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Dynamics of Effective Teaching (4th Edition)

Margaret Ishler; Janice Hutchinson; Richard Kindsvatter; Editor-William Wilen

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ISBN 10: 080133067X / ISBN 13: 9780801330674
Published by Allyn & Bacon, 1999
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dynamics of Effective Teaching (4th Edition)

Publisher: Allyn & Bacon

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title


While integrating theory and research with current practice,Dynamics of Effective Teaching, 4/e, focuses on decision making and provides a unique framework for helping future teachers make important decisions that will lead to effective classroom teaching. The text includes in-depth treatment of reflection, professional collaboration, and action research and shows students how to make sound decisions on planning, management, curriculum and instruction.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface 0ne of the major inspirations for writing the first edition of this book was the very significant conclusion that excellent teachers DO make a difference. We identified in the 1980s, after 20 years of research studies, those instructional behaviors teachers engage in that positively influence students' learning. Dynamics of Effective Teaching was originally written to translate the findings of this massive body of what has come to be called the effective teaching research into classroom practice. Why is this important? So that preservice and inservice teachers could be even more influential in their impact on students in the classroom. Ten years later, teachers are still expected to be effective in the traditional sense of positively influencing students' achievement. But emerging modern perspectives on how students learn are changing educators' views of best practice. A number of cognitive and developmental psychologists have found that students learn best by first making connections between what they know and have experienced with new content. Learning is further enhanced when they are encouraged to apply knowledge in situations that come as close to possible to reflecting life outside the classroom. Active construction of knowledge, rather than the sole passive absorbtion of knowledge, increases the probability that students will go beyond simply knowing to developing understanding. The fourth edition continues to reflect the best ideas and practices from both the effective teaching and constructivist worlds of ideas and research. With this edition, though, there is an emphasis on making more direct connections to the lives of future and beginning middle and high school teachers in all subject areas; for example, we have infused information on how to address the needs of the growing diversity of learners, and we have added specific hints for beginning teachers related to many of the chapter topics. We have also added a new chapter on technology because the potential of the computer as a learning tool is growing as it is becoming more available to students in schools and at home. As with the previous three editions, we have designed the fourth edition of Dynamics of Effective Teaching for teacher-preparation students in high school or middle school general-methods courses, student or interim teachers who need a solid reference book and a comprehensive set of analysis instruments, and beginning teachers who intend to achieve at their level of optimum effectiveness. In a broader sense, though, we believe that any teacher who engages in instruction or supervision will find something of value in Dynamics of Effective Teaching. It will r appeal to readers who share our views on the following:

Effective teaching is basically sound decision making. Teaching is an art informed by science. A sound knowledge base is the bedrock of every bonafide profession. Translating this knowledge base into thoughtful classroom practice is the challenge and task of every professional teacher. Effective teachers accommodate the diverse abilities, needs and interests of learners. Empowering teachers is the key to heightening their esteem and improving the image of the profession. We have tried to embody these positions in Dynamics of Effective Teaching by introducing decision making in Chapter 1 as a process fundamental to educators and by revisiting the application of that process in every succeeding chapter. Our view of decision making considers it from a constructivist view of teaching and learning based on reflection and "meaning making." In addition, these positions are built into the structure and organization of the text. Because a strong knowledge base is so important to our vision of decision making, every chapter contains at least one section called "Research and Theoretical Base" that grounds the discussion in the most current thinking and facilitates the readers' acquisition of knowledge that is personally meaningful and useful. We have updated and given a stronger focus to material throughout these sections. because they are relatively discrete segments of each chapter, instructors may easily choose how and to what degree they integrate the theory and research into their classrooms. Related sections called "Application to Practice" focus the research findings and theoretical approaches and help readers begin to consider practical implications. A realistic scenario contained in each chapter serves to add faces, names, and a narrative structure to the issues we present. These scenarios are predicated on our assumption that we often learn most effectively when we feel some sense of connection and personal relevance to the content, and our feedback from instructors using earlier editions has wholeheartedly supported this contention. In addition, graphic organizers introduce each chapter to assist the reader in visualizing key ideas. Questions for reflection close each chapter, serving to encourage personal exploration and insight. Periodic summary points focus reader attention and reiterate important topics. Finally, observation/ analysis forms are included at the end of many chapters. We and other instructors have found these forms useful for facilitating comprehension by developing personal understanding, promoting a common language for the community of educators, and providing tools for the action research and the teacher-as-researcher approach we hope to stimulate. Altogether, we hope that these various parts of the text will continue to serve to organize instructional methods into a sound and eminently teachable structure that promotes reflection, insight, and discussion. Of course, our revision has not simply extended to rethinking and revising the pedagogy and skeletal structure of Dynamics of Effective Teaching. In keeping with our mission, new topics have been sought out that have become important since the publication of the third edition; for instance, we have added a chapter on technology primarily to introduce how the computer and its peripherals can be used effectively in the classroom. Also, there is expanded coverage of cooperative learning and performance assessment in light of their growing application in the classroom and testimony to their effectiveness. The text breaks into four large areas. The first, made up of Chapters 1 and 2, considers the meaning of teaching and being a teacher. The second—Chapters 3 and 4—examines discipline and curriculum, two topics that undergird all other parts of professional instruction. Chapters 5 through 10 present teaching as an integrated process and build on the first four chapters. Chapter 11 both closes the book and shows the openings in the world beyond. As mentioned above, Chapter 1 presents our view of decision making and its importance in the minds of professional educators. We also advance our view of education as a professional discipline here. Because all classroom teaching occurs within a social setting, Chapter, 2 addresses the teacher's role in providing a productive climate and attending to students' motivation. In fact, motivation, in our view, is the most basic task of the teacher, and much of this book is directly or indirectly concerned with the topic. Because discipline emerges naturally from our discussion of classroom climate and motivation, and because it is a pervasive aspect of teaching, we have placed Chapter 3 ahead of the chapters on instruction. We have selected pertinent aspects of discipline rather than attempt a broad coverage of this complex topic. Another important component of this chapter is the myths of discipline because we believe that awareness of the myths is an essential step to developing a sound belief system about discipline. Chapter 4 addresses curriculum. Very simply, to teach, one must teach about something. What one chooses to teach and how one teaches it determine teaching effectiveness. Constructivist approaches that focus on encouraging students to discover personal meaning beyond the accumulation of factual knowledge make the selection of content especially critical. We see teaching as a three-step process: planning, instruction, and evaluation. Chapter 5's discussion of planning continues the logical transition from Chapter 4's discussion of curriculum. We conceive of planning as a human process of decision making rather than only the routine development of written plans. Planning should be the beginning of an adventure in learning for students, so it deserves to be done with a sense of excitement and commitment. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 deal specifically with instruction-a central focus and heart of this book—as the second component of teaching. We begin this component in Chapters 6 and 7 by describing behaviors and techniques that are the basis for instruction, showing how they evolve into methods and strategies through manipulation by the purposeful teacher. In Chapter 8, we stress the elements of effective teaching that have the greatest impact on student achievement and those strategies such as direct teaching and cooperative learning that have the potential to help students find relevance in their learning. Instructional technology was added because the computer is an increasingly pervasive and important factor in instruction and student learning. The basics of the computer are presented with a focus on its role in planning for teaching, implementing methods and strategies, and assessing student performance.

Evaluation, the third component of teaching, is addressed in Chapter 10. Like discipline, it is presented concisely. The areas of assessment and evaluation are ,hanging rapidly and much controversy exists here. We have tried to synthesize important traditional and new topics in evaluation to establish a reasonable foundation for further and more specialized exploration in the professional literature. Commentary was expanded on performance/ authentic assessment, and the use of rubrics is accompanied by a variety of examples and illustrations to enhance understanding and application. In the final chapter, we describe the use of this book beyond the general-methods classroom. As students become involved with instruction through student teaching, internships, and finally in their first in-service year, the book will continue to be an applicable and useful resource; for instance, the analytical instruments at the end of most of the chapters, especially if they are used in the context of the action research we encourage, will aid in the analysis of the various teaching components in clinical or field settings and will promote improved performance. WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THIS BOOK? As with previous editions, the major feature of this book is our emphasis on decisionmaking as the thread that links all the topics together. We have tried to balance two major perspectives influencing teacher decision-making about instruction today: findings from research on effective teaching, and the ideas of constructivism. Unique to this book is the inclusion in each chapter of a scenario in which a middle or secondary school teacher, representing a wide range of subject areas and grade levels, applies key ideas to the classroom. These scenarios, which appear near the beginning of each chapter, are referred to and analyzed throughout the chapter to provide a running commentary on the theoretical content being presented. In this edition, photographs add personality to the teachers we describe. Various pedagogical elements are designed to help you understand and use this book.

Summaries of key points appear both throughout the text and at the end of each chapter. Questions for reflection, at the end of each chapter, guide you to begin making your own decisions about classroom practice. Observation instruments appear in appropriate chapters to enable you to engage in selfanalysis, or in shared analysis with colleagues. Each chapter includes strategies for using the chapter content effectively with students for diverse or special needs. A complete, updated reference list points you to other resources in the field. WHAT IS NEW ABOUT THIS EDITION? Every page of The Dynamics of Effective Teaching has been revised, ensuring that the content reflects the most current research and best practice. In addition to the features listed above, the fourth edition includes several new features designed to help you use this book more effectively: Graphic organizers begin each chapter, emphasizing key ideas. Sections summarizing current research and theoretical literature related to chapter content appear at the beginning of each chapter. Boxes throughout each chapter highlight key ideas. A new chapter, "Instructional Technologies," emphasizes the role of computers in the classroom.

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