Shh!! The Students are Learning: Being an Effective Classroom Teacher
Video By: Clif Mims
Dr. Mims’ video presented the concept that teachers should facilitate learning and guide students through learning. Mims describes the teacher’s role as the “guide on the side” so they are not teaching at the students. I like this concept of a “student-centered” learning environment where the teacher establishes an environment for students to explore learning though inquiry and critical thinking. One of the best aspects of this video was how Mims not only discussed the effectiveness of this type of teaching, but gave teachers tips for designing this type of instruction in their classroom. He mentioned how teachers should develop guiding/driving questions or scenarios and also how important it is for teachers to predict what resources and tools their students may need. Conferencing with students to find out how/what they are doing is also an important aspect of facilitating instruction.
Something that Mims mentioned that I found very important was the reminder to constantly use formative assessment to evaluate students’ learning. It is important to guide the students in the right direction and for teachers to take the opportunity, when necessary, to teach mini-lessons that will help clear up any misconceptions/confusions that students have.
Towards the end of the video, Mims mentioned how important it is for students to struggle at times and I couldn’t agree more. He explains that by struggling, students will internalize and remember the information better while making the learning experience more meaningful. It forces them to be active and critical thinkers.
Finally, I personally feel that this type of learning is not appropriate for all subjects/topics or for all students, but can be very effective is done correctly and at the appropriate times. It can be very engaging for students and can really give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. I enjoyed this video and feel that his ideas/suggestions really make this model of instruction a possibility in all classrooms.
This video can be found at http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=728