> >3. The author points out that the United States is "one of the few >countries in the world that continues to pretend--despite substantial >evidence to the contrary--that elementary school teachers are able to >teach all subjects equally well." What recommendations for change would >you make to ameliorate this situation?
In our school building there is a "Community" multi-aged grouping of students grades 1-4, and 4 staff members teaming together. It provides the 4 teachers the flexibility to teach to their own professional strengths, without moving students around. It also provides the other teachers in the environment an opportunity to learn from each others strengths. I suspect that at the end of the 4 year experiment, these four teachers will have become strong in all curriculum areas.
As an elementary school teacher, I can attest to the fact that I am not equally capable in all curriculum areas. In general, elementary teachers tend to be strongest in language arts,(reading and writing). My personal strengths tend to be math and science, so my students get a lot more of those two subjects than they do of health, social studies, art, or Phy. Ed., subjects in which I am particularly weak. A teaming situation such as the "Community" in our school has, would be ideal for a teacher such as myself. > >4. The author argues for less directive strategies of teaching and >claims that "less teaching will yield more learning." What is the price >to pay for less directive teaching, and on what basis could such claims >of more learning be made?
I believe that the substitue for "less directive teaching" would need to be, more opportunities for student inquiry and concept construction. This type of "teaching" requires more planning, to provide the activities that will engage students in constructing understandings, but yields more learning if you agree that "learning" is a constructive process. (Students constructing knowledge through their interactions with their environment.) > >Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225 >firstname.lastname@example.org