Teaching for Understanding in an Academically Diverse room The article delves into analysing the ways and requirements of teaching with the aim of having those in an academically diverse classroom comprehending the concepts. It is imperative that students earn understanding. Understanding is different in many aspects to facts as well as skills. It is possible to develop skills through practice and drilling and memorize facts. Understanding big concepts requires learners to build meaning. In teaching for understanding, roles are separate between educators and learners. Among other responsibilities, learners have to rethink, question, think, use acquired concepts, and reflect. On the other hand, the situation asks teachers to arouse thought, outline examples, list probing questions for students to respond to, and counterexamples Other roles assigned to the teacher include highlighting genuine forms of application, carry out the role of the devil’s advocate, demand explanation, examine understanding, and seek justification. To justify this assertion, the author writes that, ‘teaching for understanding includes effective whole-class, small-group, and individual approaches.’
Evaluating approaches used in uncovering content require a bigger approach than the one applied in the article. In the same respect, the article delves into three methodologies of imparting knowledge in a manner that learners in an academically diverse classroom can understand the content. (Marzano, 2010, 21) The instructional techniques are six facets of understanding, crucial questions, as well as the WHERETO model. Applying critical questions as a technique of enhancing understanding starts at stage 3. It builds on activities that take place in the first stage where the teacher guides learners in developing questions that will help them in comprehending the concepts as the topic progresses. Questions are necessary teaching aids in making students grasp the concept from a close environment. The author of the article posits that ‘essential questions serve as doorways to understanding.’ This article aims at helping learners grasp crucial concepts and processes that remain abstract always.
The author proposes great modification in the allocation of the roles assigned to both teachers and learners with much emphasis on the roles of a teacher. It is at this moment that the article proposes that teachers must uncover the exact content to deliver. The article picks an image iceberg as an example to illustrate the point under discussion. ‘A certain portion is visible above the surface of the water, but we cannot fully comprehend the iceberg without going below.’ Uncovering content refers to teaching methodologies applied when imparting knowledge (Marzano, 2010, 69). Identified methods include Socratic seminar, scientific experimentation, problem-based learning, research projects, historical investigation, problem solving, simulations, concept attainment, as well as delivering valid products among many more. Authors hold that, experts elsewhere applied the listed methods with much success. Among important features of identified methodologies is the ability to engage students after provoking them into inquiry.
Essential questions are applicable in all disciples of learning. Students and teachers can use the same questions to develop process and content. ‘What is a number? Why do we have numbers?’ Entail some of the essential question sin arithmetic. The authors of the article hold that essential questions remain recursive in nature. People do not just ask such questions once but repetitively. The questions apply in framing bigger concepts and channels. With time, knowledge possessed by learners deepens. Therefore, answers given by students become detailed and through with time.
Marzano, Robert J. On Excellence in Teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press, 2010. Print.