From the given information in the Gene case study, the behavioral characteristics of the student in question have been brought out. These are in terms of her strengths, needs, interests and the preferred way of learning. According to the case study, the strengths that the learner has demonstrated include the ability to do well on the individual assignment as opposed to collaborative assignments. The student has got also the potential and ability to perform better as it is reported that she is able to attain B's and C's in all of her classes.
However, the student has demonstrated some weaknesses in her learning process which represents the needs that have to be taken care of by the teacher. It is stated that the student does not find it easy when it comes to socializing thus having a difficulty in finding a friend in class. She can be said to be socially disoriented. This is further emphasized by the fact that she is always by herself. In addition, she does not volunteer often in class. Therefore, basing on these weaknesses, the teacher should realize the need for this particular student to build self-esteem and also a sense of belonging. This will assist her to feel loved, to love others and also feel accepted and valued.
When it comes to her interests, the learner does not take pleasure in socializing. She likes having more time to her self thus can be said to be an introvert, contrary to her brother who is out going.
From the information therefore, one can come to a conclusion of the learner's preferred way of learning. From the fact that she does not contribute much in class but does well in individual assignments, then the learner's preferred way of learning is through practice exercises and questions which do not require teamwork. This way the learner is more comfortable and interested in learning.
After careful analysis of the data that has been given about this student, model of teaching one or the teacher can draw on to help the student is the social interaction model, personal development model and behavior modification model. This is because according to Joyce and Weil (1972), these models of teaching or instructional designs helps in describing the process and producing a particular environmental situation which makes the student to interact in such away that specific change occurs in his behavior. For instance in the social interaction model, the teacher's role is just to begin the task and then allows the students to take over, either through peer teaching , discussions or practice exercises. By so doing, the teacher will be taking care of students who like Mary like doing individual work at the same time those who like teamwork. Also through this model of teaching, the student will be able to develop social skills of interacting well and without difficulties with other students, will have the ability to take up roles and assume responsibilities like volunteering in class more often than before have competence in social dialogue and respect for different opinions.
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The other teaching model one can draw on to assist the student is the personal development model. This model, according to Highet (1950), is aimed at improving on the weaknesses of the learner such as inferiority complex, withdrawal and inability to achieve in the social environment. By using this model, the student's performance in general will be improved as stated in the case study; the student is capable of performing better. Therefore, the teacher should build on the students' abilities and try to support the student in the correction and improvement on the undesirable behavior. Finally, one can adopt behavior modification models of teaching to help the student. For instance the tendency to prefer individualism and being socially disoriented can dealt with by use of negative reinforcement so that to get rid of what encourage that student to disregard others and to fail to volunteer in class. This eventually will lead to behavior change in the student thus giving room even for a better performance.
Given the data provided about the student and doing an instructional planning, there are various methodologies that would be most effective which one would select to take care of the kind of student implicated in the case study. Whereas there are various teaching methodologies a teacher can employ such as class participation, demonstration, recitation and memorization, the most appropriate method for this case is the collaborative method. This can also be said to be cooperative learning. This method of teaching is learner centered and the only role that the teacher plays is to act as a mediator and also to provide short feedback during the lesson, at the end of the lesson or even in the following lesson.
Collaborative learning may also include peer teaching where the teacher gives the students an opportunity to prove themselves and their capabilities. This learning by teaching was developed by jean-Paul Martin, according to Lieberman (2004). In this kind of teaching methodology, the students take the teacher's role and teach their peers. The collaborative teaching method has been selected because the student is helped to think in a less personally biased way, having students work in groups allows them to interact with each other and listen to all points of view in the discussion, the learner is able to embrace teamwork, develop leadership skills and presentation abilities. Peer teaching helps to build self confidence, self efficacy and also it strengthens student's communication skills. Therefore this method is most preferred in this case because it allows the students to actively participate in the learning process and also to relate to the lesson.
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The learning objective that would be relevant and essential for the student is the one that is in the affective domain of learning. Generally, the learning objectives or outcomes are aimed at three domains of learning, that is, knowledge, skills and attitudes. These domains are also termed as cognitive domain, psychomotor domain and the affective domain. Therefore in case of this student, it is important for a teacher to draw up objectives that are in the knowledge domain and affective domain. This is because the learner has got negative attitude when it comes to teamwork and also to volunteering in class. Therefore, in relation to these two domains of learning, the objective that one would come up with is for instance an objective stated this way, "By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to state and explain the questions that will be posed in class and also adopt an interactive way of answering these questions". This objective is relevant to the learners needs as the problem that the learner has is to volunteer in class and inability to make friends in class, which may be as a result of lack of interactive sessions in class such as group work and discussions.
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Given the learning objective identified, the kind of measurements that one can employ to determine whether the objective has been met is to allow time for class presentations whereby every group member for a discussion is given an opportunity to present his or her ideas. In addition, a teacher can present a test in form of a small exercise that require oral response and not in form of writing where every body in class is supposed to have participated before a stipulated time is over. This way, the teacher will be in apposition to gauge the student's participatory level.
The method which one can use to communicate with parent(s) is either through circulars or the students themselves. Use of circulars as a means of communication would be appropriate for communicating to the parents because sometimes the message might be confidential for which its disclosure would affect the student. In addition, it is possible to give detailed information of what exactly a teacher wants. The other way is to send the students directly to their parents or guardians. This communication to the parents or guardians is necessary as it helps communicate the student's performance in school and also encourage the parents and guardians to take responsibility in the education of their children
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From the interview conducted, it is evident that satisfaction of a student's needs is the core motivational factor to the success and achievement of the student in school at any given level. The responses to the interview conducted were in relation to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This is a theory in psychology developed by Abraham Maslow (1943) in his paper on "A Theory of Human Motivation". The theory is presented in a pyramid with more basic and the largest need
In response to the first question on the importance of having the basic needs of the students met in order to be successful in school, examples of the basic needs that need to be satisfied or provided for the students include need for fresh air for breathing, food, water, sleep, homeostasis and excretion. These are important because they are necessary for human survival. A hungry student cannot concentrate in class and this discourages him or her from attending school thus eventually dropping out or performing poorly in class.
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The most important needs that have to be satisfied in order for students to thrive in school are the physiological needs followed by social and esteem needs. As earlier indicated by Maslow, the physiological needs which are the basic needs and forms the largest part of the needs that have to be satisfied before the others, are essential for human survival. This is because if these needs are not provided to the student, he or she will not have the strength to go to school or even stay in class until the lesson is over. The student has to be fed to gain energy to go to school, think and also remain in class until the stipulated time. The physiological needs acts as the driving force to the survival and achievement of the student in school.
As to who is supposed to be responsible in order for the students' needs to be met, the teacher in charge of the students and the families from where the students come should be accountable for the satisfaction of their needs. The family should be responsible for instance in the provision of food, shelter and clothing even before the student gets access to school.
After the family, the teacher should come into play in the provision of the students needs. The needs that the teacher can provide to a student are needs like safety needs, esteem needs and social needs.
One thing that a teacher might do for a student who has psychological or safety needs is to ensure that these needs are provided for. These needs may be inform of personal security, financial security or health security. For example, in an instance where a student feels personally insecure, a teacher should assure him or her of security and encourage him or her to learn. If the student has financial instability, the teacher can assist the student with finances if possible or help the student solicit for funds to meet his or her financial needs.
As a result of what the teacher had to say, Maslow's hierarchy of needs plays a big role especially as a source of motivation to the students. This is because all the responses to the interview questions revolved around Maslow's theory of motivation. In addition, motivation is important for a student in order to succeed in school and life. This motivation includes both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
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Also for the learner to reach the level of self-actualization, he or she must discover his or her potential and exploit it fully. Maslow describes this desire as to "Become more and more what one is and to become everything that one is capable of becoming" (1954, pg.92). In addition, for a student to thrive in school, all the needs in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs should be satisfied fully as they motivate the student to learn and be successful.
As a teacher to be, one should keep in mind the needs outlined in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs and ensure that they are fully satisfied. To achieve this, one will need to conduct an assessment on the students. Through this assessment, one can be able to discover the physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and the need to self-actualize.
For instance in the provision of the physiological needs, a teacher can establish a feeding program in school that will make available enough food and clean water to the students. After the physiological needs have been adequately met, then a teacher can embark on the provision of safety needs to the students. For instance, he or she should ensure that the learning environment is safe and secure.
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After the satisfaction of the physiological and safety needs, a teacher to be can now aim at satisfying the social needs of the students. He or she should create an environment where the learner will have a sense of belonging and feel loved. The other thing which a teacher to be should aim to provide to his or her students are the esteem needs. All humans have a need to be respected, have self-esteem and self-respect. Being human, students also need to be accorded respect. A teacher can also recognize them when they perform better in school.
Finally, as a teacher to be, one can help his or her students to achieve the level of self-actualization. To reach this level of need, it is not only important to master the lower needs in the hierarchy but also to understand them. Therefore, as a teacher, one should have understood the most basic needs that need to be satisfied first in order to help the student self-actualize. Moreover, a teacher should be in a position to assist and encourage his or her students to discover and exploit their potential fully so that they can become what they are capable of becoming.
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In conclusion, by satisfying the five levels of needs according to Maslow (I954), the teacher will finally be able to create a class of students who are motivated to learn. This in return will result to better performance and success in life thus being better individuals in the society.
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