Essay

Good teaching and learning in science and technology are important parts in making a motivating and inspiring teacher. It is through quality teaching practises and activities that define the level of educational outcomes we achieve for our students. Great teaching is achieved through, continuous learning and updating of knowledge, always learning more and encouraging their students to do the same. Additionally the implication of frameworks assists in the greater development of students through outlined processes leading to detailed learning. Lastly the use of collaborative learning and discussion between students and teacher is needed to extend the learning of students’, as well as to teaching the skills, tools and strategies to work effectively with others. “Teachers’ work is learning work” (Groundwater-Smith, 2007, p.46), continuous learning and developing of knowledge is a crucial practise that I as a teacher will impose in my teaching career to become an inspiring and motivating teacher. As to do my job effectively and give my students every chance to excel, I must continue to excel myself. Without a thorough understanding of science and technology, how can I expect my students to learn how to build an electrical circuit, or how to use a scale and apply it to floor plans? An example of how I would apply continuous learning in my teaching to better impart knowledge on my students, is like how Jim, when we were building our model houses, researched new innovative technology in the field of sustainability, so that he was always one step ahead of us. He was never surprised by our new findings, and always had something to add, teaching us something new again. This is how I would use my continuous learning, so that I to could help my students grow endlessly, furthering their knowledge. Even when students have learnt something new, we as teachers can help to develop their understanding, by helping them to test their ideas more rigorously and review their past experiences in the light to any change made to their ideas (Harlen: 1993).

Another important teaching practise which should be used into becoming a great teacher is the use of frameworks. Frameworks allow teachers to create a structure of learning in the classroom and identify what their students already know, and where they want to be at the end of the unit. Frameworks allow students to explore their prior knowledge and consider what they would like to learn on a topic. The K-W-L-H framework organiser is an example of a framework that I would use in my classroom, as it is a highly effective framework that allows students to reflect individually before sharing what they have learnt with their peers. K-W-L-H stands for; what they KNOW, what they WANT to learn, what they have LEARNT, and HOW they have learnt it (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority: 2007). Through using a framework such as K-W-L-H, I would be able to effectively run a class that is coherent and collaborative, working together as a team to learn through activities which are purposeful, appropriate, challenging, cooperative and rewarding (Board of Studies NSW: 2000). Lastly the practise of collaborative learning and discussing in class between students, the individual student and teacher, is highly important to the productive relationship between all class members and the wellbeing of the students’ education. This results in the development of a great motivating and inspiring teacher. Collaborative learning and discussion helps to develop students’ greater understanding of topics, as well as the acquisition of skills, tools and strategies to work effectively with other group members. These skills are highly useful and serve not only in the classroom but also out in the real world, when in the work force. An example of the style of collaborative learning, in which I plan to exercise in my class, is the collaborative discussion of criteria setting for assessments. This is highlighted by the example of Jim in our science and technology classes, where he involves the whole class in discussing what, we as a class want in the marking criteria for our assessments. This was used for both assessments 1 and 3, and allowed students to have their say, by expressing their opinions as well as creating a sense of belonging, with student voices being heard and considered in the decision making process. This communicated to them the fact that their ideas were valued, and encouraged them to communicate regularly again (Harlen & Elgstgeest: 1993).

This sense of belonging and inclusion significantly increases students self esteem and confidence, leading to improved efforts in class activities and assessments, because how students feel about their learning in science and technology, whether negative or positive has a consequence on whether they reach their potential or not (Hein & Price: 1994). Thus this is why I believe collaborative learning and discussion is highly important, and I plan to practise it in my class. In conclusion teaching and learning in science and technology is highly important, and a good teacher in science and technology makes a great teacher in general. How we as teachers contribute to the learning of our students through teaching practises and activities, defines the level of greatness we have achieved. Great teaching is achieved through, continuous learning and developing of knowledge, the application of frameworks in the classroom to assist in the greater development of students and lastly using collaborative learning and discussion to extend students further. This is what I will implement in my classroom, so that I can become a great teacher!

References
Board of Studies NSW. (2000). Science and Technology Syllabus (pp. 9-12). Sydney: Board of Studies. Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R. & Le Cornu, R. (2007). 'The changing nature of teachers' work' (Chapter 2) in Teaching: challenges and dilemmas (3rd Ed.). Sydney: Thomson. Harlen, W. (1993). The teacher’s role. In Teaching and Learning Primary Science (2nd Ed.). (pp.116-136). London: Paul Chapman Publishing. Harlen, W. & Elgstgeest, J. (1993). Encouraging and handling children’s questions. In Unesco Sourcebook For Science In The Primary School (pp. 95-110). Paris:UNESCO. Hein, G. & Price, S. (1994) Interpreting children’s work. In Active Assessment for Active Science: A Guide for Elementary School Teachers (pp. 87-110). Portsmouth NH: Heinemann Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2007). Support materials. Retrieved May 12, 2008 from http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/index.html

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