. Teachers should always be awake to the fact that some students will still catch up with the teacher and some will not. When you ask a question to an individual who understands what you are teaching, you may think that the entire class is okay, yet they are not.
Hopefully, this sheds some light on responsive teaching and how teachers can ensure that no pupil is left behind during the lessons.
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