5. GUIDED DISCOVERY

Each of the previous methodologies discussed within this paper do not engage students within operations and class functioning. Within these approaches students are ‘not required or induced; neither do they develop spontaneously’. In contrast, allowing individuals to discover the solutions to their own problems allows them to develop the skills and abilities needed to enquire, compare, invent, discover, reflect and draw subsequent conclusions regarding a variety of issues pertinent to that particular individual within that particular environment.

The intention of the guided discovery method is for teachers to formulate the underlying structure and content of their lessons in a manner that forces students to discover the answers to a range of problems for themselves. Within this particular methodology it is the role of the teacher to guide and facilitate student learning in order to allow student discovery as well as promote ongoing experimentation and participation.

Advantages

v  It increases student critical awareness.

v  Empowering students to discover their own answers allows them to control their learning, and therefore they will be more likely to retain information.

v  Good for game play and tactical aspects of sports.

v  The structure of drills force students to use teamwork and therefore fosters the others as part of the team”.

Disadvantages

v  Students have little input into the planning and development of their lesson and therefore only the requirements of the teacher and the curriculum are addressed.

v  Students can become dependent on guidance and direction to find answers.

6. PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem solving is the most independent of learning methods studied within this unit and therefore completely empowers the students to initiate their own learning. This particular methodology is similar to the ‘guided discovery’ methodology, as the teacher makes all decisions about the content of the questions and therefore the correct answers; however the role of arranging sequences that lead to the correct solutions are placed in the hands of the learner. The teacher therefore must assume the role of the facilitator, and be prepared to provide students with feedback rather than solutions. Positive reinforcement is a very important element of the problem solving process, as it will further promote students to provide their ideas, thus further developing individual motivation levels and personal confidence

Advantages

v  Problem solving allows for the development of creativity among students. Empowering students to discover their own answers once again allows students to control their own learning, thus increasing the likelihood that they will retain the information.

Disadvantages

v  Inability to achieve the answers may result in a lack of motivation

v  It can only be used with students who are already able to take responsibility for their own learning. If students are not motivated to learn, they will be more likely to be distracted from the task.

v  It can take up a lot of time, as “students must have time and a supportive environment in which to work out solutions”.

v  The outcomes of the lesson may not be achieved if the teacher’s preparation is not adequate.

v  Potential for a lack of teacher control over the class

FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS: HOW TO KEEP GOOD TEACHERS MOTIVATED
                     RECOGNIZING THOSE WHO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND!

All teachers yearn for reassurance that they are doing a good job.

v  Most principals recognize teachers’ efforts by offering positive feedback — both publicly and privately. Weekly memos and regular staff meetings, are the perfect forums for recognizing special contributions that teachers or other staff members make

v  Encourage teachers to seek out professional development courses or workshops. Approve all reasonable requests. Then get extra mileage out of those sessions: Set aside time during each staff meeting, or arrange a special professional development day, so teachers can share with their peers the main ideas they learned from each session they attended.

v  Encourage teachers to ask for the instructional supplies they require to facilitate teaching and learning. Provide reasonable requests from the budget.

v  Be sure to publicly commend staff members who go above and beyond outside of the school day.

v  Select a “Teacher of the Month.” “Teacher of the Term” Teacher of the Session” With a reward attached.

v  To motivate professional development, arrange study groups (perhaps organized by grade level) to read a book or discuss and research a current hot topic.

v  Set up a schedule to ensure that every teacher makes at least two visits to other teachers’ classrooms or other schools during the year.