Three Critical Aspects of Creating an Effective Learning Environment Essay

Pages: 5 (1644 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Teaching

Learning Environment

Critical aspects for a learning environment

PRESENTATIOn outline on effective learning environment

Intermediate division teachers are placed in a unique position because they have to address the learning needs of students going through a period of their lives that is physically and emotionally turbulent and exciting. At the same time, their curiosity is at a high level, which makes them more sensitive to their internal and external environment. This is also the stage when many students make choices that influence the course of their further education or career. Teachers can make sure that the learning environment is conducive to meting students' learning needs in the given context. What follows is a detailed outline of a presentation intended to guide intermediate division teachers towards creating an effective learning environment by identifying and describing three critical aspects of creating such an environment.

Learning Outcomes of the Presentation: Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes

This presentation is designed to identify the three critical aspects of creating an effective learning environment for students of Grades 7 and 8. The three critical aspects identified for this presentation are as follows: accommodating learners' needs and interests, open communication and existence of multiple seating arrangements. While explaining the importance of these critical aspects, the presentation will ensure that the participants gain Knowledge, skills and attitudes described below:

The participants will acquire knowledge about the concept of differentiated instruction in the classroom. They will learn about the benefits of differentiated instruction that it enables students to fulfill their learning needs by participating in tasks and processes that are most effective and interesting to them (Ontario, p. 3). They will learn about the different tools and strategies they can use to implement differentiated learning in the classroom, including guided instruction, project work, small-group instruction, peer instruction, cross-age instruction, and so on (Think Literacy, p. 5). They will also learn about the challenges to differentiated instruction such as effective time and space management, and ways to overcome these problems. The participants will adopt a flexible attitude towards classroom instruction as opposed to giving a uniform lecture with students engaged in passive listening. They will develop a positive attitude towards student participation in the learning environment.

The participants will learn about the ways in which they can develop communication and literacy skills in their students so that they may engage in independent learning throughout life. Since not all students will aim for a university education, the communication and literacy skills learned will help them to continue learning after graduating from school (Royal Commission on Learning, 2012). The participants will also acquire skills to implement open communication, active participation and productive student-teacher interaction in the classroom. They will change their attitudes with respect to noise in the classroom (Bressell, p. 4) and will learn to tolerate a reasonable amount of noise so that students may not feel inhibited while collaborating with one another on peer learning, project work and problem-solving. Intermediate grade students, especially those studying science, develop positive attitudes towards the subject when there is a high level of student involvement, teacher support, and teacher innovation in the learning environment (Fouts & Myers, 1992). Instruction will be provided to the participants on how they can encourage student participation and develop innovative teaching techniques in their learning environment.

The participants will also learn about the importance of multiple classroom arrangements to create an effective learning environment. They will learn that various arrangements may be conducive for different instructional strategies. For example, they will acquire skills to create an area for quiet independent learning, a separate area for small-group work and creating a whole class learning environment as well. They will also learn how to create interesting display areas for students' work to create in them a sense of accomplishment. The participants will also develop favorable attitudes towards informal seating arrangements such that students may be seated on the floor or on chairs, in small groups or in organized rows, as long as effective learning is taking place. They will learn to appreciate individuality among their students.

Instructional Strategies to be Used

The presentation will be delivered in an interactive way so that the participants can experience the kind of learning environment that is the topic of the presentation. The seating arrangement of the participants will be in the form of a U-shaped arrangement so that they may communicate with each other and share ideas with one another. In a typical lecture setting where people are seated in rows, communication and interaction only takes place between learner and instructor. The presentation will be given through a multimedia projector and will incorporate videos of teaching in actual learning environment so that the participants may relate to the topic of the presentation.

The presentation will begin by addressing the anxieties that the topic is going to create among the teachers. According to Blanchard (1992), people feel anxious about change and think about what they may have to lose. The presentation will identify such fears as the anxiety about learning new methodologies and discarding long-held attitudes and conventions. It will then describe the benefits of the proposed skills to encourage the participants to become committed to the new techniques described in the presentation.

Another cause of concern for the participants might be a sense of alienation and isolation (Blanchard, 1992). Since the participants will be arranged in a U-shape they will be visible to others and will be able to share their anxieties with one another and thus gain social support to feel less self-conscious. The participants are also likely to feel that they do not possess the resources to implement the change. During the presentation, a demonstration activity will be conducted where teachers will pair up and develop two separate differentiated instructional strategies for a hypothetical situation. They will develop seating arrangements for a classroom on a sheet of paper and will share communication techniques used by them in their classrooms. This will instill in the participants the confidence that they can now implement what they have learned. They will also benefit from the cooperation and ideas shared with fellow participants.

The instructional strategy will also incorporate peer coaching so that people at different readiness levels can benefit from the experience of their fellow participants. There is likely to be less anxiety about asking questions to a fellow teacher as opposed to discussing problems with a trainer. Communication is likely to be smoother and more fluent between peers. This experience will also illustrate to the participants, the benefits of peer tutoring to their students. Handouts will be provided to the participants describing in detail the various strategies to incorporate student involvement and teacher innovation in the learning environment. Discussion on their merits and demerits will allow participants to share their experiences with one another. The use of rubrics will also be demonstrated during the presentation that participants can use to develop their own teaching strategies. The participants will be asked to develop one such strategy in pairs so that they may gain confidence and become fluent in the activity.

Assessment Strategies and Tools

Continuous assessment will be conducted during the presentation so that the presenter may adjust or modify the content and delivery to meet the learning needs of the participants. The assessment will be in the form of the various activities described in the previous sections. Know/Want to Know/Learned charts will be provided to all participants to be filled after the completion of each activity. In addition, the participants will be observed by the presenter during the activities and tasks and will provide individualized assessments to the participants (Ontario Education, 2005). The participants will be required to share their learning level with other participants to increase peer learning and acquisition of new skills. The participants will also be assessed by their peers during the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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