CLEP-2 Day-5 Session-5 Reading Material Webinar Live Youtube Link Test Material

CLEP-2 Day-5 Session-5 Reading Material Webinar Live Youtube Link Test Material. DAY 5 OF CLEP -II WEBINAR SERIES SCERT, AP. On "Teaching Methodologies for Primary Classroom" by Dr. Monishita Hajra Pande, Facultym Ambedkar University, Delhi.Todays Reading Material theme is "Teaching Methodologies for Primary Classroom".

CLEP-2 Day-5 Session-6 Reading Material Webinar Live Youtube Link Test Material

Teaching Methodologies for Primary Classroom

Objectives
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
  • Understand and critically engage with the concept of literacy and effective teaching methods to develop literacy in the primary classroom
  • Reflect upon educational philosophy to make conscious choice of pedagogical strategies
  • Critically engage with their classroom contexts and generate teaching methods which are context- specific
Literacy
  • Literacy in the most simplistic terms is often understood as the ability to read and write. However, in a deeper sense it can be defined as social action through language use that develops us as agents inside a larger culture. Literacy is not an end in itself, but is a means to most other learning and social and economic empowerment.
  • Emergent literacy is the overall process through which young children learn to read and write in a natural, self‐discovery manner that begins at birth and can continue through the preschool years and into the early elementary years with proper support. Children then continue learning these skills by being taught in a conventional manner. Literacy itself encompasses the skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • If young children are immersed in literacy rich environments, they will naturally and effortlessly pick up written language, even as they do oral language. However, such emergent literacy which can be seen in western countries which are immersed in literate environments is rare to find in our Indian context. Even in middle-class Indian contexts, books and book reading and sharing are not familiar cultural routines. Oral traditions of story-telling are strong in several societies and families in our country. These potentially help children build strong narrative and expressive skills; as well as to relate aesthetically and pleasurably to literature and language art forms. However, they still fall short of introducing children to literate worlds, unless they include texts or pictures. Children in India typically do not learn literacy through the emergent route found in western world.
  • Today, evidence from multiple sources suggest that children require a fair amount of explicit and systematic support and inputs in order to become fluent readers and writers, suggesting that nurture, more than nature plays a determining hand in successful literacy learning.

Redefining literacy in Indian context

  • We need to re-define literacy and re-imagine its possibilities in the Indian context as our children come from a very rich oral tradition exposed in their home environment. In the new scenario, we would want young children to be able to see that print has meaning, that it can be used for communication, for expression, to achieve certain ends in the world. We would like them to notice that there are different genres of texts; different elements to a story; and different styles of writing as they learn to read and write. We need to develop reading and writing from the oral competencies of our children instead of rejecting what they are bringing with them. Thus, literacy need to be seen as building upon oral language skills of learners rather than just
  • as a process of encoding and decoding of the script (with or without meaning). The aesthetic potential of language and literature should also be explored.

Ways to deal with challenges faced in primary classrooms while developing literacy

We often have students of diverse background and many are first generation school goers, for whom the transition from the oral cultures at home to the print culture of school can be a big challenge. Marginalized children are often not able to connect their ‘worlds’ with the ‘words’ in ways their middle class peers are able to. They do not come with familiarity with print concepts or ‘print awareness’ which their more privileged counterparts have picked up through their everyday interactions at home and in their social worlds during their early childhood years. Here are some ways in which you can address these challenges:
  • Don’t feel guilty or shy to use the mother tongue or regional dialects in the classroom as it allows young children from diverse backgrounds to function with competence, rather than with a sense of failure in the classroom. They are also more likely to see learning more meaningful and relevant if they are able to connect it with their own lives.
  • Interpret the curriculum flexibly; make space for exploration and discovery for your children; children are not ‘tabula rasa’ (empty slate) instead view them as active participants in the learning process
  • Do not adhere to standard language use; encourage children to express in any language variety they are used to at home; in other words do not devalue children’s home language and culture. Encourage them to share their stories and experiences of living in the community; give importance to the oral language of children in teaching them to read and write such as phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and so on. Oral language can help to connect literacy with children’s own lives, aspirations and motivation.
  • Introduce key words of a text and develop vocabulary of children to support their reading and writing
  • Multilingual classrooms can become a rich environment to create sensitive children with broader world views and ideas; multilinguality is a strength and use it as a resource and do not see it as a hurdle
  • Give more importance to child’s lived experience instead of the textbook; bring in child’s voice in the classroom
  • Try to create the ‘conditions of learning’ such as immersion, demonstration, engagement, expectations, responsibility, approximation, use, response
Approaches to literacy development
Phonics-Based approaches
  • The idea of teaching letter-sound correspondences (phonics) is phonics based approach to literacy. There are two kinds of approaches to phonics instruction:
  • Synthetic phonics moves from letter sounds to words;
  • Analytic phonics, whole words are first presented and then analysed into their components letters and letter-sounds
  • So the phonics approaches, view the primary task of literacy classrooms to be the teaching of “bottom-up” skills—letter-sounds and words built from these.
Whole Language The Whole Language approach suggests that reading is a parallel language system like speaking, such that exposure to, and immersion in, a rich language environment is sufficient for children to acquire the written code of the language. Children are viewed as meaning- makers from their very first attempts to read, which implied that comprehension should be placed front-and-centre in literacy instruction. The Whole Language movement caught the imagination of progressive educators in the West, and more recently, in India. This is called top-down approach (meaning based).

Balanced/Comprehensive Approaches
Adopting a balanced/comprehensive approach is to mix the phonic approach and whole language approach paying attention to both meaning-making and helping children to master the code (script).

Explicit and systematic methods of instruction in phonic approaches were found to be more effective than incidental learning through immersion, or implicit methods of instruction.

Balanced approach should include five “components” of reading that need to be taught simultaneously –
  • phonological awareness
  • phonics
  • fluency
  • vocabulary
  • comprehension
This approach further recommends that the teacher needs to focus on helping students gain “local knowledge,” which includes phonics, syntax, and semantics; “global knowledge,” which includes an understanding of the texts and reader response; and “affective knowledge” which includes building a positive attitude to reading and a desire to read.

The model also specifies a variety of pedagogical techniques, such as reading aloud, shared reading, modelled writing, interactive writing, that strike a balance between techniques that are mostly teacher-centered (reading aloud to children), to those that are mostly student-centered (independent reading) (see below)

Some takeaways for developing literacy in your primary classroom

  • a. Children can benefit from reading and writing activities such as storytelling, free and guided conversations and activities like language games, rhymes and riddles for vocabulary development and verbal expression, activities for sound and visual association, phonemic awareness within a print-rich environment.
  • Activity corners such as dolls’ corners, picture-book corners and blocks and manipulative play corners for planned free-play opportunities can provide a foundation for book bonding, critical thinking, developing an interest in learning, as well as in persevering with the tasks at hand, which are crucial for school success.
  • b. The focus of instruction in the classroom needs to be on reading with comprehension and critical thinking, not just decoding. There are a variety of activities which can be utilized to foster reading with comprehension, including reading aloud, discussions with and amongst children and activities for meaning-making. 
  • c. Print-rich environments should be provided to children through libraries set up in each classroom. Mini-libraries can be extended to communities as well, so parents/family members of the children can borrow books to take home. These libraries may have pictorial books and those with very little text, which can be ‘read’ to children by parents with limited literacy skills. It is critical to establish real-life connections for children to demonstrate the link between what is learned in school to their lives outside the school. 
Parents and community
You need to work with parents and communities about the objectives of your programme and discuss ways in which they can support children. This is even more important for parents from marginalized backgrounds, who may not be literate. Compiling folk stories, songs, riddles and rhymes with help of parents/grandparents and community members and converting these into texts for children in their home language and from their cultural contexts can be an effective way to help bridge the home-school language gap.

Principles of Good Literacy/Language Pedagogy

Principle 1: Oral language must be linked to literacy:
Literacy instruction is intimately linked to, and builds on children’s knowledge of oral language(s). Oral language use in the classroom helps young learners to build connections between home and school. Literacy should not be taught in a discontinuous manner from oral language. It helps children to build awareness of phonological and structural aspects of a language and connect meaningfully with reading and writing activities in the classroom.
Principle 2: Emphasis on Writing: The capacity to acquire oral language may be innate; however, there is no evidence that the capacity to acquire written languages is innate. Drawing and writing should be a means for children to express themselves. We need to provide planned and systematic opportunities for children to acquire the written symbol system.

Principle 3: Develop multilingual capabilities: In a multi-lingual society like ours we cannot separate “first language” from “second language” literacy; rather, we should adopt a multilingual approach to our teaching in order to address specific needs of our students

Principle 4: Focus on a balanced/ comprehensive approach of instruction Your approach should incorporate attention to processes that build comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, word recognition, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness. In addition, it must build appreciation for literature, and an ability to write in a variety of genres and for a variety of purposes (mix bottom-up and top-down approaches)

Principle 5: Literacy instruction should be seen as a socio-culturally and socio-politically embedded set of practices:
  • Literacy is not an “autonomous skill”, but is a socio-culturally and socio-politically embedded set of practices
  • Literacy is not just about code-breaking or meaning-making. Students should also be empowered to act as text users and as text critics.
  • Literacy pedagogy must move beyond relations internal to the text. Word-World relationships must be considered.
  • Different communities socialize their children into different ways of taking from texts, leading some to succeed, and others to fail, with school literacies.
  • We should give access to the codes of power to children from disadvantaged communities by teaching them explicitly.
Principle 6: Use a Gradual Release of Responsibility Model of literacy pedagogy:
In elementary education settings, it may be wise to use a Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model of literacy pedagogy that follows an “I do We do-You do” approach (to the extent possible). This will require incorporating a variety of instructional routines for teaching literacy, such as, Read Aloud/ Modelled Writing, Shared Reading/Writing, Guided Reading/Writers’ Workshop, Independent Reading/Writing Explicit modelling helps children performing at varied levels; it creates a conducive social environment in the classroom by enabling a conscious inclusion of literacy tasks in pairs and small groups

Principle 7: Good literature should be an important part of classroom pedagogy: Children should be exposed to good literature from lower classes. Ensuring easy access to high- quality, age - and – grade - appropriate children’s literature in classrooms through book corners or classroom libraries is an essential component of literacy instruction from the earliest grades. A variety of children’s books (poems, picture books, storybooks, non-fiction) in home and school languages of the child should be regularly used in the classroom. Reading Aloud is a wonderful way to enable conversations in the classroom.

Teaching philosophy and pedagogical methods

Despite their academic findings taking place more than half of a century ago, the influence of educational researchers Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky can be found in school classrooms around the world today. Let's look at how the theories provided by Piaget and Vygotsky are commonly used in classroom teaching and learning.

Piaget’s Constructivism (active learning)
Piaget (1985) developed cognitive developmental theory called constructivism which proposes that children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world. Piaget (1970) observed that in infancy and early childhood, a child’s understanding is different from an adult’s understanding. His theory on cognitive development focused on adaptation. Adaptation is the building up of schemas through direct interaction with the environment. Schemas are psychological structures that are organized ways of making sense of experience (Berk, 2009). Constructivism justifies students being active learners instead of passive receivers. People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing. It develops advanced skills such as critical thinking, analysis evaluation and creation. It promotes diverse viewpoints. It encourages students to reflect evaluate their work and identify intermediary skills to acquire based on their needs. It involves process of questioning, exploring and reflecting.

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory (peer learning/collaborative learning)
Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory focuses on culture, the values, beliefs, customs and skills of a social group and how it is transmitted to the next generation (Vygotsky, 1978). Vygotsky asserted the importance of individual zones of proximal development (Z.P.D.) in collective interrelated zones. A zone of proximal development is a range of tasks too difficult for the child to do alone but possible with the help of adults and more skilled peers (Berk, 2009). Thus, we can view this thinking as a collaborative setting in which collective zones of proximal development exist.

Teaching methodologies for primary classrooms based on the above theories:

Assisted Discovery
Vygotskian classrooms accept individual differences and provide opportunities for children’s active participation through assisted discovery (Vygotsky, 1978). Teachers guide children’s learning, tailoring their interventions to each child’s zone of proximal development. Assisted discovery is also fostered by peer collaboration. Vygotsky advocated the value of literacy activities once a child begins formal schooling. As children talk about literature, mathematics, science and social studies, their teachers inform, correct and ask them to explain. As a result, children reflect on their own thought processes and shift to a higher level of cognitive activity in which they think about how to symbolize ideas in socially useful ways (Berk, 2009). Gradually, they will refine their ability to do so.

Reciprocal Teaching
While reciprocal teaching is a Vygotskian method of teaching often used to improve reading comprehension. In reciprocal teaching, a teacher and a small group of students, for example two to four students, form a collaborative group and take turns leading dialogues on the content of a text passage. 
Within the dialogues, group members apply four cognitive strategies: questioning; summarizing; clarifying and predicting. The four cognitive strategies can take the following direction: the dialogue teacher, who is usually at first the teacher, begins by asking
questions about the content of the text passage. Students offer answers, raise additional questions, and in case of disagreement re-read the original text. Next, the leader summarizes the passage, and children discuss the summary and clarify unfamiliar ideas. Finally, the leader encourages students to predict upcoming content based on clues in the passage. Reciprocal teaching creates a zone of proximal development in which children gradually learn to scaffold one another’s progress and assume more responsibility for comprehending text passages (Berk, 2009). Also, by collaborating with others, children forge group expectations for high level thinking and acquire skills vital for learning and success in daily life.

Discovery Learning
This is based on Piaget’s theory of constructivism. It is sensitive to children’s readiness to learn; and it accepts individual differences. Through discovery learning, instead of providing ready-made knowledge verbally, teachers provide a rich variety of activit ies designed to promote exploration and discovery. Some examples of discovery learning activities may include art, puzzles, games, natural science tasks etc. Teachers carefully select and arrange materials so children who often vary widely in developmental progress can construct more developed understandings.
Teachers observe their students by watching and listening to them, and by introducing experiences that permit them to practice newly discovered schemas that challenge their incorrect ways of viewing the world and by not trying to hasten development by imposing new skills upon children before children indicate interest or readiness, teachers can avoid educating children to superficially accept adult formulas rather than true understanding (Berk, 2009).
Rather than only planning activities for the class as a whole, it is common for teachers to plan and integrate small group and individual centred learning activities too. Teachers evaluate student progress in relation to the child’s previous development, rather than on the basis of normative standards, or average performance of same-age peers. By questioning, prompting and suggesting strategies, a teacher can keep a student within his/her zone of proximal development, and at a manageable level of difficulty. Project based learning can also be used to promote discovery learning where students work in groups on a topic/problem and discover solutions and arrive at their own understanding.

Scaffolding & Guided Participation
Scaffolding, that is, a Vygotskian process of adjusting the support that we offer as teachers during a teaching session to fit the child’s current level of performance (Vygotsky, 1978). We can use direct instruction or simplify a task into smaller units, and offer strategies, and reasons for using them. Scaffolding can be used effectively as a teaching and learning tool for children who are working on different tasks. A broader concept than scaffolding is guided participation (Rogoff, 1990) which involves the sharing of learning between an expert (teacher) and less expert participants (students), without specifying the precise features of communication. Adult cognitive support through teaching in small steps and offering strategies encourages children’s mature thinking. Furthermore, adult emotional support by offering encouragement, and transferring responsibility to the child fosters greater children’s effort.

Pictures and stories as triggers for interaction

A picture is worth a thousand words through which a complex idea can be conveyed.
As the world is changing day by day, so are the methods of instructions change. Visual aids like pictures and images can be used to promote positive learning experiences. Effective teachers use pictures as triggers to improve student’s retention of the reading materials. These picture triggers act as supporting elements for our memory system. Pictures can be used to enhance student learning and to develop imagination and creativity. Pictures can provide more details than words.

Stories are useful for teaching and presenting more complex and abstract concepts in an interesting way. Stories play a vital role in the growth and development of children. They develop listening skills and vocabulary comprehension. Stories create mental images through description. They also encourage creative thinking, creative writing and verbal proficiency. Stories promote a feeling of relaxation and active participation.

Storytelling: A powerful tool for primary classrooms
Teaching with storytelling is built with constructivist learning principles. Barbara C. Palmer says that story telling is a student-centered learning process. It helps in developing language and literacy. Story telling is which interactive process that facilitates imagination, creative thinking language ability and co-operative learning. Learners actively construct their current knowledge base. Social interaction on meaningful tasks enhances learning. Story telling offers limitless opportunities for developing a more authentic awareness and respect for children with diverse languages and cultural backgrounds.

Children love to hear good stories. Without the use of books, telling stories takes on a different dimension. It offers a new way of looking at stories and allows us to act and use our voice effectively. It connects children with history, families, and each other. It is an ancient form of communication. For millennia, people have passed on traditions, legends, and historic events through the telling of stories. True storytelling does not make use of books; like the ancients, it is intended to convey an idea simply through the spoken word.

Storytelling has many benefits for young learners:
Language Skills
As young children listen to a storyteller, they’re hearing variations in speech and words presented in a compelling and fascinating way. Older children can expand their vocabulary and learn skills that may serve them well if they decide to act in plays lat er. Storytelling also presents certain literary devices in a demonstrative and memorable way. Children will see and hear the building of plot, characterization, climax, conflict, conclusion, etc. Perhaps rhyme or poetic prose will be used to tell the story, allowing children to hear the way the language sounds and how that can add to the story. Memory without books or illustrations, children have to remember key points of the plot and character names. This is an excellent exercise in memorization skills and it also may help guide children when they wish to write a story of their own.

New Worlds
  • Storytelling opens children’s minds to other cultures and life philosophies; it develops the inner world of imagination and creative thinking. Children tap into their imaginative minds and provide their own imagery. Storytelling is also a way to bring history alive and inspire further exploration of historical events.
  • You can tell personal stories and encourage children to also collect stories of their infancy from their parents and retell them in the class. Stories about life in the past, in other cultures, or animals make good stories. Telling things from a unique point of view will get children to think about what life is like for others, which is a good precursor for developing empathy.

Conclusion
  • Having discussed a number of teaching methodologies for primary classroom, you must have noticed that none of these methods consider students as empty slates or empty vessels who need to be filled with 'knowledge' instead we believe that children bring a lot of ideas, experiences and abilities to the classroom and are co-participants in the meaning-making and learning process. We discussed some pedagogical techniques such as read aloud, direct instruction, modelled writing which are teacher centered however, we also explored a number of learner-centered methodologies such as reciprocal teaching, discovery learning, project based learning, storytelling that place the learner at the heart of the learning process and knowledge construction and also encourage collaborative learning.
  • As teachers we know best what works and doesn't work. We need to continue to experiment and explore various methods in our classrooms and adopt a mixed approach based on our specific classroom contexts. That will be your own method which we call ‘post-method’!

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