self-declared art

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Karen's micro-teaching

Karen's micro-teaching on TRF started on a good note. She prompted the class to think about Singapore's climate profile before introducing us to the topic on TRF. My lit tutor Ms Yee also uses this as a starter because she says it can get students interested in what you are going to teach even before you deliver the content. However, I was daunted by the worksheet when I saw the many paragraphs that I had to read through. At the same time, I was trying to listen to Karen and also looking at the powerpoint slides to fill in as many blanks as I could. It was frustrating for me as I had to keep referring to Daren's paper to copy from him(so they can call me blur :P).

I think that generally, the momentum of the lesson was not smooth, as there were too many distractions from various students all throughout the lesson. The usual paper throwing or pen throwing exercise was the norm, very bored students grouping together and looking bored and no one in particular paid full attention to Karen. The scenario more closely resembled a sec 3 n(a) class. I think that Karen's voice was not loud enough or confident enough, although she attempted to deal with the problem makers in class, she had not been firm enough with us, so the noise level escalated and classroom management was a disaster. I was confused by the epiphyte vs liana debate- Karen did not address the confusion between the two terms, and this confusion was obvious when she played the game at the end of the lesson.

The purpose of the game, i suppose, was to test if we had memorised the definitions of the key terms that Karen had gone through in the powerpoint slides. Yet the epiphtye vs liana debate shows that it is not enough to rely on definitions alone-we need to understand the concept before attempting memory work. Seems like most of the micro-teachings have resorted to using powerpoint slides to teach. Would not using a powerpoint be just as effective? I remember my NUS lecturer, Prof James Sidaway told my tutorial group that he wants to give $50 to the group that doesn't make use of powerpoint slides for the psychogeography presentation. My group decided not to use powerpoint, but we used alot of skits to demonstrate our experiment and till now, we have not gotten that $50! Ha ha. I think that teaching without the use of powerpoint can also be effective. There's an article by Gillian Rose about the use of visual aids in teaching, with specific ref to powerpoints and she's criticising the (over)usage of ppts. I shall go hunt for it among my numerous readings at home and share with the class. :)


  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger voyager said…

    terrific post, janice :-)


    many gems of insights here.

    well done, keep reflecting :-)


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