Education is a rather specific matter for study as it deals with the upbringing of young children and preparing the next generations for life in human society. Due to this, special attention is paid to teaching students who are to become educators in the future. This paper will focus on one of the most important aspects of preparation of future teachers – their ability to present material to their students with a proper organization. Thus, the present paper will be the critical analysis of the three presentations prepared by the students to reflect the interdisciplinary character of the study. In their presentations, students tried to incorporate knowledge on different aspects of the development of the cultures of their choice, and the task of this paper is to evaluate the effort they made.
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To begin with, all the presentations under analysis meet the high standards of conformity to the interdisciplinary curriculum of the course. This was achieved by students with the help of combining items of information of history, social and political aspects of the development of the cultures they analyzed, and of the food, textile, and wood carving traditions of those cultures. All three presentations are structured so that to direct students in the right way to the knowledge of all the most important aspects of different cultures. For example, Group 1 presentation incorporates the tasks set before every single class and the strategies needed by teachers to ensure the successful study of this or that phenomenon. Also, basic definitions of such concepts as decorative arts, carvings, etc. are presented by Group 1 (You Culture, 2008).
Group 2 also prepared an adequate inter-disciplinary presentation that considers the multiple aspects of the cultures their students should study in the context of music and its impact upon all other spheres of social life (Beat Change, 2008). The presentation y Group 3 is the most advanced in this component of assessment, as far as it incorporates various aspects of the culture Group 3 studies with the help of visual aids and listening material. Moreover, this presentation is concerned with the most serious aspect of cultural development, and namely with the issues of culture destructions (Path of Destruction, 2008).
Quality Teaching Issues
As for the quality of teaching techniques, again all three presentations seem to be rather proficient. All the three groups made use of a combination of such techniques as applying to the personal qualities of the students, direct presentation of the intended units of information by the teachers, complex activities including watching, listening, writing, and discussion in groups and with personal interests (Path of Destruction, 2008). Also, such an important instrument is included in all three presentations as the evaluation sheet that should be handed out to the students for them to assess the quality of the classes conducted (Beat Change, 2008).
However, the differences in the quality of teaching techniques are also observed. For example, Group 1 makes use of a clearly outlined syllabus with the goals for every class and with the means of their achieving specified (You Culture, 2008). At the same time, the second group is more oriented on the self-work of their students as far as numerous visual aids are involved in their presentation, and the choice is given to the students as for the methods of mastering this or that point of their program (Beat Change, 2008). Moreover, the third group relies much upon the analytical skills of their students, and due to this their program is the most effective (Path of Destruction, 2008).
Middle School Years Implementation
A rather important aspect is the possibility to implement the presentations under consideration in the process of study for students of middle school years. This aspect can be manifested in various phenomena, including the language used to present the material, visualization means, presence or absence of complicated lexical units, terminology, etc. Thus, the materials intended for use in the middle school years should not be overloaded with the above-mentioned complicated terms to ensure the clear understanding and comprehension of the information by students.
Consequently, the presentations under consideration tend to meet these requirements. You Culture is a nice example of a perfect presentation according to this criterion. For example, it defines complex phenomena in a simple language: “What are the decorative Arts across cultures? – A collective term that includes ceramics, wood, porcelain, enamels, glass, ivory, metalwork and textiles.” (You Culture, 2008) The second group uses the number of simple and easily comprehensible images as illustrations to their points under consideration, while Group 3 incorporates visual aids from professional TV channels with the student-made videos and tries to reach a better understanding of its ideas by the students (Beat Change, 2008; Path of Destruction, 2008).
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Creativity and Conceptual Strength
This point is the major borderline between the presentations in their assessment. The groups made use of completely different means of visualization including tables, pictures, videos, pieces of audio, etc. This fact makes it difficult to single out the better and worse completed presentations, but still, certain advantages and disadvantages are observed. Group 1 presentation is the simplest one because the group used mere tables to structure their syllabus and decorated it with pictures illustrating the major points of their study. Thus, the creativity of this presentation is limited to simple decisions but with a strong conceptual structure.
Further on, Group 2 made use of much more visualization means including pictures, images, and audio pieces representing the ideas of their topic of study. The conceptual strength of the presentation is also obvious due to the clearly outlined topic and means of its consideration (Beat Change, 2008). However, the most creative and conceptually strong presentation is the presentation by Group 3 Path of Destruction. It is created as a semi-professional combination of pieces of videos, Powerpoint presentations, and written documents that are all concentrated around the topics of cultural differences and study cultures in their integrity. For example, Mockumentary deserves a high assessment as a piece of the student’s creative work (Path of Destruction, 2008).
Thus, after all the basic criteria of the presentations are analyzed, it would not be out of place to assess them critically and authentically. First of all, the You Culture by Group 1 is a strong theoretical program that displays features of a professional syllabus with all the necessary information for the teachers and students, including the tasks to study, means of their fulfillment, guidelines for teachers as for how to structure classes, etc (You Culture, 2008). This is a presentation of a high level of proficiency in respect of teaching skills used for its creation, the possibility of its implementation in different age groups of students, creativity, and conceptual strength. At the same time, Group 2 Beat Change is more advanced in respect of its clear thematic focus, conceptual strength, and means of presenting the information. Visual aids, pieces of audio and obvious appeal to the intended audience, i. e. young people, are the major strong points of this presentation (Beat Change, 2008). The presentation by Group 3 titled Path of Destruction is the strongest one in respect of creativity and conceptual organization, however, it lacks a clear focus and its topic is too broad for a course of study that should last for a semester or two semesters (Path of Destruction, 2008).
Thus, to make the respective critical conclusions to this assessment paper, it is necessary to state that the presentations under analysis have their substantial strong and weak points. Group 1 prepared a conceptually strong presentation but it still needs improvement in respect of visualization and its better comprehensiveness for students of middle school years. The presentation prepared by Group 2 is a piece of work carried out at a higher level of proficiency in respect of focus, conceptual organization, and creativity, but its practical implementation demands improvements necessary for practical implementation of the ideas of this presentation for the process of study. Group 3 developed the strongest presentation in respect of creativity and its practical use in class; comprehensiveness of the information presented is also rather high, but the conceptual organization of the presentation is still in need of modification.
- You Culture. (2008). Group 1. EDUC4095.
- Beat Change. (2008). Group 2. EDUC4095.
- Path of Destruction. (2008). Group 3. EDUC4095.