Sunday, August 10, 2008

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Here's a good video on how to carry out classroom assessment apart from using the common paper-and-pencil test.

Generating Students Participation

At times, we teachers ran out of ways on how to generate students to participate in classroom teaching. Here's a video that might help.

Student-Centered Learning : Chemistry Discovery Center

Chemistry has always been associated with 'boredom' and 'dullness' by students. I've been thinking of ways to make chemistry more meaningful and longer lasting in my students' lives. One way is to implement PBL or Problem Based Learning. I chanced upon this video on You Tube while searching for PBL videos to put into the PBL blog. This is one awesome way to teach chemistry and students are happy when they understand what they are learning. Apart from that, they also gained enterpreneur skills which will help them in the future no matter where they will go. So, watch this video and hopefully it will change the way we, chemistry teachers teach our students.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Student Centered Learning Workshop at Taylor's University College Subang Jaya Selangor Malaysia 2007

Taylor's University College Teaching and Learning Unit (Cambridge A Levels) organized a workshop on Student Centered Learning in 2007. Dr Logendra Stanley Ponniah, the Head, Teaching and Educational Development of Taylor's University College Teaching and Learning Center was invited to give a talk on Student Centered Learning in a SCL workshop for Cambridge A Levels lecturers.

What the participants learned were:

(1) in an SCL classroom, the teacher will have to leave their 'throne' which is actually their comfort zone, in front of the classroom, nearest to the white board.

(2) in an SCL classroom, the teacher takes up the role of a facilitator, one who facilitates and not one who pour knowledge into empty vessels (students).

(3) students work together with the teacher to set goals for himself/herself and the teacher, now a facilitaor, guide the students.

(4) students learn quicker when they have a hands-on activity or by doing assignments etc.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Jean Piaget - Father of Child Psychology

Piaget in his study, stated that a child learns in 4 stages. It is important for educators be it teachers or professors to understand these stages in order to understand how students learn. Once you know how a child thinks, then you can apply student-centered learning in your classrooms more effectively.
View the video below to know who Jean Piaget was.

Why Student-Centered Learning?

To answer the question of why do we, teachers and educators, need to adopt student-centered learning? Perhaps the video will give you the answer.

To become and effective teacher and able to teach effectively, one should understand one's students first. By understanding what kind of students you have, you would be able to adopt student-centered learning more meaningfully rather than just for end of the year appraisal sake. Once you have maastered student-centered teaching methods, your class will be more lively and you will be happy to step into the classroom.

Student-centered doesn't mean letting go of the students 100% to do as they please. The teacher still have to play a role call the facilitator and the teacher must also be a content expert to be able to guide or scaffold students when the need arises.

Teacher-Centered Vs Student-Centered

Imagine you are a student. Would you like to be in this class? Class 101? OR....

would you like to be in this class? Melissa's class?

Take your poll now!

Student-Centered Classroom

As teachers and educators, we might be wondering how a student-centered classroom would look like. We have been exposed to workshops on Student-Centered Learning but never seen a real class in action. We have been asked to use our own creativity but most of the time, we fumbled and no help is extended. Instead, we get a lot of complaints from the students and parents. Then again, our superiors are not supportive of our change from teacher-centered to student-centered as the superiors have not received training in Student-Centered Learning.
So, to help teachers and educators to see how a student-centered classroom looks like, I found a video in You Tube entitled Maintaining Classroom Discipline by Using Democratic Methods. But once you've viewed this video, you'll find that it's more on Student-Centered Learning in a social study classroom on the subject Democracy. I hope you'll learn something from the video because I surely did.

Student-Centered Learning

What is this thing called Student Centered Learning?
What's the fuss about Student Centered Learning?
Why do we as teachers and educators need to use Student Centered Learning in our teaching?
These are some of the questions commonly asked by teachers and educators alike. It seemed that being a teacher these days are much more challenging than in the days of our forefathers. During those days, the teacher is the epitome of knowledge, the know-all, the wise one. Teachers are still the epitome of knowledge even to this very day, but the focus has shifted from the teacher to the students. In those days, the teacher stood in front of the class, telling students what they need to know. This is the traditional way of teaching. The teacher will normally ask if the students understand the day's lesson and most of the time, out of boredom, the students nodded their heads.
In this era of technology, teachers have been asked to reasses their teaching. The students are now the main focus during a class or lesson and what goes on in their minds i.e. learning is the main concern of the teacher. There are several reasons why the shift from teacher-centered to student-centered. One would be that when the teacher teaches, the teacher is actually telling the students what they understand. The students being viewed as an empty vessel or vase or jug, only accepts what the teacher tells them without understanding a single thing. They only look back at what they copied in class after the lesson is over and regurgitate what they were told during the exam. They scored an A in that subject not because they understand what goes on but merely because they have superb memory to memorise facts. But all these will be soon forgotten as time goes by as none have made a mark in their brain cells to be remembered. Some students on the other hand, just couldn't grasp what was going on in class and began hating the subject will eventually lead to failing miserably in that subject. Hence, the change to student-centered is done to ensure some form of learning takes place in the minds of the students.
To further understand what student-centered is, watch the video on Student-Centered Learning.