PTLLS Assignments Reflection 2 Strategies for effective teaching Within my role of teaching on the level one incident command course, I use a variety of teaching strategies to hopefully cover as many learners’ needs as possible. Even though the course is assessable, the emphasis is very much on gaining an understanding of the command principles, rather than just knowing the right answers.
There are a number of reasons for the need of variety: * We have no knowledge of the student’s prior learning before they arrive, and the course is only one week long, therefore there is insufficient time to analyse individual learning styles. * different methods are appropriate for different areas of knowledge * Initially we use a more deductive learning approach, by providing a theory input session outlining the incident command approaches we want them to adopt. * We then undertake a classroom based scenario, where the students can practice the new skills. However when we go onto the fireground and undertake real life scenarios, we use a more Inductive learning approach, by utilising students as observers, the intent is for the students to recognise the command principles being put into place by another student. * This is then re-affirmed in immediate feedback between the students and the teaching staff. * Students have different learning preferences i. e. some are more visual learners, some like working in groups, some prefer the written word etc. Throughout the course we are aware that the theory input can be dry, and the same teaching style will cause even the keenest student to lose interest, so we have split the information into three distinct sections and rotate the teaching staff to try and keep the students attention throughout. Due to the nature of the role we are developing the students into, the most effective learning activities are those that require students to process information rather than transfer information or answer questions without understanding.
Hence we spend the majority of the week undertaking practical exercises. As such learning strategies such as Bloom’s Taxonomy may not be applicable to all the students on the course. David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory fits better, as we find the students tend to fall into one or more learning style, and the practical based learning environment that we have is conductive to all students. Kolb defines student learning into the following categories; 1. Converger; 2. Diverger; 3. Assimilator; 4. Accommodator
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Converger’s are good at making practical applications of ideas and using deductive reasoning to solve problems Diverge’rs are imaginative and are good at coming up with ideas and seeing things from different perspectives Assimilators are capable of creating theoretical models by means of inductive reasoning Accommodator’s are good at actively engaging with the world and actually doing things instead of merely reading about and studying them Students learn best when they actively participate in the learning process, when they are engaged and motivated to learn, and when they can build on their existing knowledge and understanding.
By using a teaching approach based upon The Honey & Mumford model we can cover the majority of learners needs. We apply Honey and Mumford stages in the following ways: 1. Having an experience – The practical scenarios 2. Reviewing the experience – Immediate debrief and feedback 3. Concluding from the experience – Reflective Review of the experience by the student 4.
Planning the next steps – Development report for the student To be an efficient, effective teacher, you need to know what your students are learning, as well as what they are struggling with. Assessing their learning, early and often, allows you to attend to any difficulties, or any misconceptions, as soon as they arise, before they become barriers to future learning.
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