Instructional Practices (instructional + practice)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Updating the Foreign Language Agenda

Richard D. Lambert
At the founding of the National Foreign Language Center in 1987, several major structural problems facing the field of foreign language (FL) instruction were identified in an editorial in The Modern Language Journal. These broad architectural issues are part of a national agenda for change, both here and abroad, and have been the focus of the NFLC's activities since its establishment. The agenda issues identified in the article are: evaluating language competency; articulating instruction across educational levels and the different contexts in which FLs are taught; increasing the range of languages taught and studied; achieving higher levels of language skills; promoting language competency and use among adults; expanding research and maximizing its impact on FL teaching and learning; and assessing and diffusing new technologies in instructional practice, with particular attention to Internet communication, machine translation, and distance education. The article briefly indicates the nature of these challenges and notes the progress that has been made. [source]

Psychological research in educational technology in China

Ru-De Liu
Information and communication technology (ICT) has increasingly been bringing about significant changes in education in an ongoing process. The educational reform is not a mere technological issue but rather is based on an empirical grounding in a psychological research approach to learning and instruction. This paper introduces the research work on the application of ICT in education from the psychological perspective in China in the past three decades. The introduction focuses on four important issues with systemic theoretical thinking based on continuous empirical research and innovative practices. The first is dialectic constructivism which has offered some dialectic explanation for knowledge, learning and teaching, and balanced various contradictory aspects of learning and teaching. The second is theoretical thinking and instructional practice about the principles of learning environment design which emphasises learners' higher-order thinking, deep understanding, collaboration and self-regulated learning. The third is a model for the effectiveness and conditions of Computer-Assisted Instruction. The fourth is a framework for the integration of ICT and education and a zigzag training model for teacher training for integration. [source]

Computer-mediated discussion, self-efficacy and gender

ShinYi Lin
In the context of hybrid instruction, this study was designed to explore whether gender has an influence on learners' preferences for synchronous or asynchronous modes of computer-mediated communication, and whether this decision impacts learners' self-efficacy (SE) towards knowledge acquisition. The participants were 180 teacher-education students (151 females and 29 males) enrolled in a hybrid (blend of traditional classroom instruction and online learning activities) foundations course at a United States research university with a proportionally high percentage of full-time commuters and/or distance enrolees. The findings showed that, regardless of gender, two-thirds of the participants preferred asynchronous modes over synchronous ones. In addition, gender was weakly related to the participants' SE in both modes. Linear regression indicated that SE, in turn, was weakly related to academic performance. The implications of these findings for instructional practice are discussed. [source]

Curriculum-Context Knowledge: Teacher Learning From Successive Enactments of a Standards-Based Mathematics Curriculum

ABSTRACT This study characterizes the teacher learning that stems from successive enactments of innovative curriculum materials. This study conceptualizes and documents the formation of curriculum-context knowledge (CCK) in three experienced users of a Standards-based mathematics curriculum. I define CCK as the knowledge of how a particular set of curriculum materials functions to engage students in a particular context. The notion of CCK provides insight into the development of curricular knowledge and how it relates to other forms of knowledge that are relevant to the practice of teaching, such as content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. I used a combination of video-stimulated and semistructured interviews to examine the ways the teachers adapted the task representations in the units over time and what these adaptations signaled in terms of teacher learning. Each teacher made noticeable adaptations over the course of three or four enactments that demonstrated learning. Each of the teachers developed a greater understanding of the resources in the respective units as a result of repeated enactments, although there was some important variation between the teachers. The learning evidenced by the teachers in relation to the units demonstrated their intricate knowledge of the curriculum and the way it engaged their students. Furthermore, this learning informed their instructional practices and was intertwined with their discussion of content and how best to teach it. The results point to the larger need to account for the knowledge necessary to use Standards-based curricula and to relate the development and existence of well-elaborated knowledge components to evaluations of curricula. [source]

The Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA): Connecting Assessment to Instruction and Learning

Bonnie Adair-Hauck
ABSTRACT: This article reports on Beyond the OPI: Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) Design Project, a three-year (1997,2000) research initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education International Research and Studies Program. The primary goal of the project was to develop an integrated skills assessment prototype that would measure students' progress towards the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (National Standards, 1999, 2006). A second goal of the project was to use the assessment prototype as a catalyst for curricular and pedagogical reform. This paper presents the Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) prototype, illustrates a sample IPA, and discusses how classroom-based research on the IPA demonstrated the washback effect of integrated performance-based assessment on teachers' perceptions regarding their instructional practices. [source]

The literacy curriculum and use of an Integrated Learning System

Larry Miller
This article describes one aspect of a year-long study of primary level teachers' and children's (Grades 1-3; children aged 6-9 years) use of the language arts component of SuccessMaker, an Integrated Learning System (ILS). Using information gathered from teacher surveys and classroom observation, we documented areas where the curricula embedded in the ILS were congruent with teachers' normal curricula and pedagogical practices. However, we also found numerous instances of incongruity. To illustrate our findings we use the case of phonics instruction to reveal discrepancies between normal practice and computer-based learning. The differences in content, presentation sequence and instructional practices raise issues about the appropriate relationship between computer-based instruction and teachers' normal practices. [source]

In search of well-started beginning science teachers: Insights from two first-year elementary teachers

Lucy Avraamidou
Abstract The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore what aspects of two first-year elementary teachers' practices were most consistent with an inquiry-based approach, what PCK served as a mechanism for facilitating these practices, and what experiences have mediated the nature and development of these teachers' PCK. For each of the participants data included audio-recorded interviews, video-recorded classroom observations, lesson plans, and samples of student work. Data analysis illustrated that both participants engaged their students in question-driven investigations, the use of observational data, making connections between evidence and claims, and communicating those claims to others. Moreover, there was clear evidence in the findings of the study that a considerable degree of coherence existed between the two participants' knowledge on one hand and their instructional practices on the other hand. The participants perceived specific learning experiences during their programs as being critical to their development. The contribution of this study lies in the fact that it provides examples of well-started beginning elementary teachers implementing inquiry-based science in 2nd and 5th grade classrooms. Implications of the study include the need for the design of university-based courses and interventions by which teacher preparation and professional development programs support teachers in developing PCK for scientific inquiry and enacting instructional practices that are congruent with reform initiatives. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:661,686, 2010 [source]

National Board Certification (NBC) as a catalyst for teachers' learning about teaching: The effects of the NBC process on candidate teachers' PCK development

Soonhye Park
Abstract This study examined how the National Board Certification (NBC) process, especially the portfolio creation, influenced candidate teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). In a larger sense, this study aimed to construct a better understanding of how teachers develop PCK and to establish ecological validity of the National Board assessments. Qualitative research methods, most notably case study, were utilized. Participants were three high school science teachers who were going thorough the NBC process. Data sources included classroom observations, interviews, teachers' reflections, and researcher's field notes. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method and enumerative approach. Findings indicated that the NBC process affected five aspects of the candidate teachers' instructional practices that were closely related to PCK development: (a) reflection on teaching practices, (b) implementation of new and/or innovative teaching strategies, (c) inquiry-oriented instruction, (d) assessments of students' learning, and (e) understanding of students. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 812,834, 2008 [source]

Scientific explanations: Characterizing and evaluating the effects of teachers' instructional practices on student learning

Katherine L. McNeill
Abstract Teacher practices are essential for supporting students in scientific inquiry practices, such as the construction of scientific explanations. In this study, we examine what instructional practices teachers engage in when they introduce scientific explanation and whether these practices influence students' ability to construct scientific explanations during a middle school chemistry unit. Thirteen teachers enacted a project-based chemistry unit, How can I make new stuff from old stuff?, with 1197 seventh grade students. We videotaped each teacher's enactment of the focal lesson on scientific explanation and then coded the videotape for four different instructional practices: modeling scientific explanation, making the rationale of scientific explanation explicit, defining scientific explanation, and connecting scientific explanation to everyday explanation. Our results suggest that when teachers introduce scientific explanation, they vary in the practices they engage in as well as the quality of their use of these practices. We also found that teachers' use of instructional practices can influence student learning of scientific explanation and that the effect of these instructional practices depends on the context in terms of what other instructional practices the teacher uses. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 53,78, 2008 [source]

Elementary teachers' epistemological and ontological understanding of teaching for conceptual learning

Nam-Hwa Kang
The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which elementary teachers applied their understanding of conceptual learning and teaching to their instructional practices as they became knowledgeable about conceptual change pedagogy. Teachers' various ways to interpret and utilize students' prior ideas were analyzed in both epistemological and ontological dimensions of learning. A total of 14 in-service elementary teachers conducted an 8-week-long inquiry into students' conceptual learning as a professional development course project. Major data sources included the teachers' reports on their students' prior ideas, lesson plans with justifications, student performance artifacts, video-recorded teaching episodes, and final reports on their analyses of student learning. The findings demonstrated three epistemologically distinct ways the teachers interpreted and utilized students' prior ideas. These supported Kinchin's epistemological categories of perspectives on teaching including positivist, misconceptions, and systems views. On the basis of Chi's and Thagard's theories of conceptual change, the teachers' ontological understanding of conceptual learning was differentiated in two ways. Some teachers taught a unit to change the ontological nature of student ideas, whereas the others taught a unit within the same ontological categories of student ideas. The findings about teachers' various ways of utilizing students' prior ideas in their instructional practices suggested a number of topics to be addressed in science teacher education such as methods of utilizing students' cognitive resources, strategies for purposeful use of counter-evidence, and understanding of ontological demands of learning. Future research questions were suggested. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1292,1317, 2007 [source]

Effects of active-learning experiences on achievement, attitudes, and behaviors in high school biology

Roman Taraban
Abstract Active-learning labs for two topics in high school biology were developed through the collaboration of high school teachers and university faculty and staff and were administered to 408 high school students in six classrooms. The content of instruction and testing was guided by State of Texas science objectives. Detailed teacher records describing daily classroom activities were used to operationalize two types of instruction: active learning, which used the labs; and traditional, which used the teaching resources ordinarily available to the teacher. Teacher records indicated that they used less independent work and fewer worksheets, and more collaborative and lab-based activities, with active-learning labs compared to traditional instruction. In-class test data show that students gained significantly more content knowledge and knowledge of process skills using the labs compared to traditional instruction. Questionnaire data revealed that students perceived greater learning gains after completing the labs compared to covering the same content through traditional methods. An independent questionnaire administered to a larger sample of teachers who used the lab-based curriculum indicated that they perceived changing their behaviors as intended by the student-centered principles of the labs. The major implication of this study is that active-learning,based laboratory units designed and developed collaboratively by high school teachers and university faculty, and then used by high school teachers in their classrooms, can lead to increased use of student-centered instructional practices as well as enhanced content knowledge and process learning for students. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 960,979, 2007 [source]

Life in the Mindful Classroom: Nurturing the Disposition of Mindfulness

Ron Ritchhart
In this article, we review the appropriateness of ,mindfulness' as an educational goal and explore what it means to cultivate mindfulness as a disposition, that is, as an enduring trait, rather than a temporary state. We identify three high-leverage instructional practices for enculturatingmindfulness: looking closely, exploring possibilities and perspectives, and introducing ambiguity. We conclude by exploring what it might look like to cultivate the trait of mindfulness within individual classrooms. This report includes a review of an experimental study of ,conditional instruction,' which explores mindfulness as a state, and then drawson a series of qualitative case studies of ,thoughtful' classrooms to provide an example of conditional instruction as it might serve to develop a disposition of mindfulness. [source]

The Omnipresent Classroom during Summer Study Abroad: American Students in Conversation with Their French Hosts

Sharon Wilkinson
Study abroad is often promoted as one of the best opportunities to use foreign language skills outside the classroom. Yet, relatively little is known about the language that students produce when speaking in noninstructional settings. Relying on conversation analysis and ethnographic techniques, this qualitative study investigates both speech and speaker perceptions through tape,recorded conversations between summer study abroad students and their French hosts, as well as through interviews and observations. Findings indicate that natives and nonnatives alike relied heavily on classroom roles and discourse structures to manage their interactions, calling into question the assumption that language use with a native,speaking host family liberates students from classroom limitations. The inappropriateness of transferring didactic discourse patterns to out,of,class interactions also raises issues for consideration about the nature of in,class instructional practices. [source]

Spiritual mentoring: Embracing the mentor-mentee relational process

Patrice M. Buzzanell
In this chapter the author explains how spiritual mentoring is the everyday enactment of spiritual values into concrete instructional practices. It takes place in several ways: offering opportunities for student development, engaging in spontaneous mentoring, enlarging and enriching resources, and encouraging continuous self-development. [source]