Multigrade: Teacher and Students

| Multigrade teaching involves the teaching of children from two or more grade levels in one classroom. Such contexts requires the employment of particular teaching methodologies and classroom administration. Since Multigrade classes are smaller and can be established more cheaply than complete schools, they can be more numerous, therefore more dispersed and thus located closer to the settlements where the children live. This means both that younger children can attend and that the time children spend travelling between school and home can be reduced to an acceptable level.

This in turn means that there is sufficient time outside school hours for the children to continue to contribute to the family’s economic activity . Attending school is therefore likely to be more acceptable to the families concerned, and thus both increase the number of children receiving education and reduce the failure rate. Multigrade schools, being smaller and more dispersed, would enjoy much closer links with the smaller communities that they would be set up to serve. This would have a very positive effect on local attitudes and access to education. The professional teacher is a key resource person in the Multigrade context.

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The local content is a significant part of the curriculum, it is particularly important to resolve the issue of appointing well-trained and locally-oriented teachers. Introduction 1. An average primary school teacher is ill equipped to handle a multigrade classroom situation. 2. The nature of the curriculum and textbooks, which are prepared almost entirely in a monograde context create further problems. 3. Teacher training programmes have not focused on practical issues and techniques for handling multigrade teaching studies. 4. There is no training package for multigrade teachers.

The aspects could be;  –         Time management-         Improving teaching skills-         Preparation and organisation of the teaching learning materials. –         Organisation of art and cultural activities. 5. Timetables are not flexible enough. Teachers of MC should have extra preparation time. Teachers assigned to MC should preferable be those who are most willing to teach. In service and information concerning appropriate groupings, classroom organization, instructional strategies and curriculum modification should be provided to principals and teachers. In a

MC there is respect for different learning styles. Teachers structure a positive learning environment where children feel successful, develop positive self-concepts and are helpful and sensitive to others. The student benefit from having the opportunity to stay with the same teacher and classmates and experience the same teaching style and routine over a two-year (ore more) period. In a MC there is time to recognize that a childs social and emotional needs are as important as academic needs. Another advantage of more than one year in a MC is the relationship developed between the teacher and the entire family.

Students feel they are successful when they are working at their own level and know that everyone should be able to do the same thing at the same time. Each child is accepted at his or her own place on the developmental learning situation. The teacher takes time to assess evaluates and plan next steps for each child. Separate subjects are replaced by an integrated curriculum, which engages children in meaningful activities that explore concepts and topics relevant and meaningful to the lives of the children. In a classroom where all children are learning at different rates and are not all the same age, there is a little competition.

By helping each other, students reinforce their own understanding of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Conversations are encouraged as the children talk through their work in progress. These conversations help them understand just what they have learned. Multigrade classrooms take the focus of meeting the needs of the whole group of learners instead meet the needs of each individual student. | I. On the conference on MGT in 1988, organised by UNESCO, five general problems came out:a. Inadequately trained teachers. b. Scarcity of varied levels and types of materials. c.

Lack of flexible and special types of curriculum organization. d. Inadequate school facilities. e. Lack of incentives for teachers in multiple classes. II. Multigrade in Vietnam, the problems. a. There is a serious shortage of teachers, especially skilled teachers for MGT. b. Teachers of MGT are working in different isolated conditions. c. The training of teachers for MG classes does not meet the requirement in either quality or quantity. d. Most of the MG schools lack textbooks, guidebooks and reference material. e. Multigrade classes are in very bad conditions. III. What is the principals role in a multigrade chool? a. The principal plays a key-role in creating a supportive school culture. b. The principal, the head teacher must ensure that all teachers feel supported. c. The head must provide teachers with opportunities to learn multigrade teaching methods, monitor the progress of implementation and give the teachers praise, feedback and suggestions. d. The head should be adept at facilitating positive, cooperative interactions among teaching team members. IV. There are definite characteristics of successful multigrade teachers, which should be considered in teacher selection. . Well-organizedb. Creative and flexiblec. Willing to work hard. d. Resource full. e. Self directed. f. Willing to work closely with the community. g. Strong belief in the importance of cooperation and personal responsibility in the classroom with the ability to develop these characteristics in pupils. h. Prior successful experience at the grade levels to be taught. V. Seven general types of activities found in most class rooms:a. Quiet or individual study. b. Testingc. Whole class instruction. d. Partner worke. Group discussionf. Reference work. QUESTIONS/ACTIVITY 1.

How will / can you create an enabling and effective teaching- learning environment in a multigrade classroom. 2. How could teachers spend more time on a particular subject or practice work? 3. How can a teacher maintain discipline in a multigrade classroom? 4. Which teaching aids are specific for a multigrade teaching? 5. How can a teacher be enabled to organise the subject matter in the best possible way? 6. How can the teacher understand the gaps in his or her teaching method, and appreciate student needs better? FACTS 1. Multigrade teachers must be trained to give different lessons at the same time to pupils at different grade levels. . Children sit in grade-groups facing their own blackboard (BB)3. If there are two grade groups in the class the BB are placed either end of the classroom with children facing opposite directions. 4. During the lessons the teacher moves frequently between the different groups. 5. Give reading instructions to one grade; give dictation to the other grade. 6. One grade is copying handwriting math exercises from the BB, the other grade will be instructed on a new math item. 7. The extra work involved in multigrade teaching must be recognized by giving teachers 50% additional salary for two rades and 75% for three or more grades. 8. Teachers in multigrade classrooms must receive a lot of support and must meet regularly with teachers from other multigrade schools. | Direct Instruction Direct instruction is highly teacher-directed and commonly used. It is effective for providing information or developing step-by-step skills. This strategy also works well for introducing other teaching methods or actively involving students in knowledge construction. a. Structured Overview – organizing concepts and materials in a manner that is easily understood by students. b.

Explicit Teaching – explicit teaching involves six teaching functions:| · daily review · presenting new material · conducting guided practice · providing feedback and correctives · conducting independent practice · weekly and monthly review| | c. Mastery Lecture – a method to deliver significant amounts of information in a relatively short period of time. The quality of a lecture may be improved by incorporating audio and visual aids and encouraging interaction between the teacher and the students. d. Drill and Practice – structured, repetitive review of previously learned concepts in order to increase level of mastery. . Compare and Contrast – students look for similarities and differences. f. Didactic Questions – tend to be convergent, factual and often begin with “what,” “where,” “when,” and “how. ” These may also include “why” and “what if” questions. g. Demonstrations – teacher shows and tells how to do something. h. Guides for Reading, Listening, and Viewing – providing leading questions, diagrams, or statements to assist students in focusing on the important ideas within text, lecture, media, or other presentations. A follow-up discussion may assist in summarizing the activity.

Indirect Instruction Indirect instruction is mainly student-centred, although direct and indirect instruction can complement each other. Indirect instruction seeks a high level of student involvement in observing, investigating, drawing inferences from data, or forming hypotheses. It takes advantage of students’ interest and curiosity, often encouraging them to generate alternatives or solve problems. It is flexible in that it frees students to explore diverse possibilities and reduces the fear associated with the possibility of giving incorrect answers.

Indirect instruction also fosters creativity and the development of interpersonal skills and abilities. In indirect instruction, the role of the teacher shifts from lecturer/director to that of facilitator, supporter, and resource person. The teacher arranges the learning environment, provides opportunity for student involvement, and, when appropriate, provides feedback to students while they conduct the inquiry (Martin, 1983). The indirect instruction strategy can be used by teachers in almost every lesson. This strategy is most appropriate when: | thinking outcomes are desired * attitudes, values, or interpersonal outcomes are desired * process is as important as product * students need to investigate or discover something in order to benefit from later instruction * there is more than one appropriate answer * the focus is personalized understanding and long term retention of concepts or generalizations * ego involvement and intrinsic motivation are desirable * decisions need to be made or problems need to be solved * life-long learning capability is desired| a.

Problem Solving – students work through a situation or problem in order to arrive at a solution. b. Case Studies – real life scenarios are presented for analyzing, comparing and contrasting, summarizing, and making recommendations. c. Inquiry – as topics are explored, thinking is emphasized as students ask relevant questions and develop ways to search for answers and generate explanations. d. Reading for Meaning – information and insight are obtained from written material. e.

Reflective Discussion – discussion occurs in order for students to understand a concept in more depth. f. Concept Formation – students are given data about a particular concept. The data is classified or grouped and descriptive labels are given to the groupings. By linking their examples to the labels and explaining their reasoning, students are able to form their own understanding of the concept. g. Concept Mapping – a word or topic is used to generate other related words. These may be organized in web form. . Concept Attainment – examples and non-examples are given to develop an understanding of a concept. i. Cloze Procedure – students need to supply key words which have been omitted from a passage. Experiential learningExperiential learning is inductive, learner centred, and activity oriented. Personalized reflection about an experience and the formulation of plans to apply learnings to other contexts are critical factors in effective experiential learning. Experiential learning occurs when learners:| participate in an activity * critically look back on the activity to clarify learnings and feelings * draw useful insights from such analysis * put learnings to work in new situations (Pfeiffer & Jones, 1979) Experiential learning can be viewed as a cycle consisting of five phases, all of which are necessary:| * experiencing (an activity occurs) * sharing or publishing (reactions and observations are shared) * analyzing or processing (patterns and dynamics are determined) * inferring or generalizing (principles are derived) * applying (plans are made to use learnings in new situations) a.

Field Trips – students are given an opportunity to learn by taking part in educational activities that take place outside of the classroom. | b. Conducting Experiments – students are given a hypothesis to test under specific conditions. | c. Simulations – the students are presented with an artificial problem, situation, or event which has some aspect of reality. | d. Games – these are structured learning activities which have rules and methods of establishing who wins or how the activity ends. | e. Focused Imaging – students visualize an object, event, or situation. f. Field Observations – students make observations of naturally occurring events found outside of the classroom. | g. Role Playing – students are presented with a real problem situation and given individual parts or roles to play. | h. Synectics – analogies are used to help students compare and contrast topics which appear to be unrelated. | i. Model Building – students design and construct an object. | j. Surveys – are research tools that involve asking questions to a specific group of individuals.

The responses are then analyzed. | | | Independent Study Independent study refers to the range of instructional methods which are purposefully provided to foster the development of individual student initiative, self-reliance, and self-improvement. While independent study may be initiated by student or teacher, the focus here will be on planned independent study by students under the guidance or supervision of a classroom teacher. In addition, independent study can include learning in partnership with another individual or as part of a small group.

Independent study encourages students to take responsibility for planning and pacing their own learning. Independent study can be used in conjunction with other methods, or it can be used as the single instructional strategy for an entire unit. The factors of student maturity and independence are obviously important to the teacher’s planning. a. Essays – writing that students do that involves some level of research. Research may be used to support their opinions on a specific topic. b. Computer Assisted Instruction – programs which are available to be used on the computer to assist student learning. . Reports – enable students to express their knowledge or ideas related to a given topic. These reports may be presented in written or oral form. d. Learning Activity Package – a planned series of activities for the students to complete. e. Correspondence Lessons – lessons that are administered through an outside agency other than the school. Typically this was in print form, but now may involve audio, video, or computer elements. f. Learning Contracts – these allow for instruction to be individualized and encourages student responsibility.

When students are new to this method, teachers may have to provide a more structured format that includes the learning objectives, some choice of resources, as well as time constraints. As students become more familiar with this method and more independent, increased responsibility can be given to the students. g. Homework – assignments and activities that are to be completed away from the school. h. Research Projects – these projects contain some elements of research and may be conducted individually, with a partner, or in small groups. i.

Assigned Questions – questions that are given to the students to complete individually or in small groups. j. Learning Centres – stations are set up in the classroom which include tasks or activities that may need to be completed individually or in a group. Interactive instructionInteractive instruction relies heavily on discussion and sharing among participants. Students can learn from peers and teachers to develop social skills and abilities, to organize their thoughts, and to develop rational arguments. The interactive instruction strategy allows for a range of groupings and interactive methods.

It is important for the teacher to outline the topic, the amount of discussion time, the composition and size of the groups, and reporting or sharing techniques. Interactive instruction requires the refinement of observation, listening, interpersonal, and intervention skills and abilities by both teacher and students. | a. Debates – students are divided into two groups. Each group is assigned a side of an issue to defend. After developing arguments for their side, students present new information or introduce rebuttals for information presented by their opposition. b. Role Playing – a topic or theme is chosen and relevant concepts are identified. A concept is selected which involves a compelling issue and adequate roles for everyone. A key question from the concept is chosen and possible viewpoints are discussed. Situations and viewpoints are chosen and students are assigned roles to play. | c. Panels – students are divided into small groups. Each student individually presents information to the rest of the class. The panel is run by a moderator. | d. Brainstorming – as many ideas as possible are suggested.

All ideas are recorded with no criticism or evaluation permitted. | e. Peer Practice – students practice what they have learned with a peer. | f. Discussion – familiar material is used for discussions. The problem or issue can be one that does not require a particular answer or one where it is important for students to discover an answer. Opinions must be supported. Discussion should conclude with consensus, a solution, clarification of insights gained, or a summary. | g. Laboratory Groups – groups of students in a laboratory setting. | h.

Co-operative Learning Groups – small groups of students, usually two to six members, share the various roles and are interdependent in achieving the group learning goal. | i. Problem Solving – real life problems are presented to the students to solve. The teacher, acting as a facilitator, encourages the students to use an “If . . . , then . . . , because . . . ” method of solving the problem. | j. Circle of Knowledge – small groups of students sit in a circle to think and discuss information. The ideas from each small circle are then shared with the rest of the class. | k.

Tutorial Groups – groups set up to offer remediation. This remediation may be done by the teacher or a peer. | l. Interviewing – students familiarize themselves with the topic of the interview and create questions to ask the interviewee. Interviews usually take place face-to-face. | Cooperative teaching: According to Bauwens and Hourcade (2001), cooperative teaching refers to a direct form of collaboration in which a general educator and one or more support service providers voluntarily agree to work together in a co-active and coordinated fashion in the general education classroom.

These educators who possess distinct and complementary sets of skills, combine roles and share resources and responsibilities in a sustained effort while working towards the common goal of school success for all students. Collaborative teaching, where two educators take responsibility for planning, teaching, and monitoring the success of all learners in a class, looks different from day to day and classroom to classroom. Why?

Collaborative teaching, when done right, is a dynamic process that educators constantly reconfigure to fit their instructional plans and the learning needs of their students. team teaching – a method of coordinated classroom teaching involving a team of teachers working together with a single group of students didactics, education, educational activity, instruction, pedagogy, teaching – the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill; “he received no formal education”; “our instruction was carefully programmed”; “good classroom teaching is seldom rewarded”

Peer Teaching Practice in which students take on a teaching role in a school setting in order to share their knowledge with other students. multi-grade teaching  ‘ technique of simultaneously teaching more than one grade by a single teacher’.

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