TEACHING CHILDREN EFFECTIVELY IN THE CLASSROOM
Since the inception of teaching and the creation of “classrooms” there have been ways of teaching children effectively in classrooms.
The key element has always been the teacher’s ability to discover and respond to each child’s unique learning style and ability.
There have not ever been enough teachers desirous enough, capable enough and willing enough to do what it takes to teach children effectively in classrooms. But there have always been some teachers who succeeded in doing that.
Long prior to present day situations wherein ineffective classroom teaching seems to be the norm, there were many, many classrooms wherein effective teaching took place.
If that was not the case, where did the multitudes of well schooled, well educated persons of past generations get their basic schooling?
Where were the multitudes of effectively taught persons currently teaching in today’s classrooms taught?
How many of them attended elite private schools? How many of them were fortunate enough to be well schooled at home?
There have never been enough capable, creative, successfully effective classroom teachers. Greater numbers of such teachers are needed today, than ever before.
The instructional methodology employed by effective classroom teachers has not really changed very much during the past fifty years.
This I know, firsthand, because I have been an educational professional, on many levels throughout this time span.
The terminology used to describe teaching methods has been changed a number of times.
What is called “differentiated instruction” was once called “individualized instruction.”
Individualized instruction followed “ability grouping.”
Some of the discoveries and successful practices used in one-room school houses were carried over into multi-classroom schools.
It is quite understandable that terminology changes from generation to generation. That should be expected.
The point I make is that those things that enable teachers to teach children effectively in classrooms do not and should not change from one generation to the next.
Each student is a wonderfully unique and different entity. Each needs to be taught in accordance with the way in which she or he learns best. That is what truly effective classroom teachers recognize, acknowledge and succeed in accomplishing.
I applaud all those who are advocating so eloquently for differentiated instruction in classrooms. I add my voice to theirs in the effort to combat the forces of collectivism.
A prime reason for the successes of so many “home classrooms” and the failures of so many “public classrooms” is that, in many public school classrooms, the unique oneness of each child is ignored.