Greetings from The Progressive Teacher
After all the fun and frolic of the summer vacation, going back to school can be challenging for the students. While all make a fuss about going back to the school routine, it is this same school routine that gives them the much needed focus and stability we all long for. This is where Classroom Dynamics occupies an important place.
Classroom Dynamics involves interaction between the students and teachers in a classroom. Students should feel comfortable learning in the classroom climate and should freely communicate with each other and the teacher. Students are motivated to learn when they feel that the classroom dynamics focus on their goals and interests.
Good classroom dynamics include all students in its activities and discussions. Teachers show an interest in every individual student and strive to see each one participate in the classroom activities. Classroom participation is not, however, only about the students. The teacher has to be willing to participate fully in class discussions and activities to create lively and dynamic classroom dynamics. A teacher who merely goes on teaching the material without noticing whether the students understand it has a major problem with classroom dynamics.
A classroom should have a balance of static and interactive elements to allow time for individual work and cooperation and collaboration. Thus, there will be no time for boredom as the students will be involved in meaningful activities. The more interesting these activities, the more learning will take place. The teacher should use different ways to cover a topic and different learning styles to cater to the needs of the different individuals in her class.
Students should be allowed to move about in the classroom while they are engaged in meaningful activities. This leads to motivation through collaboration, encourages communication and makes for an informal atmosphere in the classroom which reduces tension. A good class is not how hard the students work but how well they work together. Brainstorming and discussing controversial topics with the students facilitates learning and is a hallmark of a dynamic classroom.
An understanding of sociometry is very important for good classroom dynamics. Besides teaching science or maths, teachers should also focus on the social aspects of the group, such as managing behaviours, responding to tensions, and generating interest. In addition to the competences of content knowledge and teaching skills, teachers should be able to generate a psychological climate conducive to high quality learning. In this context I would like to share with you what Leena Satuluri (who has been teaching for the last eighteen years), has written to me –
‘A teacher may be well-equipped for the class with his/her paraphernalia; all set to dissect the teaching-learning material with panache, but what if the learning outcomes are not achieved? The reasons could be several – students’ prior knowledge or entry behaviour wasn’t checked, they were disinterested or someone wasn’t keeping well or perhaps Jai, Teena and Radha are dealing with issues at home… In addition to lesson planning, there is more to classroom transaction. Students’ behaviours, attitude, emotions and interactions with the teacher or their peers which are beyond our academic discipline are pivotal to educating a child and fall within the ambit of Classroom Dynamics. Albeit, these things are vital for education, they are compromised and the primacy of academic subjects holds prime importance’.
Have you introduced any new learning styles in your classroom or are you carrying on in the age-old teacher-centred classroom with excellent ‘results’? Please share your styles and techniques with the teaching fraternity through the pages of The Progressive Teacher.
The theme for the September/October issue of The Progressive Teacher will be Education for Global Development. Please find time to collect your thoughts on this theme and send them to be published in The Progressive Teacher. I await your views on Education for Global Development.
Rita Wilson has over 40 years of rich experience as educationist including over 30 years of experience in school leadership positions. She is the former Chief Executive and Secretary Council for the ICSE, New Delhi.
She is a consultant to a number of corporate houses and educational institutions. She is serving as a Member of the Board of Governors/Managing Committees of some of the most prestigious schools and colleges of the country.
She has vast exposure to the education systems of Japan, Germany, England, Thailand, Singapore, Sharjah, Dubai and Finland. She has initiated, conducted and organised workshops for school teachers and principals all over India
With a B.A. (Hons) English Literature, M.A., M.Phil. (English Literature), B.Ed. to her credit, she has edited three series of English readers and work-books for school children.