Classroom Analysis of a Recorded Class

Class Background Information

The recorded audio represents a literature class for high-school students. The topic of the class is empathy in literature, which aims at educating the students about the notion of empathy and how writers might use it in their attempts to engage their readers. The teacher’s task is to teach the students the role of literature in shaping people’s ideas, the ability to recognize the big picture in the context of a broad discussion, and inform about the place of the class in the general course. The overall work in class is aimed at achieving the understanding of the techniques that writers can use to deliver particular messages and raise empathy in their audience.

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Social commentary as the notion is introduced, explained, and discussed alongside with other phenomena related to the topic. The audio recording is thirty minutes long and includes the main part of the lesson. In this paper, some critical comments on the teaching techniques used during the class will be provided with references to credible literature sources. Finally, the transcription of a part of the class will be presented at the end of the paper.

Critical Comments on the Teaching Technique

The classroom work with the students is well-organized and thought-through. Overall, in order to succeed in the teaching process, it is essential to adhere to relevant techniques and methods. Specifically selected approaches to information delivery, interaction with the students, feedback, and error correction determine the style of teaching and contribute to the overall learning goals of the students. According to Beach et al. (2016, p. 4), the selection of particular texts and planning of the discussion forms the overall purpose of the learning process and determines the larger “value of teaching literature.”

In the analysed case, the teacher presents a well-planned and structured lesson that focuses on the active inclusion of the students with much attention paid to their utterances and ideas. The background knowledge is built on the basis of the explanation of new notions and their application to formerly obtained ideas (Swanson et al. 2015). The teacher pursues the ultimate purpose of teaching literature by connecting the studied material to the students’ former experience and previously acquired knowledge.

The character of teacher-student interaction might be characterized as cooperative and supportive. Overall, the quality of communication between the students and their teacher on an everyday basis facilitates the favourable relationships in the classroom and boosts the learning process (Pennings et al. 2018). As it is evident from the audio recording, the teacher continuously refers to the students, calling their names and engaging in dialogues and polylogues throughout the class.

In such a manner, the teacher attempts to engage all the students in active discussion and exchange of ideas. However, the approach that allows for volunteering in answering teacher’s questions leaves less active students out of the debate and might diminish their learning opportunities. At the same time, it is relevant to note that the teacher is aware of such a reality and introduces the method of the flipped classroom by integrating online tasks, in which all the students have an opportunity to express their opinions (Ozdamli & Asiksoy 2016). Overall, the nature of the interaction between the participants of the learning process is favourable and encouraging.

The quality of communication might be analysed on the basis of the way students and the teacher talk. The teacher succeeds in delivering the introductory information clearly and articulating the questions comprehensively so that the students instantly understand what they are required to do. The teacher uses the newly introduced terms, such as empathy and social commentary, in a relevant explicatory context. If the students respond in a less terminological manner, the teacher provides a comment, thus encouraging the student to use new vocabulary. At the same time, when hearing a satisfactory response from a student, the teacher provides positive feedback.

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Such appraising behaviour filled with positive verbal statements and non-verbal encouragements like laughter and confirmation is “an especially helpful tool in increasing students’ performance and teachers’ classroom management” (Hashash, Abouchedid & Abourjeily 2018, p. 5). Thus, the teacher applies effective techniques for interacting with the students.

The teacher combines several instructional styles at different stages of material learning, which enhances the overall success of the understanding of new concepts and connecting them with the texts the students have already studied. However, the primary aim of the learning process in the analysed class is the active inclusion of the learners into the interaction with peers (Beach et al. 2016). Thus, the teacher limits the application of directional style adhering to discussing instruction when introducing the material and explaining the role of empathy in literature.

Also, the delegating instructional style is used at the practical stages of learning, when students are expected to apply new knowledge to the analysis of texts. Indeed, at the end of the class, the students are divided into groups for table discussion, where the learners share their opinions with peers by actively applying new concepts in their analysis. Also, when introducing the essay and journal writing tasks that will be completed throughout the course, the teacher uses delegating instructional style to assign particular types of work to each student to empower them to learn independently.

In terms of feedback provision and error correction, the students are not confronted with criticism even if they give an incorrect answer. The atmosphere in the class is created in a way that provides equal opportunity for everyone to express him- or herself. Such an approach to positive reactions and empowering statements delivery contributes to the effectiveness of the overall learning process (Vandenbroucke et al. 2018).

The teacher builds trusting and encouraging relationships with her students by appraising any engagement from the students’ side and leading the learners through their path of new knowledge acquisition. Each utterance of the speakers is followed by a supporting phrase or correction if needed from the teacher’s side. The errors are corrected after the student has finished speaking, which contributes to the feeling of students’ confidence and facilitates their independent thinking (Hashash, Abouchedid & Abourjeily 2018). The class is generally engaged in the discussion and demonstrates active inclusion in the learning process, which proves the effectiveness of the applied techniques.

Reference List

Beach, R, Appleman, D, Fecho, B & Simon R 2016, Teaching literature to adolescents, 3d edn, Routledge, New York, NY.

Hashash, M, Abouchedid, K & Abourjeily, S 2018, ‘Student-teacher interaction in public schools in Lebanon: A symbolic interactionist perspective in grade 6 classes’, Sage Open, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 1-24.

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Ozdamli, F & Asiksoy, G 2016, ‘Flipped classroom approach’, World Journal on Educational Technology: Current Issues, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 98-105.

Pennings, H J M, Brekelmans, M, Sadler, P, Claessens, L C A, van der Want, A C &Tartwijk, J 2018, ‘Interpersonal adaptation in teacher-student interaction’, Learning and Instruction, vol. 55, pp. 41-57.

Swanson, E, Wanzek, J, McCulley, L, Stillman-Spisak, S, Vaughn, S, Simmons, D, Fogarty, M & Hairrell, A, 2015, ‘Literacy and text reading in middle and high school social studies and English Language Arts classrooms’, Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, pp. 1-24. Web.

Vandenbroucke, L, Spilt, J, Verschueren, K, Piccinin, C & Baeyens, D 2018, ‘The classroom as a developmental context for cognitive development: A meta-analysis on the importance of teacher-student interactions for children’s executive functions’, Review of Educational Research, vol. 88, no. 1, pp. 125-164.

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