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Theoretical Models: Learning Strategies

Direct Instruction

Direct instruction is a term used to refer to the explicit teaching method using demonstrations or lectures. It involves the use of explication of the skill to be taught and may exclude student participation. The instructor gives the student the procedures to be following in performing a task and he does not expect them to contribute. All the students have to do is to listen to the instructions being given then follow them accordingly. In direct instruction, the instructor/teacher begins by asking himself about the most efficient way to teach each skill. The learner is expected to act in a perfectly sensible way, which means that the learner will always obtain an interpretation that is reliable depending on the presentation he receives. If the presentation for example is constant with more than one interpretation, the learner will receive one of these interpretations and not essentially the one the teacher wishes (Orlich, et al 2009). On the other hand, the presentation that is consistent with only one interpretation will work with nearly all learners who have essential skills.

The direct instruction teaching technique categorizes discriminations as choice-responses discriminations, production–response discriminations, and sentence-relationship discriminations. Any discrimination of a given type can be taught through a disparity of the same series. For example, any choice-response discrimination can be processed through a distinction of the same sequence, and it will teach because it will express only one interpretation. Direct instruction is apprehensive of both the growth and application of skills that are taught as well as the teaching of new motor behaviors. It is a strategy that is used to institute new behaviors and maintain them. It relates to virtually all instructional troubles, from the teaching of very strange behaviors to a handicapped young person to turning on older students who are not easy to encourage.

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a teaching strategy where students study in groups or small teams made up of students with different levels of aptitude. They use different learning activities to advance their understanding of a specific subject. Each team member is accountable to the other team members for helping them to learn as he/she gains knowledge from the others. The team works on a specific assignment until it is contented that all members are conversant with it and can complete it. Cooperative learning aims to help students gain from others; it helps students to realize that they share a common interest (Orlich, et al 2009).

From research, it is clear that cooperative learning not only boosts student retention, it also promotes their academic achievement. It also helps students to improve on their oral communication, promotes their self-esteem, and social skills. When it is done well, cooperative learning is a vastly well-thought-out teaching approach that capitalizes on the verity that, any children become skilled better amid interaction with their peers (Orlich, et al 2009). It arises when instructional methods allow students to work and learn in small, heterogeneous-ability groups. When this happens, cooperative learning can lead students into the social power of learning.

In cooperative learning groups, the task is clearly and definitively structured. The goals of the task are thoroughly explained and if the project is complex, it is divided into pieces and each individual is assigned a separate piece. As noted earlier, the group is heterogeneous and thus the complex task calls on the potency and abilities of everyone in the group. In this way, the learning experience becomes interactive and exciting.

Language Experience Approach

The language experience approach which is also known as LEA is a strategy for reading instruction that is founded on actions and stories built up from the personal understanding of the learner. The stories about personal experience are normally written by the teacher and read by a group of students until they can associate the spoken word with the written. The core of the strategy is the development of children-dictated stories that are the product of experiences or are a natural result of spontaneous events that occur in the classroom (Carraquilo & Rodriguez, 2002).

For a teacher to be able to conduct an LEA, he needs a stimulus which may be in the form of a trip or holiday, a pad or large newsprint, and a pen. The lesson begins with the concrete stimulus. The children talk about the stimulus verbally, more often than not with leading questions by the teacher. All children who want to articulate themselves should be allowed to do so. This stage is very important in gathering data on a child’s oral language skills and preparing the children for the dictation phase. After the experience has been discussed, the teacher requests the children to write a story about the experience and each child contributes a sentence. The teacher writes down the exact words from the child and reads each word clearly as it is written on the pad. After finishing the story, the teacher reads it out to the children. Finally, the children read aloud the story with the help of the teacher (Carraquilo & Rodriguez, 2002).

LEA helps students to learn about language, writing, and reading. It also expands on the student’s ability to tell stories through writing. LEA helps students to write what they say or think.

Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction is a learning strategy where the teacher allows students to learn depending on their differences. It can also signify the shuddering of what goes on in the classroom so that students have several choices for captivating information, crafting intelligent ideas, and conveying what they learn. Learners’ similarity is the main focus for those classrooms without (differentiated) instruction. It is good to realize that children of the same age aren’t all alike when it comes to learning. They have many things in common but they also have important differences when it comes to learning. In such a classroom, learners’ differences are highly considered (Orlich, et al 2009). The teacher assumes that different learners have differing needs. Therefore, the teacher proactively plans a diversity of ways to get at and articulate learning.

Some teachers think that differentiated instruction means giving some students more work to do than others. However, this is not true because a teacher who understands the need for teaching and learning looks for every opportunity to know her students better through individual conversations, group discussions, student’s work, and observation. What she learns becomes a means for crafting instruction in ways that help each student make the most of his potential and talents. Evaluations are no longer predominately things that happen at the end of a unit to determine who has understood. They normally take place as a unit begins to establish the particular needs of individuals about the unit’s goals.

Differentiated instruction helps students to learn and understand concepts according to their abilities. The step was taken by the teacher to understand what works best for the students not only motivates them to work harder but also raises their self-esteem. Many are times when teachers continually neglect the poor-performing students with the perspective that they can never improve.

Reference List

  1. Carraquilo, A & Rodriguez, V. (2002). Language minority students in the mainstream classroom Volume 33 of Bilingual education and bilingualism. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  2. Orlich, D. C., et al (2009). Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Effective Instruction. New York: Cengage Learning.

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