As its primary purpose this textbook provides a practical, concise, criterion-referenced, performance-based, mastery learning model for college or university students who are in a general secondary or middle school methods course or in the field component of teacher education. Instructors of methods courses can depend on the modular organization of this textbook to provide enough basic instruction that they can individualize their instruction and devote their time and attention to specific learning activities. Others who will find it useful are experienced teachers who desire to continue developing their teaching skills, and curriculum specialists and school administrators who desire to have available for reference a current, practical, and concise book of methods about teaching.
The book is organized around four developmental components: whythe rationale to support the components that follow; what-what you will be teaching; howhow you will teach it; and how wellhow well you are teaching it. These components are represented by the four parts of the book. Each part begins with a statement of its major objectives and with quotations relevant to topics addressed in its modules.
Throughout the text we consistently provide information useful for a teacher who is a decision-maker. We also provide frequent exercises for practice in handling concepts in ways that facilitate metacognitive thinking. All exercises require the user to deal in some descriptive, analytical, or self-reflective manner with text concepts and actual practice. Most exercises are adaptable for cooperative or collaborative group processing.
Part I: Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Middle and Secondary Schools
The two modules of Part I are written to reflect the reality and challenge of teaching today, to provide the rationale, or the why, to support the organization and details of the components that follow. While Module 1 presents an important overview of that reality and challenge, Module 2 addresses developments in cognitive science and constructivism that enhance and celebrate the differences among students and their learning styles and capacities. It provides specific guidelines for meeting that challenge with specific groups of learners.
Part II: Planning for Instruction
The three modules of Part II are designed to reflect the what component. Along with providing important rationale and guidelines for selecting and using content and textbooks and preparing instructional objectives, Module 3 also presents information about the national standards for subject areas in the curriculum. Module 4 provides straightforward information on use and preparation of various types of units and for lesson planning as is relevant for today's teaching. Because teachers must have the students' attention before they can effectively implement any instructional plan, guidelines for establishing and maintaining a psychologically and intellectually safe and supportive environment for learning are presented in Module 5.
Part III: Selecting and Implementing Instructional Strategies
Part III is the how component and consists of three modules. The first module of Part III, Module 6, focuses attention on grouping students for learning, using assignments, ensuring equality in the classroom, using project-centered teaching, and writing across the curriculum. Module 7 provides guidelines for using teacher talk, demonstrations, thinking, inquiry, and games.
Intricately interwoven with teaching and learning is the teacher's use of fundamental class-room tools (e.g., writing board and overhead projector) and the selection and use of media, aids, and resources. The use of these tools is the focus of Module 8, the final module of Part III.
Part IV: Assessment of Teaching and Learning
Part IV focuses attention on the fourth component of competent teachinghow well the students are learning and how well the teacher is doing. Module 9 examines the assessment of what students know or think they know before, during, and after the instruction. The module also provides practical guidelines for parent teacher collaboration and for grading and reporting student achievement.
Module 10, considered an important module by student users and sometimes even studied first, provides an emphasis on how well the teacher is doingthe assessment of teaching effectiveness and guidelines and resources for ongoing professional development. Module 10 also provides guidelines and resources for student teaching and for finding a teaching position. These guidelinesand this book in generalhave proven to be useful as references for years beyond the current methods course.
NEW TO THIS EDITION
Changes for this seventh edition are as follows.
- In keeping with the book's long-standing title, we strive throughout for an improved balance of content between middle and secondary schools, emphasizing the middle school as uniquely different from both the high school and the traditional junior high school.
- Every module of the book was reviewed, updated, and tweaked to expel unnecessary wordiness and old, tired, or worn out content, figures, and exercises.
- Current Internet references and resources are included throughout.
- Module 1 was rewritten to strengthen it as an introductory module, especially with respect to organizational provisions for student differences; fundamental characteristics of exemplary education; the roles of telecommunications, the community, and parent organizations; key trends and practices; and problems and issues that plague the nation's schools.
- Module 5, "Establishing and Maintaining a Safe and Supportive Classroom Learning Environment," underwent substantial reorganization and modification to give it increased significance in the total tome.
- For Module 6, "Student-Centered Instructional Strategies," we strengthened the sections about intelligent behavior, the teaching of thinking skills, and educational games and simulations.
- Module 7, "Teacher-Centered Instructional Strategies," contains a new section titled "Giving Students a Second Chance."
- Module 8, "Media, Aids, and Resources," with all new current lists of resources, continues as a strong support module for Modules 4 through 7. It also contains a new section on distance learning.
- Posttest questions have been added to each module.
FEATURES OF THE TEXT
- The four parts serve as advance organizersthat is, they establish a mind-set.
- To promote mastery learning we employ a competency-based modular format. Each module contains (a) an opening list of specific learning objectives (or learning targets) for that module, (b) a presentation of content as related to those objectives, (c) an integration of practice and reinforcement in each module, and, at the completion of the module, (d) a posttest assessment of how well the opening targets have been achieved. For self-assessment, there is an answer key to the posttest questions at the end of the text.
- Exercises for active learning are found within each module. The exercises are designed to have the teacher candidate continually assess his or her progress in the understanding and skill development of teaching and involve the candidates in active and collaborative learning. (Note: Because some exercises necessitate a visit to a school to have dialogue with students and staff, an early review of the exercises needs to be made so that you can plan your visits and work schedule. In fact, because certain exercises build upon previous ones or suggest that help be obtained from teachers in the field, we advise that all exercises be reviewed at the beginning of the course. Because it is unlikely that all exercises could or should be completed in a one-semester course, you will have to decide which exercises will be done.)
- Performance assessment, rather than paper-and-pencil testing of teaching skills development, is encouraged by the micro peer teaching exercises found in Modules 1, 7, and 10. Indeed, Exercise 10!2 is designed to be useful as a performance assessment at the conclusion of the course for which this textbook is used.
- Suggested readings at the conclusion of each module offer additional sources, both classic and current, that can deepen and broaden understandings of particular topics.
- Posttest questions at the end of each module can serve as an assessment of the module and as springboards for further discussion.
- The text concludes with a glossary of terms, a name index, and a subject index.
- An instructor's manual is available.
Although teaching and learning in middle and secondary schools have become increasingly complexwith many new and exciting things happening as schools continue to restructure their efforts to provide the best learning for today's youthwe strive to keep the text at a reasonable length and to keep it user friendly. We thank all the persons who helped in its development. We thank those who contributed and who are acknowledged at appropriate places throughout and our friends and highly competent professionals at Merrill/Prentice Hall, who have maintained their belief in and support for this book.
In our preparation of this seventh edition, we carefully heeded the recommendations made by users and reviewers of the previous edition. We acknowledge and offer a sincere thank you for the cogent reviews and recommendations made by Jo Alexander, Auburn University, Montgomery; H. G. Cadenas, California State University, Los Angeles; Leigh Chiarelott, Bowling Green State University; Robert Gryder, Arizona State University; Shirley Jacob, Southeastern Louisiana University; and John E. Steinbrink, Oklahoma State University.
Although this edition is the result of the contributions of many professionals, we, as always, assume full responsibility for its shortcomings. Our aspiration for this seventh edition is that it will spark reflective thinking about your teaching and that you will find it stimulating and professionally rewarding.