Each teaching method has its advantage and its limitations; in my teaching I have found first hand that this is so. Whereas a skilled tutor will adapt to any given situation and change his/her delivery to suit, every teaching method will have its high and low points but, if you recognised this, you can at least take action to overcome it. Practical Demonstration Useful for giving the learner a bit-by-bit build up to a complete task. Enables students to see what has been discussed, and they can try it for themselves. Does not always guarantee that learning has been achieved. Students must be able to practice to consolidate learning. The demonstration must be clearly visible to all students, and not done too fast.
Case Studies The student can use the luxury of hindsight to solve problems at their own pace without the pressures of the real life situation. Useful for exchanging ideas and opinions that will contribute to problem solving. Students may think that in a real life work scenario they have as much time to solve the problem. Role Play Learners can practice their methods of work in the safety net of the workshop and get used to time schedules, advice and criticism of their fellow students. Helps them plan for future tasks, gives them valuable experience.
If not all the group is employed in the role play then the others may lose interest and start to annoy or embarrass those students that are involved. Practical Assignments Gives the student a chance to put into practice his/her learned knowledge, useful for assessing level of progress. The student can use their own initiative to make their project a success. Only of benefit to the student if he/she really wants to do it. If left to their own devices for too long may lose interest. Can be a bit off putting for some students, they might think that they cant possibly do the project and start to lose confidence.
Group Learning A good way of getting to know one another initially Students can get information off one another and gain confidence. The tutor will offer information and coax opinions and suggestions out of the group. Group learning is ideal for moral and confidence building. Some students may feel inferior and withdraw, others will hog the limelight, and invariably clashes of personality will occur. Individual Learning Ideal for working on any problems the learner may have, useful for counselling and support. Review progress, tutorials, feedback and assessment.
My Scheme of Works has been designed so that the learners can identify each weeks learning in relation to the next. Each two-hour session is split into three parts, Theory, Practical, Evaluation. Reinforcement will be done throughout with practical demos, video, handouts, samples, and constant assessment through observation, questions & feedback. Students are actively encouraged to offer their interpretations and suggestions. After explaining the lesson a practical demonstration will take place, students would all be involved. Particular attention will be given to the students who might find the demo a slightly bit daunting. After each step reinforcing will take place with questions and replay techniques.
Each lesson has a start, middle and an end, i.e. why, how, try. Evaluation of learning was done as described to check on students learning and tutors teaching skills. This I think is an important part of each session. The lessons have a beginning and an end result, but also leave the student with the appropriate skills to progress to the next subject/lesson.
Pre-nineteen’s on the P ; D course at Keighley College are in my opinion learners who need to see an end result to each session. Their carrying over of learned skills from week to week is limited i.e. if we spend two hours explaining and practising the way in which we paper hang a ceiling in readiness for the next lesson, more often than not when the next lesson arrives some will have forgot already, forgotten to bring their notes, or simply forgotten to bring themselves. This in no way reflects on the tutor or the student, these teenagers of between 16 to 19 years of age, not high flyers by any stretch of the imagination, most of them very poor academically, and the usual hang ups and idiosyncrasies of teenagers. So I believe you must nail the learning home week by week.
I am hopeful my scheme of work contains enough information in each session to keep the students attention ongoing. Obviously like any plan it has its drawbacks, one is flexibility. Students learn at different speeds, and have different levels of physical strengths and weaknesses, painting and decorating is a physically demanding occupation so flexibility must be shown in the practical tasks that are set. The tutor could help if this were the case by putting the students into pairs. This though can have its own drawback, selecting the correct pairings can cause a mountain of trouble from teenagers; so you must treat this simple task with the utmost respect. The scheme is a guideline of events so the tutor must use his/her discretion. The aim is to attain a certain level of skills after each session so initiative must be the order of the day.
ASSESSMENT Assessment would take place before, during and after the course. Reports from schools, other tutors, employers, talking to the students one to one and as a group would help the tutor assess each member of the class. Continually reinforcing each lesson with the resources already described and the practical experience would be the ongoing assessment. Being cognitive learners trial and error would be on the agenda so a great deal of assessment would be done by observation. Another method of assessment I like to employ is Vice-Voce, from this I can ascertain the true learning capacity of the student.
FEEDBACK Feedback is another way the tutor could assess the student and his own performance. Listening to the students interact with each other will give me an idea of the type of mood the class is in. I can then use this to help me in the lesson. Listening to how they interpret my actions will give me information I need. One to one tutorials, are they finding the course to hard/easy, are they some areas that are not working. Fine tunings can be made as the course progresses, listen, ask and learning will take place.