While all policymakers and researchers agree that the quality of teaching and learning provision is by far the most salient influences on students’ learning, there is a little agreement on how the effective teaching can be achieved. There are hundreds of teachers competency models, standards, and skill building programmes but none has been achieved a breakthrough in teaching effectiveness.
Many teachers and educators are aware of evidence-based teaching strategies but they don’t know how to used them in an efficient way. This means that the issue here is teaching efficiency. Efficiency is the ability to avoid wasting resources (materials, energy, efforts, money, and time) in doing something or in producing a desired result.
Teaching efficiency can be defined as the amount of learning per unit time. More efficient teaching means faster to produce the same learning outcomes. This is what Smart Teaching System® would achieve.
Smart Teaching System focuses on aspects of teaching that are related to quality in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency, as measured by student achievement gains. Teaching Quality refers to what teachers do in the classroom to foster student learning.
To manage the teaching optimisation process a third dimension (or level) is required, the teaching structure. This structure emphasises Meta-cognition – a concept needs to be explicitly taught along with content instruction
Smart Teaching System® integrates the following areas into a 3-level framework:
Teaching Skills. Teachers need to develop the skills to implement and practice these evidence-based effective strategies within their own cultural contexts.
The 3-Level teaching structure provides a clear, structured, well-specified and implementable intervention for highly effective teaching. It makes it easy for teachers to change and helps them to improve their teaching effectiveness significantly and quickly.
The different types teaching activities are divided and classified into three levels of engagement and can be visualized in that of a pyramid model as shown above. The objective of this multi-level engagement is to create the best combination of teaching activities to achieve a maximum learning outcome.
The first level is the Foundation of effective teaching, The Foundation level, is the building blocks of the teaching process. It is similar to the primary presentation form of Merrill’s Component Display Theory.
The four primary presentation forms in Merrill’s are Tell (rules), Show (examples), Ask (recall) and Ask to do (practice).
The teacher manages the sequence and balance of these four primary forms.
The second level is the Strengthener of effective teaching, where most effective and evidence-based teaching strategies are used and practiced.
While the secondary presentation forms of Merrill’s Component Display Theory include specific considerations (prerequisites, objectives, helps, mnemonics, and feedback) the Strengthener level in Smart Teaching System® encompasses any evidence-based strategy that enables students to acquire the concepts more effectively. These may include, for example, Hattie’s top ten evidence-strategies, Marzano’s 9 Effective Instructional Strategies, and other effective strategies and methods.
The third level is the Enhancer of effective teaching. Smart Teaching utilizes meta-cognitive strategies to help teachers and students think about their own learning more explicitly. This level may include some or all of the following:
In this level the teacher works like Air traffic controller who can see and coordinate the movement of airplanes and vehicles on the air-side.
The continuum in the teaching structure consists of three levels of engagement across activities of engagement. The levels of engagement which involves moving from one level to another reflect the realities of teaching process.
The sequence and timing of movement vertically between levels and horizontally across elements in each level is a dynamic process – a skill which can only be mastered through practice.
Our Expert Teacher program was designed for all grade levels and subject areas to provide teachers with knowledge skills, resources and hands-on teaching tools for in-service teachers who want to learn and master the Smart Teaching systems®.
“In the average school, 15 out of a class of 30 will achieve five good grades at GCSE (including English and mathematics). If those same students went to a so-called “good” school, then 17 out of 30 would reach the same standard, and in a so-called “bad” school, then only 13 out of 30 would do so. It turns out that it doesn’t matter very much which school you go to, but it matters very much which classrooms in that school you are in. And it’s not class size that makes the difference, nor is it the presence or absence of setting by ability – these have only marginal effects. The only thing that really matters is the quality of the teacher.”
Dylan Wiliam, professor of education in London University. (Wiliam, D. (2009). Assessment for learning: why, what and how? London: Institute of Education, University of London.)
We have poured more money into school buildings, school structures, we hear so much about reduced class sizes and new examinations and curricula… Interventions at the structural, home, policy, or school level is like searching for your wallet which you lost in the bushes, under the lamppost because that is where there is light. The answer lies elsewhere – it lies in the person who gently closes the classroom door and performs the teaching act… We should focus on the greatest source of variance that can make the difference – the teacher.
Professor John Hattie, University of Auckland.
Efficiency is the ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result.
Teaching efficiency can be defined as the amount of learning per unit time. More efficient teaching means faster to produce the same learning outcomes