EFFECTIVE STUDY TECHNIQUES
-Most institutions of learning attract high quality grade students. These students are full of ambitions and ability to think big and have a lot of desire to drink from the fountain of knowledge.
-However some learners have joined schools to sip and others just to gargle knowledge. The question is, What has your learner come to do?
-In many school systems there is despair at the signal of failure or under achievement.
– A meta-analysis of school improvement strategies clearly supports the conclusion that most schools without some form of external support have no idea at all at how best to direct resources towards enhancing student achievement.
– However, building capacity from within supported by external forces creates effective schools because powerful learning occurs as schools develop norms of continuous improvement.
– How best should schools prepare their learners to enable them become information powerhouse
– Organizational effectiveness is the degree to which an organization, on the basis of competent management, while avoiding unnecessary exertion, in the more or less complex environment in which it operates, manages to control internal organizational and environmental conditions, in order to provide, by means of its own characteristic transformation process, the outputs expected by external constituencies.
- School effectiveness refers to the performance of the ‘school’ which can be expressed as the output of the school, which in turn is measured in terms of the average achievement of the pupils at the end of a period of formal schooling.
– School effectiveness is seen as the degree to which schools achieve their goals, in comparison with other schools that are ‘equalized’, in terms of student-intake, through manipulation of certain conditions by the school itself or the immediate school context.
– Effectiveness can now be described as the extent to which the desired level of output is achieved.
– Efficiency may then be defined as the desired level of output against the lowest possible cost. In other words, efficiency is effectiveness with the additional requirement that this is achieved in the cheapest possible manner
Strategies for school improvement
- What are targets?
-The exact result that a school intends to achieve by doing something often e.g the mean score it wants to achieve overally or per subject.
– Something important the school hope to achieve in the future even though it may take a long time.
-Something you hope to achieve by doing something.
BENEFITS OF GOAL SETTING
– It gives the school something to aim for and direct its efforts towards. It helps guide the school to where it ultimately wants to be.
– The great thing in this world is not so much where we are but in what direction we are moving_ Oliver Wendell Holmes.
- Provide focus on what is important
It gives the school a clear focus on what it believe it is important and wishes to accomplish.
- It provide clarity in decision making
– If you know where you want to go you are in a better position to make decision that may affect you direction . Your goals are the road map that guide you and show you what is possible for your life_Les Brown”
- Gives control of the future
-Setting targets helps the school take control of its future and avoid drifting aimlessly. With set targets the school has more control over where it is headed and how it will get there.
-Target setting is the principal tool that helps the school reach its full potential.
-Every successful steps towards attaining your set targets builds confidence and gives the school a sense of personal pride.
5.It gives the school a sense of purpose
– Targets gives each member of the school reasons to get up in the morning, act and a reason to meet the expectations of the school.
– If you have a goal in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to
see what the new day brings_Susan Polis Schultz”
Characteristics of effective successful schools • Has a shared vision and goals.
- Creates a learning environment where there is continual learning by all.
- Concentrates on teaching and learning/ maximized learning time.
- Develops purposeful teaching/achievement orientation.
- Sets high expectations- set high expectations for students.
- Positive reinforcement.
- Effectively monitors progress.
- observe pupils’ rights and responsibilities.
- Maintains healthy home-school partnership.
Characteristics of effective Teachers
- Learners – they should create time to learn new ideas through research, collaboration and interaction
- Have an academic orientation- know their subject matter
- They are effective classroom managers • set high expectations for students
- Carry out active teaching- involve learners in the teaching and learning process.
- have a variety of instructional strategies
- seek to achieve lesson clarity while instructing • they are task oriented
- Engagement in the learning process – both ‘time on task’ and use ‘higher order thinking skills’.
- use pupils’ ideas and experiences to help them internalize the meaning of instructional materials- use pedagogy and language appropriate for the content
- create and sustain an effective learning environment – devoid of fear, intimidation etc
- find out about and respond to the needs and interests of their students and communities
- reflect on their teaching and children’s responses and make changes to the learning environment as necessary
- have a strong sense of ethics
- are committed to teaching • Care about their students.’
- Carry out frequent monitoring and assessment
- Have effective reward and incentive systems for students
- Have a positive teacher attitudes • Believe in their learners
- Take responsibility – a leader can give up anything except responsibility
ATM – ACHIEVEMENT TRACKING MODEL
- This is a curriculum evaluation management tool that can be used in the setting of targets and tracking of learners in order to excel i
STUDE SRN NT
1 001 B- B- A- B+ A B+ A A- 82 B+
2 004 C+ C B B B+ B+ A B- 71 B
3 070 C E C+ D+ C+ C B- B- 47 C
- NOTE: –
- ‘ – Student X should score a minimum of Grade B+ in the Core Subjects and a minimumof grade A- in the Elective Subjects
- ‘- Student Y should score a minimum of Grade B in the Core Subjects and a minimumof grade B in the Elective Subjects
- ‘ – Student Z should score a minimum of Grade C in the Core Subjects and a minimumof grade C+ in the Elective Subjects
- To focus keenly on students ability groups as an important strategy to get them improve to the next grade or maintain high grades
2.To guide the subject teachers to set realistic targets for the learners.
- To implement the curriculum against competitive standards, with clearly defined expectations and ‘stretch targets’ that foster continuous improvement.
- To expose learners to new demands upon improvement from one grade to the next and challenge those at Grade A to sustain their performance.
- FFA is technique for setting targets for learners based on two forces which either impel or impede the learning outcomes.
IMPELLING FORCES: a) Availability of resources 4
- b) Administrative support 3 c) Teachers attitude 3
- d) Teachers Competency level 3 e) Entry behavior2
IMPEDING FORCES a) Learners attitude 3
- b) Inadequate staff 2
- c) Level of teacher co-operation 2 d) Inadeuate resources 1
- e) Teacher turn over rate 4
PERTINENT ISSUES IN SUBJECT MANAGEMENT
Issues on Teaching Approaches and methods Surveys conducted in 1998 & 2010 (SMASSE) and 2013 (KICD) in sample secondary schools indicated common practice in classrooms as follows,
-The teaching of content has a bias towards the teacher centered rather than the learner centered approach.
– The teacher owns knowledge & determines what students learn and how to learn.
– The teacher is the main actor, sometimes the only actor in the classroom.
-The students are passive, their role is to memorise and reproduce what the teacher has taught on a test.
-Chalk and talk / Talk and Talk is often the only method of teaching
RESULTS: Learners do not develop the appropriate skills and attitudes.
-Teaching is exam oriented hence features a large component of rote learning.
– Incompetence of the teacher: Teachers who have gone through secondary and college without adequate exposure to Geography content, practical activities, teaching resources and varied environments lack the capacity to engage learners to attainmastery of the content.
– Fear of not covering the syllabus if learner centered approach is used.
– Unwillingness of the teacher to be receptive to in-service and to be innovative in approach.
-Content taught is not placed in real life context, hence learners do not understand the application of content taught to real life situations.
– Learners lack adequate information on careers requiring the subject.
– Low teacher capacity for ICT integration in teaching the subject.
– Limited Sharing of experiences and collaboration among teachers at local, national and international levels.
– inadequate resources for practical work.
– Poor linkage of content taught in primary school to the content learnt at secondary school
-Some books and charts in use feature factual errors.
– Some teachers are not aware of recommended books or the “orange book” in which recommended materials are listed.
– Cultural misconceptions in some communities lead to misconceptions on subject content in some topics such Population/Agriculture.
FINDINGS ON THE DIFFICULT TOPICS.
A study done by KICD on the teacher based reasons on why students performed poorly in some topics shows that;
-Some teachers lack the requisite competence to teach the topics and hence either skip or teach them poorly.
– Some teachers did not study these topics in school and college and therefore lacked necessary content.
– Some teachers do not follow logical sequence in presenting concepts in these topics hence learners encounter disconnects in development of concepts.
– Most teachers teach the topics theoretically and rush over the content. This makes the learner develop a negative attitude towards the topics.
WAY FORWARD ON DIFFICULT TOPICS. Teachers should;
– Understand the content and expectations in such topics.
– Enhance their competences in such topics through team teaching.
– Enhance their capacity on practical and innovative approaches to teaching through wide reading and attending INSETs on the same.
– Teach the topics with a view to enhance acquisition of skills and attitudes by learners and not merely for passing examinations.
– Cultivate collaborative teaching skills to enhance sharing of experiences and practices with other peers at regional, national and international levels.
-Provide learners adequate information on careers where they fit in by studying your subject.
– Enhance their own skills and knowledge on ICT integration in teaching and online learning.
– familiarise themselves with the primary school curriculum to enhance their capacity to guide their form one students on a smooth transition to secondary in the subject area.
TEACHING AS SKILL BUILDING.
Children can go through a series of activities for example note-taking, listening to the teacher, answering questions, silent reading without having practiced and gained any essential skills for living and working.
“They say knowledge is power. We say it is the use of knowledge that is powerful”
Teachers must teach in a way that learners are able to apply the knowledge gained in real life. Teaching is skill building
The teacher should consider that; – Teaching is skill building.
-Teaching prepares children to live in the world.
– Effective lesson planning leads to effective teaching.
– Effective teaching produces students with appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes for learning, working and living.
TRADITIONAL APPROACH TO TEACHING. The key features of traditional teaching are;
– It is focused on mastery of content with less emphasis on the development of skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes.
-The teacher’s focus is on giving out information about what is known. Students are the receivers of information and the teacher is the dispenser.
– Much of the assessment of the learner is focused on the importance of one right answer.
– The key concern is preparation of learners for the next grade or level and in-school success than with helping the student to learn throughout life.
– This approach does not deliver desired skills, the students are not well prepared for modern life that demands lifelong learning as employees or employers.
DEVELOPING SKILLS AND COMPETENCES. – Learners should be facilitated to develop the following essential skills for effective living in the modern world.
– Baseline skills
– Complex reasoning and information processing skills (problem solving)
– Attitude and dispositions
Skill category 1. Baseline skills
– Read with understanding and critical judgement.
– Write clearly and effectively.
– Master relevant computations.
– Perform practical life skills i.e reading a schedule or filling out an application.
– Understanding how they learn best.
SKILL CATEGORY 2: COMPLEX REASONING AND INFORMATION PROCESSING SKILLS (Problem solving)
– Identifying a problem.
– Thinking critically about the problem. – Deciding on possible solutions.
– Considering and experimenting with the solutions.
– Using alternate solutions, if necessary. – Reflecting on the process and judging effectiveness of solution.
SKILL CATEGORY 3: ATTITUDES AND DISPOSITIONS
– Confident decision making.
– Ability to take responsibility for one’s decisions.
– Learning the work[lace or group culture. – Working well with others.
Competences are abilities informed by appropriate,
– Knowledge – Skills
The teacher’s role in a modern classroom =
Facilitator of learning.
THE TEACHER MAKES PLANS FOR LEARNING – Plans ways for each learner to be actively engaged in the learning process.
– Understands the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes needed for active learning.
– Understands and plans ways to encourage and enable the learner to take increasing responsibility for his/her learning.
– Ensure that classroom learning is focused on relevant and applicable outcomes.
– Is prepared for unexpected questions or suggestions from learners.
– Prepares the classroom environment by availing the necessary learning tools, materials and resources for active involment of the learner.
THE TEACHER FACILITATES CLASSROOM LEARNING. – The teacher’s daily, weekly, monthly and yearly facilitation plans focus on setting content learning in a conceptual framework.
– The Teacher stresses skill development and models and nurtures the development of appropriate attitudes.
– He/she accepts that teaching is also a learning process.
– He/She asks questions, encouraging divergent thinking that leads to more questions.
– Values and encourages responses and when these responses convey misconceptions effectively explores the causes and appropriately guides the learner.
– Is consistently alert to learning obstacles and guides learners when necessary.
– Asks many Why? How do you know? And What is the evidence? Type of questions.
– He/she makes students assessment an ongoing part of the facilitation of the learning process.
SUGGESTED TEACHING METHODS
The following methods are suggested as appropriate to teaching.
– Practical work: This is applicable to all topics in sciences. Each topic has suggested practical activities.
– Classroom discusion; This should feature in all lessons.
– Demonstration; Recommended for practical activities where materials and apparatus are limited, expensive, dangerous or too bulky for the learner to handle (measurements of weather).
– Field work; Trips and excursions. Learner can visit areas of special interest such as museums, game parks and reserves, archeological sites, forests and water bodies.
– Project work; These are long term practical activities undertaken by learners as an individual or in groups under guidance of the teacher. The aim of projects is the development of scientific skills such as observation, measurement, recording and communication
– The recommended resources are listed in the syllabus and teacher’s handbook.
– The approved course books and supplementary materials are listed in the “orange book”. The teacher should be familiar with these materials.
– The teacher is advised to improvise where possible.
– Integration of ICT – econtent and internet resources is paramount.
The following methods of assessment are suggested as appropriate for evaluating achievement of subject objectives.
– Practical work – Project work
– Field work
– Oral questions – Quizzes
– Written examinations.
QUALITY ASSESSMENT ITEMS
– The teacher is advised to develop assessment items of good quality and relevant.
– These should target the evaluation of desired knowledge, skills and attitudes.
– Tests and exams developed should be responsive to and balanced on blooms cognitive levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
RECOMMENDED ASSESSMENT STRUCTURE
- The head of Curriculum evaluation to develop the Assesment calendar for the Term
- H.O.S to coordinate the setting of examination in the respective areas.
- Conveyor setting to be adopted in all subjects
- Examinations should be thoroughly proof read before production.
- All examinations must be invigilated and students subjected to frisking, reorganized seating arrangement and well spaced.
- Marking schemes must be moderated by all subject present for quality &uniformity in marking.
- Marking should be by conveyor belt system
- Marking should be done promptly and students get feedback
- All examinations must be revised in order to allow students make amends where they went wrong
- Announcement/release of results should be done in a formal gathering.
- Learners who excelled should be recognized/motivated
- In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can
- To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality
- UPDATE STUDY MATERIALS
- You must collate and update all materials necessary for the study of any particular topic. The materials should include notebooks, textbooks, and any other relevant materials like current syllabus. This will help learners answer questions based on current information and not that which is already obsolete. Many have been found in a tense situation because of the lack of the right material
- The quality of information a student has distinguishes him from others.
- The quality of a man’s life is dependent on the quality of information he possesses
- GUIDE STUDENTS TO MAKE A READING TIME-TABLE
- Studying without direction is wrong. Your learners must prepare a time-table to guide and direct them on what and when to read. In the preparation of time-table either for the normal studying or examination purpose, the subject and time should be clearly spelt out and scrutinized properly
- Be ruled by time, the wisest counselor of all. -Plutarch
- To choose time is to save time. -Francis Bacon
- USE PAST PAPER QUESTIONS TO PRACTICE
- it is advisable to use past questions to guide learners reading pattern. Although, the questions may not come the same way as contained in the previous question paper, however, there have been innumerable cases where it occurred and it will be to the advantage of a student who had familiarized himself/herself with the questions through the use of past questions.
- It also helps you to ascertain the way and manner in which examination questions are often set as well as the sequence of questioning
- The future is made of the same stuff as the present. -Simone Weil
- The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration then more practice and more concentration. -Babe Didrikson Zaharias
- To become an able and successful man in any profession, three things are necessary, nature, study and practice. -Henry Ward Beecher
- FORMULATE DISCUSSION STUDY GROUP This strategy helps LEARNERS in two ways.
- Firstly, learners are able to compare what they have studied with those from several others and,
- secondly, it aids the correction of your shortcomings.
- Life is a game where there are players and spectators. The players work hard to get a reward but the spectators enjoy the game as their reward. In study groups no learner should be a spectator looking or watch others make contributions that push them forward while he applauds them on their success, rather they should be great contributors.
- Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be. -Charles Browder
- The important thing to recognize is that it takes a team, and the team ought to get credit for the wins and the losses. Successes have many fathers, failures have none. -Philip Caldwell
6 MAKE CORRECTIONS WHERE LEARNERS ARE WRONG
- Learners must go back and amend work where necessary, make more research and update themselves on the areas that have been studied with the integration of gained knowledge from the study group or tutor to produce a more concise work during any exam. This makes them more superior than any other person.
- A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. -Alexander Pope
- A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake. -Confucius
- One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake. -Anton Chekhov
Good study habits
The way you study shows your result unless cheated. • Reading can take any of these forms:
ØGlancing – taking a quick look at something or reading very quickly
ØSkimming – reading something quickly to find the main facts or ideas
ØFlipping – looking through a book or material quickly or by sudden movement across pages.
ØBrowsing – looking through the pages of a material without any particular purpose but only the interesting parts
ØContemplative – looking the written words of a material and make meaning out of them.
- All the above reading patterns except for contemplative are done in a short time to get quick information but no detail is required. However, in contemplative reading, a lot of time is required because each sentence or statement must make meaning to the reader.
- In studying, to get proper understanding of the material been studied, use the following strategies:
- Underline salient points
- Jot down the salient points on your jotter
III. Be conscious of your speed if you are fast or slow
III. Use dictionary to clarify unknown words IV. Use reference materials
- Take a subject at a time. Do not read several topics or subject at a time.
- Apply mnemonics – the coding of names or processes for quick remembering e.g. SARABAHEMO. for the vegetation succession
on a mountain; SHOME for the great lakes of North America
VII. Revision and practice
BAD STUDY HABIT
- Using finger to point at words and move it along a sentence while reading. This is a bad habit because the eyes are faster than the finger, so the movement of the finger slows down the pace of the reading.
- Reading aloud or moving lips while reading is also a slowing down process in reading.
- Reading a material word by word
- Regressive reading i.e. re-reading words, phrases or sentence already read.
- Random movement several lines at a time
of the eyes across while reading.
- Listening or singing along with music while reading
- Cramming/memorizing while studying.
- Nothing is wrong when you repeat something several times to know it, but is better to know it than the information be short-lived or transient, just for an exam purpose and afterwards such information becomes lost in the brain that is what cramming does.