Educational techniques have been around for many centuries. Through the centuries, teaching techniques have not changed. However, many methods have emerged which has been defined as educational theory. Students have many different learning styles that help them learn. Teachers must learn how to teach to include each of the learning styles so each student learns what they need to know. Teaching students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be very difficult to teach. These students need to be active in what they are doing and what they are learning.
Using the kinesthetic learning style will help tremendously when teaching a child with ADHD. Learning disabilities are problems that affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information. These problems can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who is not affected by learning disabilities. Certain kinds of learning disabilities can interfere with a person’s ability to concentrate or focus and can cause someone’s mind to wander too much. Other learning disabilities can make it difficult for a student to read, write, spell, or solve math problems.
Research is being conducted daily to be able to determine which learning theories work for which student. Some students learn better by listening, some by doing and some by hearing. Although, teaching can be dated back to the bible, Proverbs 4:2 states “I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching” (Holy Bible, NIV). Romans 12:7 states that “if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach” (Holy Bible, NIV). No matter what a teacher teaches, as long as each student gets what they deserve out of the teaching is the only thing that matters.
Learning Theory and its Importance Every teacher has his or her own learning theory. Not every theory is the same. One of the best known learning theories in use today is the Piaget’s theory (Slavin, 2012). Piaget believed that there were four factors that lead to a child’s development. Children use aids and begin to understand how things work which helps the child learn how to do things for themselves. Another factor is that children learn from socializing with other children their age. This gives the child an opportunity to view other children’s behaviors and learn from each behavior.
The child will then be able to develop their own patterns and personality. From there, the child can make their own decisions and find out what works best for them. Culture plays a big part in ways that affect learning theories. Vygotsky thought of the practice of education as a source rather than a result of the development of cognitive and learning skills. Many people before Vygotsky believed that people possessed the essential learning ability; however, it just needed to be coaxed out. Adolescence is one of the most trying times for a new Christian.
According to Hosseini, Elias, Krauss, & Aishah (2010), adolescence is a point in time when an individual makes a choice in their future education, any major life roles, any relationships, and where a child establishes toward long-term goal to work toward to. This proves that it is imperative of having Christian principles of morality integrated into the school systems. Description of an Effective Teacher and Learning Environment Being an effective teacher takes a lot of determination, understanding and commitment and also considered to be an intentional teacher.
When a teacher focuses too much of his or her instruction on one area, other instructional areas could drop. Slavin (2012) states that teaching involves planning and preparation, and the components which make a good teacher are decision making, reflection, application of education research and self-knowledge and self-regulation. Teachers need to be highly qualified according to federal law. The problem was that a negative impact of the requirement of having highly qualified teacher on recruitment and retention of personnel in rural areas was feared.
Leading educators in education and special education have argued that the requirement may worsen the already significant critical shortages and attrition rate in rural special education. Another problem that was brought up was the cost to have highly qualified teachers and no extra compensation. Administrators fear that they might not be able to recruit special education teachers who meet the highly qualified standard. This legislation has made an impact on the rural areas of public and private schools.
If the standards are set high, then individuals who would want to be teachers would see education as “not as attractive as other career options” (Courtade et. al. , 2010, p. 10). Everybody knows that there are no two children who learn at the same pace but only an effective teacher would understand this. An effective teacher would use different learning styles to help educate each child. Direct instruction and setting objectives are important in the classroom. Being able to translate directive instructions clearly and concisely is imperative.
An effective teacher wants to make sure the student can understand what is being taught which makes the difference between good and great learning. Being able to effectively deliver educational material would allow the students to become confident with his or her ability to learn what is being taught. According to Slavin (2012), poor delivery of lesson plans can have a negative impact on a student’s mental set. When a teacher has a good lesson delivery, it allows the students to become more confident; however, it is necessary that the lesson delivery be given using various delivery methods.
During classroom instructions, a student does not only need ample time to learn new material, the student needs to review old material that was already taught. Having the time to review and learn new material shows the students how the old and new material goes together and instills the importance of all the material. Homework is a part of a lesson plan that is extremely important. Homework was once thought to be essential to learning and should be mandatory. It was once thought that homework was important and can further a student’s education more than a student who did not complete the homework assignments.
This was contradicted when research was conducted when students were allowed to choose whether or not they wanted to do homework. Results showed that the group who did not do the homework outperformed the students who did the mandatory homework (Gutarts & Baines (2010). Technology has become a big part in education. Technology has taken over the ranks for textbooks, emails, information, and paper. Several counties in Virginia have been using iPads and laptops instead of textbooks (Reid, 2011).
Digital technology holds enormous potential for transforming instruction (Reid, 2011). The introduction of new technology into the classroom is an important component to help foster a learning environment that will encourage problem-solving and critical thinking (Reid, 2011). However, if a teacher chooses to use any form of technology in the classroom, the teacher needs to be well educated with technology. Some people would think that if a teacher was illiterate when it comes to computers, then why teach with them or use computers in a classroom.
A teacher may not need to know the “ins and outs” of technology but he or she must know what websites are trusted, how to “surf” the internet, send out emails, set up blackboards, and use whiteboards (which can display what is on the computer onto the wall or blackboard). Technology has been very helpful when it comes to distance learning. Distance learning has helped many adults go back to college to get a degree when his or her life does not allow them to go to an actual classroom. Individuals with reading disabilities tend to become overwhelmed with reading and other activities during school.
A child who cannot read well and is in middle school will not be able to take proper notes because he or she does not know how to write well either. In one study, a teacher used an iPad as a tool to help a fifth grade struggling reader with ADHD. The use of the iPad helped the student focus attention, and the iPad also helped the student become more metacognitive in reading. Using the iPad showed an increase of one year’s growth in a six week period using pre- and post-assessments (McClanahan, Williams, Kennedy, & Tate, 2012).
The student also gained in confidence and sense of being in control of his learning. While generalizations to other struggling readers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder cannot be made, the success this student experienced suggests that the use of this device is worth serious consideration and research in similar contexts (McClanahan, et. al. , 2012). Learning Characteristics: Modalities and Ability Grouping Learning modalities are important when it comes to learning and teaching. The three different types of modalities include, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
According to Anderson (n. d. ), learning modalities are the sensory channels or pathways through which individuals give, receive, and store information. Perception, memory, and sensation include the notion of modality. Approximately 25-30% of students are visual learners (Anderson, n. d. ). Visual learners are those who learn by seeing (Anderson, n. d. ). Approximately 25-30% of students are auditory learners (Anderson, n. d. ). Auditory learners are those who must hear what he or she hears to really understand it. Approximately 15% of students are tactile or kinesthetic learners (Anderson, n. . ). Tactile or kinesthetic learners need to feel and touch and get a better understanding if movement is involved. However, students can have mixed modalities which include visual and auditory, visual and kinesthetic, and auditory and kinesthetic. There are about 25-30% of students who have mixed modalities (Anderson, n. d. ). Learning modalities are important but it is not the only thing that helps the students. Teachers need to be prepared in their subject and need to be knowledgeable in the area they are teaching.
Just because a teacher is knowledgeable, does not make them an intentional teacher and does not make them knowledgeable in writing lesson plans. If a teacher does not know how to deliver the knowledge to the students, the students are not going to learn as much as they should. When a teacher makes a lesson plan, it helps the teacher to be prepared and helps the teacher know how to convey much needed knowledge to the students. The concept of ability grouping goes along with learning modalities. Ability grouping allows students to group together based on their ability to learn.
Ability grouping allows students of higher level to be grouped with high achieving students. Ability grouping also allows students of lower level to be grouped with lower achieving students. This type of grouping makes the assumption that the teacher will be able to teach the students based on the same level. This causes a problem because it can cause the lower level students to fall further being the higher level students because they are not taught the same things and the same ways. Personal Reflection
When conducting the Learning Styles Profile on myself, it made me aware of my learning styles which is that I am a more of a visual learner than anything but I feel that I am more of a kinesthetic learner so I would classify myself as having mixed modalities. Just watching something being done would not keep my attention but if I watched something being done while I was doing it, then I would have a better understanding. I would use this as part of my theory because an effective teacher has to have something for everyone.
An effective teacher would have instructions for the auditory, visual and kinesthetic students so that each student can learn his or her own way. When conducting the Philosophical Methodology of Learning Profile, it showed that I scored highest and I have strong feeling in progressivist, and traditionalist methodology. My lowest score was actually a negative score and that was in socialist methodology. Inasmuch as I am an extreme progressivist, not all of it is true. I believe that everything has to have a point and to be proven but that does not mean that I deny the existence of God.
I really believe that in the progressive mode the teacher becomes the facilitator or the director of learning, while the student becomes the center of focus as an individual. I believe that school revolves around the children. I believe that if a teacher looks at a class as a whole and not individuals, the individuals who need help will not get it. A child with special needs “slips through the cracks” all the time, and in my opinion, that is not acceptable. The supervisor of learning can direct the learning from different perspectives ultimately considering the needs of the individual.
An experience centered approach stems from this philosophical methodology using projects, cooperative group activities, and critical thinking and problem solving, decision-making skills. Getting children to work together as well as separately will help the children get ideas off of other students. This way, the student will know if they need extra help in a certain area and can ask for help when needed. Conclusion Each child learns differently. Each teacher has to have his or her own theory on what would work in his or her classroom. Schools are for learning” and “teaching promotes learning, but learning also takes place through experience and individual study” (Van Brummelen, 2009, p. 13). A teacher must “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Inasmuch as educational theories have been around for centuries, times change, the way that teachers educate students will change, and the way children learn will change. Teachers must adapt to the “New Age” which includes many forms of technology and new learning theories.