Posts Tagged ‘Posters’
In my view, Best Practices means an active classroom where children are learning to be responsible for much of their own learning. The classroom we visited last semester during Creative Drama comes to mind: the room was chock full of books on many different subjects, and was divided up into learning centers where children could visit, experience and make their own discoveries rather than, for example, sit and be told something and then do a worksheet. One of the centers was special time with the teacher who was assessing the children she was working with as she interacted with them. There were engaging, informational, decorative and cheerful posters and charts all over the classroom walls and even hanging from the ceiling! The children’s seats were grouped in clusters rather than in rows, which made sharing and discussions of content much more likely.
When the children were working they appeared busily involved in what they were doing and appeared relaxed and engaged as they went about their tasks, which led me to believe that the teacher had been successful in influencing the children that they were not only going to enjoy what they were doing but that they were fully capable of gaining mastery of the content – no need to fear the tasks.
I also feel that Best Practices takes into consideration the learning styles of all children in the classroom, and that towards the success of all learners many varied opportunities for gaining content are offered. I see a Best Practices curriculum as one which integrates across all subjects thematically, providing another way to assure that the children will have diverse experiences through which to gain knowledge. Further, influences from Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences should be considered in the creating of the Best Practices learning environment as another way to foster learning, success and self actualization in all our students.
The student’s own views on their learning are a Best Practices assessment tool that I feel is invaluable. I am reminded of the Y.-L.P. Chan article we read at the beginning of this semester and her study of the ways students, some of them very little people, were able to relate to the researchers their feelings about what they had learned in their drama lessons. While the children did not always see the value of the lessons, making statements such as, “We were just playing around in class!”, when the researchers discussed the experiences with the children further they were able to uncover verbal evidence that the children had made great strides in learning the cross curricular lessons that were the goal of that day’s activities. As one student said, “I used to know that the farmer’s lives are harsh. However, taking part in the drama lessons, I got to feel that the hardship was much bigger than I imagined. Clearly, this child had learned a great deal through a “non-traditional” social studies teaching strategy, and was able to provide his teacher with a clear verbal self report through which she will be able to access his understanding of the content. (Chan, Y.-L.P 2009, pg. 201)
Yuk-Lan Pheobe Chan(2009): In their own words: how do students relate drama pedagogy to their learning in curriculum subjects? Research in Drama Education: The Journal of applied Theatre and Performance, 14:2, 191 – 209.