Consideration of own specialist or context area and appropriate subject pacific or context-specific pedagogy teach on a music production and business course, which is part of a foundation-learning programmer for young people. These programmer are designed for students working at entry level and level 1 and consist of three components: Vocational learning Personal and social development Functional skills Many of the students on this programmer have few qualifications, if any, emotional or behavioral issues, learning difficulties or have been out of education for a prolonged period of time. Each the vocational subject of the programmer. The aim of the course is to evolve music production skills, specifically using computer technology alongside many other skills such as working in groups, communication and presentation skills. The teaching methods that suit teaching this type of learner are based around a lot of practical ‘hands on’ activities. I use a lot of short exercises and tasks that provide the opportunity for feedback. This works especially well because many of my learners get distracted easily and lack motivation.
I find by giving them many short tasks with plenty of feedback keeps them focused and motivated. Critical incident 1 As explained earlier many of the students I teach have a varied range of special educational need, and this incident occurred when teaching a young person with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD). Had been made aware before the student started, I understood the problems faced by students with this condition and had some experience with working with students with ADD. However, this particular student seemed to have a more severe form of ADD than I had worked with in the past.
During lesson time he continually got distracted and disrupted other students during work. I tried to manage this behavior by staying aware of his condition but also being consistent with reminders to try to focus on his work. Unfortunately this always made him lose his temper and become abusive towards me, which I wrongly in hindsight put up with because of his ADD. Over time these constant reminders became rather repetitive and tedious for the both of us. I was becoming increasingly agitated with trying to manage his behavior and taking abuse and the student was getting upset and felt like he was always being picked on.
Finally the critical incident arose during a class demonstration when he was insistently talking and distracting others while I was taking to the class. I repeatedly told him to stop talking which made him angry, he then became abusive towards me so I asked him to leave the class. He refused to leave the room and after a brief argument I took him out away from the rest of the class. Tried to explain to him why I had sent him out, but this did not help and he became very angry and aggressive towards me the longer the conversation went on.
It got to the point where I asked him to go home and he was suspended until he had a meeting with the course manager because he was Ewing very rude and threatening towards me, but this just made him angrier. He began shouting at me and at this point one of my colleagues had to intervene and took him away to calm down. After a brief period the colleague that took the student away asked me if I could come and speak to the student because he was clearly upset and felt he had been unfairly treated. I agreed and went to talk to him with my colleague mediating.
The student was still angry although he had calmed down slightly and repeatedly stressed the point that he felt he was being picked on and always in trouble for no reason. Explained that I understood he had problems concentrating but his was not an excuse to be rude towards me. After a long conversation I could see he was very upset about being suspended and really wanted to carry on with the course. So I agreed to draw up an agreement that took into account his ADD and allowed us to both move forward in working together.
The agreement contained conditions that he could take regular breaks if he asked myself or the assistant tutor and he had to sit down at the front near the tutors so that he did not distract any of the other students. He signed it long with the assistant tutor and myself and from then on we put the agreement into action. Following implementing the agreement he engaged back into the course and became settled in the classroom. I was in turn able to manage his behavior and teach him much more effectively ending with him completing the course successfully.
Critical incident 2 This incident was a gradual process over a period of my first 20-week course at my current college. It was the culmination of reflecting on the success of this course and covering learning theories during my teacher training course. Darted teaching this course last year, which had been running for the last six years. Had inherited a structure that was made up of industry style project briefs which I agreed was the most effective and interesting way to teach this subject.
As I was writing up the scheme of work and structuring lesson plans, drew upon my experience of learning the same subject at university (Music Technology). During my time at university we were given a lot of time to experiment and develop our own skills with guidance from our tutors. I felt this was the most successful way to teach because it gave me freedom and pace to develop my own style. So I used the industry style project briefs to structure the course. The plan was to start each project with demonstrations, discussions and workshops to teach them skills, followed by independent time to experiment and develop their skills and own style.
Unfortunately as the course went on this did not work successfully. As previously explained most of my learners have few qualifications and have usually had a negative learning experience prior to starting the course. This means that they lack motivation, get distracted easily and become very disruptive. They could not handle being left to work autonomously and struggled to finish the work. Also because they lacked focus and motivation many became very disruptive which resulted in bad behavior. By the end of the course half the students had left and I had become very disillusioned with teaching this group.
So on conducting a course evaluation and reflecting on the strengths and areas for development, I decided to change my approach for the next course. I had realized that the two main factors that needed to improve on were keeping learners motivated and managing students behavior. As I planned for the next course I changed my approach to teaching and focused on the establishing rules early with clear boundaries and sanctions in place. Also I made sure that I kept the learners busy with plenty of tasks, so they had no opportunity to become bored and distracted. This began to work very effectively from the start.
The learners were much more productive and because was swift to act on any bad behavior there were minimal classroom management issues. Am now in the final term of this course and the results of changing my approach have been remarkable. Firstly I have retained around 80% of the earners that started the course. They have also remained motivated and focused on their work and the class atmosphere and dynamic has been excellent. How the critical incidents relate to relevant theories of learning and inclusive practice Critical incident 1: This incident relates to the ideas of ‘Humanist’ theory of learning.
This theory is based around the concept of the human being, developing people’s worth and self-esteem and giving everyone the opportunity to develop themselves to their full potential (Erect and Walker, 2007). This theory promotes the individual in learning which is a ‘learner centered’ approach to teaching. By looking at the individual in this case I was able to help him overcome his condition, which was proving to be a barrier to his learning. By treating the learner as an individual I tried to create an inclusive learning environment by catering for his ADD condition.
The learner agreement offered solutions to his difficulties, which raised his motivation to learn. Wallace (2007) explains ‘Humanists’ believe that the relationship between the student and teacher is essential to maintaining student’s motivation, and that every learner needs to be appreciated for who they are. The agreement made him feel valued and understood, and in turn he participated and became an active member of the class. This links to Mascots Hierarchy of Needs and humanist theory.
These needs consist of firstly, basic physical needs (food, drink and warmth), then psychological and physical well-being, feelings of belonging and acceptance, feelings of self-esteem and finally reaching their potential. He could have been feeling that his condition was not being accepted, so by drawing up this agreement I was meeting his need of feeling accepted and belonging. Critical incident 2: The incident demonstrates adopting more of a behaviorism approach to learning. Behaviorist’s believe that learning is based around learners responding to positive reinforcement (Erect et al. , 2007).
In this theory positive reinforcement is used as a motivator in learning. I adopted this approach to my teaching to try to sustain their motivation and focus throughout the lessons. I based the course around short tasks that gave me plenty of opportunities to give learners positive feedback. This is consistent with Petty who believes that successful teachers put huge importance on encouraging and praising their learners. They should set tasks that are achievable and break up longer tasks into shorter sections. This gives the learners the opportunity to frequently complete tasks giving them regular feelings of achievement (2009).
To ensure inclusive practice when adopting this learning theory, the tasks should not be too difficult for the lower level learners. If they are, this will defeat the object of reinforcing the learners sense of achievement. On the opposite side the same applies to the higher- level learners, with more challenging tasks needed to keep them motivated. Using this teaching approach was also a very effective way to manage the learners behavior. Behaviorism theory is more teacher centered’, with the teacher controlling the lesson. This meant that I was able control the classroom as everyone was working on the same tasks at the same time.
Also because the learners were more focused and motivated on tasks, there were fewer opportunities to become bored, distracted and disruptive. How the incidents have impacted on, or will influence your own teaching practice: The incident has taught me the value of treating every learner as an individual. Everyone has individual needs and these should be met to ensure an inclusive learning environment for all learners. By using the ideas behind the humanist theory now try to create an inclusive learning environment that is learner centered. Cake sure gather as much of each learner’s background information before the course starts. This gives me a picture of their needs before the course starts and allows me time to plan an approach to cater for them. Examples of my inclusive practice strategies alongside ADD learner agreements are colored handouts for dyslexic students and using clear understandable language for SOL learners. Through learning from this incident I have changed my teaching approach radically and now use the behaviorism learning approach to teaching my course. Establish rules and a rigid routine from the very start of the course. Also break up my lessons into short tasks, ensuring I give positive feedback at every possible opportunity. By giving them positive feedback as much as possible I try to build their confidence and motivation for learning. Conclusion Critical incident analysis is a very important process in developing my teaching practice. By reflecting on these incidents and relating them learning hero, have been able to gain a better understanding of effective teaching and how improve my teaching practice.