Groups are viewed as a powerful means of learning, which can be an environment in which people invent and explore symbolic structures for understanding the world, learning from each other; or they can encourage conformity, squander time and energy on ritual combat, revel in failure…
(Brown G., & Atkins, M., 1988)
First of all, I'd like to emphasize that activities in class much depend on planning, that's why it's so important to make all the necessary preparations for teaching to provide a strong and authoritative background for good educational results.
The information provided was gathered with the help of analyzing quantitative and qualitative data of questionnaires and test results provided for students at the beginning and in the end of teaching process to study the results of teaching methods and their impact on group learning.
Preparing for teaching a teacher needs to determine the group size. Generally, the shorter the task the smaller must be the group (those of six or less), but for better cooperating process the optimum number of people is from eight up to twelve, where there is a possibility to work in pairs and in groups of three. There is also a task for the instructor to select the group. Groups selected by the researchers tend to perform much better than the self-selected groups. Heterogeneous groups are generally better. The length of teaching process depends on the specific collaborative learning activity, but there is a need of time for a group to become cohesive. (Dechant, K., Marsick, V. J., and Kasl, E., 1993) So that I organized the group of twelve students to be able to work in small groups of two, three and four people, that also gives an opportunity to provide them with different types of tasks and make the process more interesting and useful one. Also I've selected the group members (6 boys and 6 girls to avoid the appearance of possible gender differential misunderstanding in the process of teaching and fulfillment the tasks.
Then, me, as a teacher, arranged the room for students to face one another and so the teacher can walk up to each group.
While structuring the task and positive interdependence among the students, I provided them with academic task explanation, and criteria for success explanation, pointed out a group goal for the students to be able to rely on one another, thus emphasizing the fact they need to establish good collaboration between one another, and that much is dependent on the inner relations of the group members. (Smith, K. A., 1996) That's why on the second preparatory stage the teacher is to think over the possibilities of conflicts appearance inside the group and provide the best practice of their outcomes. So this reason I've studied theoretical material on conflict management to structure the group in its best way; then - explained the task and common group goals for students to know what they are to aim at.
While planning group structure, the teacher must choose between three main group types: informal, formal, and base. Informal groups can be created in short term for solving some problems, have little structure, can have new group member with each class day, and is mostly useful during lectures, because it provides a quick check on student comprehension. Next type, which is formal group, requires more planning as to the size and composition of the group, because it has greater structure; has a specific purpose, and the same group members throughout its existence. Base groups, on the contrary, serve a broader purpose. They meet regularly, require planning as to the size and composition, have a constant membership and a specific purpose to complete. The teacher here should provide support, encouragement, and ...
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(2012) (Seven Strategies to Teach Students Text Comprehension, Reading Rockets, 13 Uconn Today, (2012) Learning to Teach Adult Students, Posted 6th Aug.2012 < http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/08/preparing-to-teach-adult-students/> 13 Uconn Today, (2012) Learning to Teach Adult Students, Posted 6th Aug.2012 < http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/08/preparing-to-teach-adult-students/> 13 Teaching Methods and Strategy Teaching is an art that has order, purpose, meaning, and function.
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