'Cutting-Edge Teaching Strategies across Cultures A workshop for teachers – BY TWWI

February 26, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Tutors Worldwide India (Limited) conducted an interactive workshop for middle and high school teachers on smart educational practices across cross cultures. 30 teachers from renowned schools in the city attended and appreciated the workshop.

The workshop was to enable teachers to use innovative teaching tools and strategies to enliven the classroom and make the learning process meaningful and more interactive than ever. These tools and strategies developed after intensive research and used effectively abroad, work across cultures and core curricular subjects. These teaching techniques will not only help teachers hold the attention and provoke the curiosity of their students, but also promote better understanding of concepts and establish linkages between perceived reality and fundamental principles.

This workshop was led through interactive sessions and presentations on teaching methods like Socratic Pedagogy, Logic Charts and Ambitious Target Tree by professionals. The key note address was delivered by Mrs. Mini Krishnan, well known educational publisher and Literary Translations Editor, Oxford University Press.

Socratic pedagogy
Socratic Pedagogy is a teaching strategy that will not only make students learn more effectively, but also make teaching more enjoyable and the teaching learning process more lively and meaningful. As the name implies, this teaching technique derives from the methods used by Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher who lived around 2500 years ago in Athens. He adopted a unique method of teaching by asking questions, rather than by giving lectures.
Socratic Pedagogy involves building a scaffold of questions to the existing knowledge of students and enabling them to construct the edifice of knowledge. Because the questions help in building up knowledge, these questions are also called Scaffolding Questions.

Socratic questioning involves more than eliciting one-word responses. It involves putting questions to different uses such as seeking clarifications, probing reasons, testing prior knowledge and considering implications and consequences.

Thoughtful, disciplined questioning in the classroom can support active, student-centered learning, help students to construct knowledge, discover the structure of their own thought, become more clear and accurate in their thinking, arrive at well-considered conclusions on the basis of their reasoning, develop problem-solving skills and improves retention and recall of knowledge acquired.

Socratic Pedagogy can be effectively applied across the core curricular subjects at all grade levels at school.

Logic Charts
Logic Charts are visual learning tools that help to organize complex information, and make visible the connections between the details to allow students to get a grip on concepts being taught. The finished logic chart also acts as a guide to clear and organized presentation of information.
Logic charts enable students to remain focused on the key concept being handled, rather than to stray away from the focus of the lesson. By conveying the essential parts of an argument, logic charts make it easier to focus on the quality of the arguments.
Different kinds of logic charts may be used in the classroom in different teaching contexts. Some of these are Thought Pyramids, Jigsaw Puzzles, Argument Chess and Essay Planners. These help to scaffold understanding of categories, relationships and concepts, identify similarities and differences in a list of items, create a structure to illustrate levels of abstract thought, understand the relationship between physical objects and broader mental concepts that categorize these objects and review or acquire new knowledge content.

These not only make the class more interactive, but also hone the thinking and reasoning skills of students. Logic Charts may be used to teach all curricular subjects that test thinking and reasoning skills.

The Ambitious Target Tree
Target Trees are innovative planning tools that can be used by both teachers and students to plan tasks, achieve mutual goals and school objectives. In curriculum and content they can be used to guide students to complete their projects. Target trees consist of drawing up two kinds of trees: the Pre Requisite Tree and the Transition Tree.

The Pre Requisite Tree helps the process of planning projects by highlighting the obstacles on the way to the achievement of goals. It thus enables students and teachers to attach intermediate objectives at every stage of the project to overcome likely hurdles, and helps evolve a consistent strategy of implementation.

In the second phase of drawing up an Ambitious Target Tree, the project planners draw up the Transition Tree that helps translate intermediate objectives to well-thought out action plans. By verbalizing plans to meet intermediate objectives, Transition trees can enable students and teachers to effectively sequence tasks, and see a project to completion.

About TWWI
India's largest online educational service provider based at Chennai and the main subsidiary of Socratic Learning, Dallas, USA. The core business is academic support services to educational districts, schools and students mainly in USA, in Language Arts, Sciences and Mathematics. For further details: www.twwi.in