Undesirable Practices in the Classroom

On Sunday the second of January 2011, I conducted a workshop on the Undesirable Practices in the Classroom. The following is a summary of the workshop objectives and points discussed during the workshop.

Workshop Objectives

  • Identify some of the negative practices in the classroom.
  • Improve instruction by avoiding these negative practices.
  • Make instruction more interactive.

Phases of Instruction

  • Planning phase
  • Pre-instructional phase (Starter)
  • Instructional phase (Main Body – Activity)
  • Practice phase
  • Assessment phase (Plenary)

Planning Phase (The lesson plan)

Some teachers don’t:

  • take lesson planning seriously
  • take the different phases of instruction into consideration when planning
  • think of the different phases of instruction in relation to the objectives of the lesson they are to teach
  • consider the anticipated problems and their possible solutions
  • prepare suitable visual aids that can facilitate their work
  • identify clear teacher’s or student’s roles
  • identify tasks for formative or summative assessment.

Pre-instructional phase

Orientation (Starter) is seldom related to objectives.
It could be boring with no aim at all.

Orientation (Starter) in this case doesn’t:

  1. Help draw students’ attention
  2. Prepare students to achieve the objectives
  3. Provide students with the prerequisites necessary for understanding the new stimulus.
  4. Arouse students’ interest in the lesson

Instructional phase (Presentation)

Presentation (Main Body) is sometimes boring, vague, irrelevant and frustrating. This is due to:

  • Lack of good preparation
  • Unawareness of objectives
  • Inappropriateness of teaching methods
  • Lack of students’ participation
  • Concentration on certain students
  • Unavailability of useful visual aids

Practice phase (Formative assessment)

Practice sometimes becomes useless or less effective when it is not

  • well planned
  • varied, graded or related to the lesson objectives
  • challenging or does not encourage critical thinking

Practice sometimes becomes useless or less effective when it does not

  • provide enough opportunity for students to participate effectively
  • enhance student’s learning
  • provide sufficient learning guidance
  • give immediate feedback on students’ performance

Assessment phase (Summative – Plenary)

Summative assessment is often ignored because:

  • It needs careful planning
  • Teachers are usually left with too little time for carrying it out
  • It requires the teacher to collect students’ answers to mark them
  • It requires the teacher to take decision regarding the students’ performance

Finally I asked the teachers to think of ways to avoid these negative and undesirable practices in the classroom.

You can download this presentation here.