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Teaching as Jazz, Article Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 583

Article Review

Great teachers are able to identify the abilities and strengths of different students in the class and use that knowledge to create an engaging learning environment. An effective teacher makes use of four main tools that he/she uses depending upon the given situation. The first one is curriculum by which a teacher helps students identify questions that are important to them. Curriculum is also deployed to spark students’ interest in ideas as well as encourage them to generate even bigger ideas through the power of imagination. In other words, curriculum helps student to learn to ask questions and think by themselves.

The second tool is to establish connections with the students. Connections help teachers and students become closer and less formal with each other. Connections also motivate students by making them feel more valued. The third tool is instruction where the knowledge and ideas are transferred by the teachers to the students. A teacher attempts to identify a teaching style that works best for the students and is open to suggestions and feedback from his/her students. A teacher has to be passionate about teaching to connect with the students.

The fourth and last tool is assessment. Assessment is to determine where a particular student or students are along the learning curve without being judgmental of their progress. Instead of onetime assessments at the end of the term, teachers perform multiple assessments over time to be able to respond to potential lack of progress or other shortcomings in a timely manner. Assessments also help teachers get feedback on their teaching performance and bring about potential improvements (Tomlinson & Germundson, May 2007).

Reflection

The article presents interesting ideas for the teachers to teach more effectively yet making learning engaging and fun for the students. The article emphasizes the fact that the purpose of education is not memorization but understanding ideas and being able to imagine possible applications as well as extensions of those ideas. In addition, the importance of close and working relationship between the teachers and the students cannot be overemphasized. Students are motivated to work hard when they feel cared for and appreciated.

I was especially struck by the findings in the essay that understanding ideas helps students retain them in the long term because this has been my personal experience. Whenever I believed I understood certain ideas well, I could recall them even after years and those ideas often sparked my imagination. An example is gravity. As a middle school student, I often wondered how heavy airplanes like Boeing are able to fly and the answer I came up on my own was that the airplane engineers must have figured out a way to overcome the plane’s force of gravity. I have also observed that understanding basic ideas at the beginning of a particular course gives you strong foundations for the rest of the course because you are able to make sense of complex theories and see their connections with the founding ideas.

The article is also right on the mark when it emphasizes a close and trustable relationship between the teacher and the students. Teachers who are understanding of their students’ needs and accommodate their problems spark enthusiasm in the students. Students also find learning more interesting if they understand what they are taught and don’t see education as a mere ritual. Education that doesn’t challenge students’ imagination and doesn’t come as practical loses its appeal to them.

References

Tomlinson, C. A., & Germundson, A. (May 2007). Teaching as Jazz. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development , pp. 27-31.

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