Reflective Planning, Teaching, and Evaluation for the Elementary School: A Relational Approach (3rd Edition)

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9780130226952: Reflective Planning, Teaching, and Evaluation for the Elementary School: A Relational Approach (3rd Edition)

This thoughtful book promotes reflective and creative teaching methods to inspire learners to become caring and effective teachers. The authors introduce the original reflective action model offering insight regarding how caring, relational teachers think and feel on the job. The book encourages readers to be proactive decision-makers, and to develop a strong sense of community among their students by learning how to accommodate diversity with inclusion. A variety of interactive activities breathe life into concepts throughout the book. Unit plans, lesson plans, and authentic teaching and learning strategies are presented along with a wide repertoire of strategies to develop a healthy classroom environment. Successful LEP programs are profiled, and strategies for fostering cooperation, interaction, and mutual respect among children from diverse backgrounds are discussed. A practical lesson-planning model incorporates contingencies that address what to do if the students do not understand the material and how to proceed if they already know it. A chapter on integrating technology into the curriculum includes software suggestions to enhance the learning process, and throughout the book, up-to-date case studies of practicing teachers provide vital insight into ways to turn theory into practice. For education professionals at the elementary school level.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface

We all have a powerful desire for meaningful, mutually satisfying relationships in our lives. Nowhere is this more true than in the elementary classrooms of schools around the world. Every time a new school term begins, children wake up, brush their teeth, put on their clothes, eat their breakfast, and walk out the door with the same hopeful longing: "I hope I get a good teacher."

What does the child mean by a good teacher? When we were in elementary school, it meant a teacher who was happy to see us, smiled at us, made us feel welcome on the first day of school. In later weeks, having a good teacher meant that you looked forward to going to school each day because you knew that the teacher looked forward to being there also, and expressed that joy by designing attractive bulletin boards and thinking up new and interesting ways to practice those terrible "basic skills," the spinach of elementary education. We especially looked forward to the nice things the teacher had to say about us, that our work was good, that we said interesting things in discussions, that we were obviously capable of learning to read and write and do mathematics. We basked in the good teacher's positive outlook and encouragement.

This has not changed. As every new school year approaches, students still have the same hope as they walk into a school building: "I hope my teacher likes me." Now that we have both been teaching for many years ourselves, we can share a lesser known secret with you, our readers. Every new school year, beginning teachers walk into the same school buildings, and they are thinking similar thoughts, having similar feelings: "I hope my students like me, and I hope the other teachers like me, too." The new teacher knows that to do well, it will all be easier and more enjoyable if there is a sense of being accepted and appreciated for one's self and the efforts, not always entirely successful, that one puts into the work of being a teacher.

We do not want to overstate the importance of being liked. There are other, equally important aspects of being a good teacher, such as knowledge of the subject matter and an understanding of how to plan lessons and present the material to students so that they are able to "get it." But, we want to make the point that good teaching is very much about good relationships, and we have revised this textbook with that in mind.

No, you won't find cookbook recipes here for getting students to like you. That is not how it works. When you cross the line from being the student to being the teacher, the responsibility for the relationship becomes yours. It is up to you to create an environment that is perceived as welcoming and encouraging. It is up to you to do the "liking" (read: appreciation, encouragement, offering suitable and stimulating learning experiences, satisfying students' curiosity, enabling them to solve problems and be successful.)

What we offer you in this textbook is our combined experience as both learners and teachers and our analysis of the best practices in research that can enable you to approach your new role as teacher with the confidence that you can succeed. We offer you our original model of how caring, relational teachers think and feel on the job. We call it reflective action. It is based on Kounin's (1977) powerful concept of withitness. You will find it highlighted in Chapter 1, and then referred to again and again throughout the book. Essentially, it is a teaching/learning process that prepares you to combine and alternate perceptiveness of your students' needs with periods of reflection, getting support and feedback from trusted colleagues, action, reflection on your action, and acting again, each time with more care and precision than the time before. Conceptual Framework

We are excited about this concept. We hope that you are too. We have written this book believing that teaching is, and always will be, a marvelous marriage of science and art. Through careful study and experimentation, we will continue to learn more about how people learn and thus how we can better teach them. We have shared some of that knowledge with you in the pages of this text in the form of educational theory and teaching strategies. However, we also acknowledge the existence of an almost "magical" side to teaching—the "art"—and it is here that we have also tried to offer you some ideas as you enter this wonderful profession. Part of the art, we believe, is founded on coming to know oneself as an individual, and on coming to understand the uniquely human characteristics we all share.

When a teacher understands himself or herself as someone who wants to care for others and to be cared for in return, he or she is more likely to approach students as the miracle they are—unique and feeling individuals who want the very same things. Great teachers know themselves, know their students, know their disciplines, and weave them together in beautiful relational mosaics. A good part of the art of teaching, we believe, lies in its relational nature. Great teachers care about the world, ideas, and people, and caring is the passion that fuels their personal growth as well as that of their students.

If you gain nothing else from this book, we hope that you will come away from its pages more aware of your own need to care and be cared for—and convinced that within the enterprise of teaching are myriad opportunities to do just that. Teaching is a relational venture, and as you read we hope you will gain important insights that bring joy and vigor to your teaching and to your own learning—for a lifetime. Features of This Edition

Relational Aspects of Teaching and Learning
In this edition, we have drawn on the literature and our own experiences to describe the positive effects of creating good relationships between teachers and students, teachers and parents, teachers and their colleagues. We describe practical methods and strategies teachers can use to relate well to others, especially by increasing their withitness to understand the needs of others. The model of Reflective Action presented in Chapter 1 also encourages teachers to confer with colleagues and ask for feedback when reflecting on dilemmas in teaching. Relationships are the key to good teaching, and so they are a major emphasis of this book.

CLAD
Many teacher education programs have Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) requirements so that beginning teachers will be able to address the needs of students from very diverse households. We have provided CLAD-type strategies and chronicled the experiences of practicing teachers who use these strategies in their classrooms to stimulate cooperation, interaction, and appreciation of differences among children from very diverse backgrounds.

Professional Portfolio
At the end of each chapter in the book, we have provided active experiences for your own professional portfolio to clarify and communicate your unique educational philosophy to prospective employers or colleagues. The suggestions for reflective actions that we provide can be used to document the many accomplishments you have made and the strengths and talents you have to offer. Your professional portfolio will be quite impressive if you take the time to clarify your goals, create unit and lesson plans, and reflect on the issues and materials that you choose to include in it. You can take your portfolio with you on employment interviews. Acknowledgments

We wish to express our gratitude to those who reviewed the text and made many helpful suggestions for this edition: Margaret Ferrara, Central Connecticut State University; Sylvia Holub, University of Houston; Honor Keirans, Chestnut Hill College; and Clifford Russell, National University.

From the Back Cover:

Reflective Planning, Teaching, and Evaluation for the Elementary School: A Relational Approach is a powerfully interactive text that teaches readers how to be a reflective teacher.

Features of the third edition include:

  • Activities at the end of each chapter that give readers many opportunities to reflect, clarify, prioritize, and gain self-understanding in relationships with students and colleagues.
  • Guidelines and suggestions for building a professional portfolio that demonstrates reflectiveness.
  • New chapter on integrating technology into the curriculum, including software suggestions.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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