this is my final term paper...and it's due today. i was wondering if someone could look over it and make corrections and give me feedback. it's due at 3:30 so PLEASE help me. thanks so much!
The brain has two distinct parts; each one is responsible for specific tasks. The left side of the brain controls speech, logical, and thinking skills; the right side is the athletic, creative, and visual portion. Although both sides of the brain function properly, one side is dominant, causing each person to be stronger in either a logical way or a creative way. This contributes to the reason why each person learns differently. Everyone has a specific type of learning style that works best for them. Teachers, faced with the challenges of accommodating different types of student learning styles and academic levels, are forced to implement various teaching methods in order to captivate each student's attention.
Some teachers believe that the best way to teach is by taking on the role of the dictator in the classroom. As dictators, they treat their students as sponges, and merely feed the students information and expect it to soak in and be comprehended. These kinds of teachers believe that once the information is presented, it is the students' own responsibility to comprehend the material. "Learning," in the eyes of these teachers, means reading, memorizing, and being able to repeat any information. Freire calls this the "banking concept." This concept states that education "becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat" (Freire 58). Through memorizing and repeating, information essentially goes in one ear and out the other. Until the information sinks in, it will not be understood. The banking concept of education doesn't encourage students to engage in critical thinking, instead, it requires the students to be passive and accept facts as they are given-without having the option of questioning or debating. If teachers want their students to grasp the material, they have to realize that the banking concept is not an effective method.
Students, however, will grasp the course material when they are focused, engaged, and interested in the material. It is at this time when students are at their peak point of absorption that they will actually be eager to learn. There are many ways that a teacher can get students engaged and involved. First off, if the students understand the value and importance of the subject, they will be willing to devote their time and energy into learning the subject matter. Secondly, if students are allowed to work together and collaborate their ideas, learning will be enhanced. It is vital that students are able to formulate their own ideas and opinions, and being able to work with peers certainly facilitates that. Thirdly, students need to practice active learning. Students do not learn just by sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and spitting out answers. To truly learn the material they must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences and apply it to their daily lives.
Within the past couple years, class sizes have been increasing in both high schools and colleges/universities. The larger the class size, the less individual attention each student receives. In some cases, the students may not even get attention at all from their teachers-such as in some lecture classes at large universities. When students are in classes that are considerably larger than they should be, they feel a sense of anonymity and they "may ultimately be deprived of valuable learning experiences and interactions." (Yazedjian) Active learning must be incorporated to engage the students in such large classes, and one way to do this is to promote small group work. Small group work allows for students to interact with other students while forcing them to pay attention. Discussions occur, work is talked through, and learning is enhanced. After a study was conducted in 1999, it was discovered that "when compared with students who participated in traditional instructional methods, students gained a deeper understanding of course content in the discussion sessions than lecture sessions. In addition, these abilities were further enhanced when students believed their institutions emphasized practical application of information and promoted the use of course material in situations beyond the classroom." (Yazedjian) It is highly effective when small group work is used-especially in large classes. It allows students to feel connected to the class, it promotes active learning, and it allows students to interact with one another.
A common problem students face is not being able to relate course material to the real world. Students feel as if the knowledge they learn in school is useless and that it is a waste of time to learn the information if it won't benefit them later on in life. One college realized this, and decided to stray from the typical teaching styles with the intention of grasping students' full attention and creating a desire for students to want to learn. This college, a small, private school in Maine, focuses on the "learning by doing" philosophy. The school enhances education by first educating students in the classroom and then bringing them out into the real world to put to use the information that was learned. When students are able to put their knowledge to use in the real world, they are able "live [their] education and gain the tools to solve the problems of our time." (Priesnitz) This hands-on method has forced students to naturally become interested in learning and it has proved to be a very effective teaching method.
Besides the mentioned teaching methods, there are other techniques that are beneficial to the classroom. For example, when teachers bring in props, movies, and visual aids, students naturally take an interest since the techniques are new and exciting. Not only are the students engaged, but the techniques captivate students' attention and cause students to take an interest in the material. These methods stimulate students' mental activity and make it more feasible and effective for students to learn. Moreover, each student's learning process is different; some people learn better by listening, some by watching, and others by doing. When all techniques are combined, students have a better chance of understanding the material.
Students need to be challenged, engaged, and eager to learn. However, teachers need to recognize that not every student learns the same way. Some students learn material quicker and easier than others due to the way their brains are wired. If only one type of teaching method is applied, not every student's learning needs will be accounted for. Various teaching methods need to be combined so that students have the opportunity to learn in multiple ways. The more opportunities that are available for a student to learn, the more valuable the education becomes. Therefore, the most successful teaching technique is one that involves a variety of different methods in order to accommodate every student's unique learning style.