EDU 301 Online
Professor Renee Greer
December 6, 2011
Observation and Interview
Upon walking in to Roger Beadle’s classroom, any person can see that it is set up with the students in mind, having tables versus desks which suggest that group work is done frequently and the walls are covered from top to bottom in examples of the students’ work from throughout the year. He uses a variety of approaches to encourage the students to respond and participate and the student responses are woven into each of the lessons. Students participate as both learners and teachers. The students never hesitate to ask for clarification on a concept or statement and always respectfully challenge Mr. Beadle or the other students by sharing their points of view or beliefs. Overall, Mr. Beadle sets the tone of a highly respectful attitude by eliciting courteous remarks, speaking directly to the students appropriate for their grade level and maturity, and modeling positive behavior during debates or when an opposing viewpoint is offered. He also ensures that cooperative learning takes place in the class by having students share their thinking in large and small groups.
The constructivism philosophy seems to be the core of Mr. Beadle’s teaching. The students are as much in control of their education as he is, meaning that he may present the lesson and its objectives, but in the end the students direct their learning by asking questions, discovering new information and applying it to the lessons, challenging each other, and sharing their views and beliefs of the subject. His classroom set-up is flexible and changes as necessary for each lesson that he gives. The students are motivated by the satisfaction of learning and being able to apply the material they learn to their lives as Mr. Beadle always makes it pertain to their lives in some way to ensure that they understand and can retain the information. He participates in the discussions, but more to keep direction than to inform so that the students can explore and find out on their own or in their groups. Mr. Beadle definitely reflects that the students are the center of his teaching.
The majority of the classroom is comprised of students in the third and fourth grade level. There are twenty-one students of which there are twelve boys and nine girls, with two of them being special needs. The disabilities include a student that has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the other has shown signs of autism but has yet to be formally diagnosed. There are three students that speak Spanish at home, but all the students speak English fluently. The students that speak Spanish as well are from Mexico and came to Michigan with their parents when they were infants, but still share their culture and language with the other students which enriches their experiences. The classroom is a diverse one in which all the students learn and interact with each other in positive ways.
Roger Beadle is a formal teacher in many ways, but there was one thing that I noticed about him that set him apart from most others. He does not use a traditional grade book that one would expect to see in the classroom. He uses more of a journal type that has each student on their own page so that as he evaluates and grades each student, he can reflect on their work as well for better notes to later use to specifically inform the parents as to what and how their child or children are doing. It is a very informal method, but the students appreciate it as they get to have copies of their pages and the parents are also appreciative as they can readily see what and how their child is doing without much effort. It is easy to read and understand and has notes to state where the child needs added help and where the student’s strengths are.
While Roger Beadle is mainly student-centered in his teaching, there are some things that an observer...