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This lesson defines teaching as a profession. It also focuses on two key aspects in teaching
namely teaching principles and effective teaching. After completing this lesson, you will be
able to

(a) define teaching,

(b) explain seven teaching principles , and

(c) explain and describe characteristics of effective teaching.

2.0 Defining Teaching

Guru Oh Guru ..................

Dialah pemberi paling setia
Tiap akar ilmu miliknya
Pelita dan lampu segala
Untuk manusia sebelum manjadi dewasa.

Dialah ibu dialah bapa juga sahabat

Alur kesetiaan mengalirkan nasihat
Pemimpin yang ditauliahkan segala umat
Seribu tahun katanya menjadi hikmat.

Jika hari ini seorang Perdana Menteri berkuasa

Jika hari ini seorang Raja menaiki takhta
Jika hari ini seorang Presiden sebuah negara
Jika hari ini seorang ulama yang mulia
Jika hari ini seorang peguam menang bicara
Jika hari ini seorang penulis terkemuka
Jika hari ini siapa saja menjadi dewasa;
Sejarahnya dimulakan oleh seorang guru biasa
Dengan lembut sabarnya mengajar tulis-baca.

Di mana-mana dia berdiri di muka muridnya

Di sebuah sekolah mewah di Ibu Kota
Di bangunan tua sekolah Hulu Terengganu
Dia adalah guru mewakili seribu buku;
Semakin terpencil duduknya di ceruk desa
Semakin bererti tugasnya kepada negara.

Jadilah apa pun pada akhir kehidupanmu, guruku

Budi yang diapungkan di dulang ilmu
Panggilan keramat "cikgu" kekal terpahat
Menjadi kenangan ke akhir hayat.”

(SN Dato' Dr. Usman Awang, DBP, 1989)

Teaching is:

• The act or business of instructing; also, that which is taught;instruction.

• the activities of educating or instructing or teaching; activities

that impart knowledge or skill;

• the profession of a teacher

Task 1:

Class discussion. Students express opinions on teaching as a profession.

3.0 Teaching Principles

Teaching is a complex, multifaceted activity, often requiring us as instructors to juggle multiple

tasks and goals simultaneously and flexibly. The following small but powerful set of principles
can make teaching both more effective and more efficient, by helping us create the conditions
that support student learning and minimize the need for revising materials, content, and policies.
While implementing these principles requires a commitment in time and effort, it often saves
time and energy later on.
1. Effective teaching involves acquiring relevant knowledge about students and using
that knowledge to inform our course design and classroom teaching.

When we teach, we do not just teach the content, we teach students the content. A variety
of student characteristics can affect learning. For example, students’ cultural and
generational backgrounds influence how they see the world; disciplinary backgrounds
lead students to approach problems in different ways; and students’ prior knowledge
(both accurate and inaccurate aspects) shapes new learning. Although we cannot
adequately measure all of these characteristics, gathering the most relevant information as
early as possible in course planning and continuing to do so during the semester can (a)
inform course design (e.g., decisions about objectives, pacing, examples, format), (b)
help explain student difficulties (e.g., identification of common misconceptions), and (c)
guide instructional adaptations (e.g., recognition of the need for additional practice).

2. Effective teaching involves aligning the three major

components of instruction: learning objectives,
assessments, and instructional activities.

Taking the time to do this upfront saves time in the

end and leads to a better course. Teaching is more
effective and student learning is enhanced when (a)
we, as instructors, articulate a clear set of learning
objectives (i.e., the knowledge and skills that we
expect students to demonstrate by the end of a course);
(b) the instructional activities (e.g., case studies, labs, discussions, readings) support these
learning objectives by providing goal-oriented practice; and (c) the assessments (e.g.,
tests, papers, problem sets, performances) provide opportunities for students to
demonstrate and practice the knowledge and skills articulated in the objectives, and for
instructors to offer targeted feedback that can guide further learning.

3. Effective teaching involves articulating explicit expectations regarding learning

objectives and policies.

There is amazing variation in what is expected of students across American classrooms

and even within a given discipline. For example, what constitutes evidence may differ
greatly across courses; what is permissible collaboration in one course could be
considered cheating in another. As a result, students’ expectations may not match ours.
Thus, being clear about our expectations and communicating them explicitly helps
students learn more and perform better. Articulating our learning objectives (i.e., the
knowledge and skills that we expect students to demonstrate by the end of a course) gives
students a clear target to aim for and enables them to monitor their progress along the
way. Similarly, being explicit about course policies (e.g., on class participation, laptop
use, and late assignment) in the syllabus and in class allows us to resolve differences
early and tends to reduce conflicts and tensions that may arise. Altogether, being explicit
leads to a more productive learning environment for all students.

Effective teaching involves prioritizing the knowledge and skills we choose to focus

Coverage is the enemy: Don’t try to do too much in a single course. Too many topics
work against student learning, so it is necessary for us to make decisions – sometimes
difficult ones – about what we will and will not include in a course. This involves (a)
recognizing the parameters of the course (e.g., class size, students’ backgrounds and
experiences, course position in the curriculum sequence, number of course units), (b)
setting our priorities for student learning, and (c) determining a set of objectives that can
be reasonably accomplished.

4. Effective teaching involves recognizing and overcoming our expert blind spots.

We are not our students! As experts, we tend to access and apply knowledge
automatically and unconsciously (e.g., make connections, draw on relevant bodies of
knowledge, and choose appropriate strategies) and so we often skip or combine critical
steps when we teach. Students, on the other hand, don’t yet have sufficient background
and experience to make these leaps and can become confused, draw incorrect
conclusions, or fail to develop important skills. They need instructors to break tasks into
component steps, explain connections explicitly, and model processes in detail. Though it
is difficult for experts to do this, we need to identify and explicitly communicate to
students the knowledge and skills we take for granted, so that students can see expert
thinking in action and practice applying it themselves.

5. Effective teaching involves adopting appropriate teaching roles to support our

learning goals.

Even though students are ultimately responsible for their own learning, the roles we
assume as instructors are critical in guiding students’ thinking and behavior. We can take
on a variety of roles in our teaching (e.g., synthesizer, moderator, challenger,
commentator). These roles should be chosen in service of the learning objectives and in
support of the instructional activities. For example, if the objective is for students to be
able to analyze arguments from a case or written text, the most productive instructor role
might be to frame, guide and moderate a discussion. If the objective is to help students
learn to defend their positions or creative choices as they present their work, our role
might be to challenge them to explain their decisions and consider alternative
perspectives. Such roles may be constant or variable across the semester depending on
the learning objectives.

6. Effective teaching involves progressively refining our courses based on reflection

and feedback.
Teaching requires adapting. We need to continually reflect on our teaching and be ready
to make changes when appropriate (e.g., something is not working, we want to try
something new, the student population has changed, or there are emerging issues in our
fields). Knowing what and how to change requires us to examine relevant information on
our own teaching effectiveness. Much of this information already exists (e.g., student
work, previous semesters’ course evaluations, dynamics of class participation), or we
may need to seek additional feedback with help from the university teaching center (e.g.,
interpreting early course evaluations, conducting focus groups, designing pre- and
posttests). Based on such data, we might modify the learning objectives, content,
structure, or format of a course, or otherwise adjust our teaching. Small, purposeful
changes driven by feedback and our priorities are most likely to be manageable and
effective. (Source:

Task 2:

Students get in groups of three or four. Each group selects and explains one of the above
teaching principles. Ask them to present their views and provide examples based on their
experiences as students.

4.0 Qualities of Effective Teaching


One. Good teaching is as much about passion as it is about reason. It's about not only
motivating students to learn, but teaching them how to learn, and doing so in a manner that
is relevant, meaningful, and memorable. It's about caring for your craft, having a passion for
it, and conveying that passion to everyone, most importantly to your students.

Two. Good teaching is about substance and treating students as consumers of knowledge.
It's about doing your best to keep on top of your field, reading sources, inside and outside of
your areas of expertise, and being at the leading edge as often as possible. But knowledge is
not confined to scholarly journals. Good teaching is also about bridging the gap between
theory and practice. It's about leaving the ivory tower and immersing oneself in the field,
talking to, consulting with, and assisting practitioners, and liaisoning with their

Three. Good teaching is about listening, questioning, being responsive, and remembering
that each student and class is different. It's about eliciting responses and developing the oral
communication skills of the quiet students. It's about pushing students to excel; at the same
time, it's about being human, respecting others, and being professional at all times.

Four. Good teaching is about not always having a fixed agenda and being rigid, but being
flexible, fluid, experimenting, and having the confidence to react and adjust to changing
circumstances. It's about getting only 10 percent of what you wanted to do in a class done
and still feeling good. It's about deviating from the course syllabus or lecture schedule easily
when there is more and better learning elsewhere. Good teaching is about the creative
balance between being an authoritarian dictator on the one hand and a pushover on the other.

Five. Good teaching is also about style. Should good teaching be entertaining? You bet!
Does this mean that it lacks in substance? Not a chance! Effective teaching is not about
being locked with both hands glued to a podium or having your eyes fixated on a slide
projector while you drone on. Good teachers work the room and every student in it. They
realize that they are the conductors and the class is the orchestra. All students play different
instruments and at varying proficiencies.

Six. This is very important -- good teaching is about humor. It's about being self-deprecating
and not taking yourself too seriously. It's often about making innocuous jokes, mostly at
your own expense, so that the ice breaks and students learn in a more relaxed atmosphere
where you, like them, are human with your own share of faults and shortcomings.

Seven. Good teaching is about caring, nurturing, and developing minds and talents. It's about
devoting time, often invisible, to every student. It's also about the thankless hours of grading,
designing or redesigning courses, and preparing materials to still further enhance instruction.

Eight. Good teaching is supported by strong and visionary leadership, and very tangible
institutional support -- resources, personnel, and funds. Good teaching is continually
reinforced by an overarching vision that transcends the entire organization -- from full
professors to part-time instructors -- and is reflected in what is said, but more importantly by
what is done.

Nine. Good teaching is about mentoring between senior and junior faculty, teamwork, and
being recognized and promoted by one's peers. Effective teaching should also be rewarded,
and poor teaching needs to be remediated through training and development programs.

Ten. At the end of the day, good teaching is about having fun, experiencing pleasure and
intrinsic rewards ... like locking eyes with a student in the back row and seeing the synapses
and neurons connecting, thoughts being formed, the person becoming better, and a smile
cracking across a face as learning all of a sudden happens. Good teachers practice their craft
not for the money or because they have to, but because they truly enjoy it and because they
want to. Good teachers couldn't imagine doing anything else.

(Source: Richard Leblanc, York University, Ontario;

Task 3:

Class discussion. Students are required to demonstrate their understanding of the top ten
requirements of good teaching. Students to relate their ELT experiences.

Task 4:

In groups of 3, students provide comments/opinions on the following teaching quotes.

1) John Dewey: Any genuine teaching will result, if successful, in someone's knowing how
to bring about a better condition of things than existed earlier.
2) Individuals learn in different ways and at varied rates (Corno & Snow, 1986; Pintrinch, 1986; Snow and Lohman, 1984)
3) Learning improves when learners are active participants in the educational process.
Individuals learn best by doing ( Berliner, 1979; Brophy and Good, 2000)
4) Varied instructional strategies help learners to maintain interest and improve performance
(Gage and Berliner, 1988; Hay McBer, 2000)
5) Frank Smith: The teachers who get "burned out" are not the ones who are constantly
learning, which can be exhilarating, but those who feel they must stay in control and
ahead of the students at all times.
6) K. Patricia Cross: The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary"
people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making
winners out of ordinary people.
7) John Roueche: Teachers who cannot keep students involved and excited for several hours
in the classroom should not be there.
8) Aristotle: Teaching is the highest form of understanding.
9) Competent teaching is a compound of three element: subject matter, systematic
knowledge of teaching, and reflective practical experiences (Holmes Reaport, 186)
10) Enthusiastic teachers enhance learner motivation and achievement
(Borich, 2000; Sederberg and Clark, 1990)

(Source: Dr. Ranjit Singh Malhi, 2002; Dr Western Kentucky University

5.0 Reflection

Task 5:

Read the following story. What can you learn from the Teddy Stollard Story?



As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she
told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and
said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because
there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not
play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he
constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking
his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the
top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each
child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she
reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He
does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.."

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his
classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life
at home must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries
to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will
soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much
interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself.
She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped
in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was
clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs.
Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the
children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the
stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled
the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it
on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after
school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just
like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she
began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As
she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged
him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of
the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the
children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets.."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she
was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he
had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he
ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been
tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate
from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was
still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained
that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter
explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his
name was a little longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring.
Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that
his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs.
Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually
reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one
with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the
perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear,
"Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making
me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you
have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference.
I didn't know how to teach until I met you."