Essential Characteristics to Effectice Teaching

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There are various essential characteristics to effective teaching. The teaching profession uses numerous teaching strategies in order to promote learning in their students. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the essential characteristics of effective teaching. This essay will discuss of metacognitive awareness, student and curriculum, the ability of questioning and the importance of classroom discussions. This essay asserts that without effective teaching strategies students are unable to learn to their fullest potential. Constructivist classroom approaches and formative assessment are other essential practices for effective teaching in learning environments.

KNOWLEDGE

Teacher’s knowledge of themselves and their abilities, are essential components to effective teaching practices for it enables teachers to plan adequately. The planning process is constructed when teachers know about their own teaching styles and management structures in their classrooms. Professional backgrounds in training and relevant credentials are required in effective teaching along with social etiquette to connect with other professionals and parents. Content knowledge, planning and record keeping for evaluation and student abilities is an important facet of what teachers need to know (Whitton, Barker, Nosworthy, Sinclair, Nanlohy, 2010, p. 137). Without this knowledge and abilities teachers are unable to plan and teach effectively.

Getting to know students and personal information such as age, gender, friendships, interest learning style and personality is an effective component in building student character profile so that teachers can target the lessons to the individual child. Another essential component in assisting teacher’s knowledge is the academic aspect of student performance (Whitton et al., 2010, p.136, 137). Teacher’s awareness of students’ prior knowledge and experience effectively links past experiences to new learning situations, makes learning meaningful to the student and actively engages participation and interest (Bennett, Rolheiser, Stevahn, 1991). Without the awareness of student’s abilities teaches cannot teach effectively for they will not be able to scaffold old experiences and apply them to new learning outcomes. Appendix A demonstrates students’ prior knowledge and experience by asking students to recall scientific words learned (“wow” words), discussing/questioning information on previous mini beast lesson. Teachers can then link prior lessons to the next level of curriculum.

A demonstration of comprehensive knowledge of the Australian Curriculum is essential for effective teaching. Teacher’s awareness in the curriculum is essential in the planning and teaching process. The ACARA document specifies content learning areas in which students are required to learn from. This document also states rationale/aims, year level descriptors, work samples, content knowledge, understanding and skills that teachers implement effectively in their lesson planning and teaching strategies (ACARA, 2008). Without the knowledge of Curriculum teachers are unable to effectively reach learning objectives as specified in the ACARA. Appendix A links the learning areas as per Australian Curriculum. It states year level descriptors of what is to be taught and teachers then construct a lesson plan to meet the stated objectives.

QUESTIONING

A common effective teaching strategy is questioning to demonstrate student knowledge and comprehension. Teachers can use this strategy to analyse student understanding of the topic, diagnose student strength/weaknesses, motivate and stimulate students (Marsh, C, 2008, p.145). It is a good idea to plan questions and link them to lesson objectives. Students illustrate objectives both verbally or written when answering questions (Fetherston, 2007, p.332). For example if the objective was understand the importance of recycling, the corresponding question would...
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