Practitioners and scholars have developed several teaching models to address different educational goals. It is noteworthy that the development of the models has been influenced by philosophies, values, and societal norms that existed at certain periods (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2015). For instance, the acquisition of a certain amount of information was regarded as the major goal of teaching up to the 20th century.
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However, modern teachers do not simply transfer knowledge but teach students how to learn and be effective life-long learners. Since the development of the models was determined by different goals, it is but natural that each model addresses certain educational goals and is characterized by particular approaches. For example, behavioral models are associated with standardization and the acquisition of basic skills while information-processing systems focus on helping students to process (interpret, conceptualize, synthesize, etc.) information effectively. The connection with psychology is also obvious as the models are related to various psychological concepts such as cognition, behavior, and so on.
The existing models can be applied in diverse settings, which can help teachers achieve their educational objectives. Teachers are free to choose among different models, systems, and approaches to help each student to reach specific academic goals. Apart from these teaching models, students can benefit from the use of technology. Teachers can use videos, the Internet, numerous technological advances to provide illustrations, explain concepts, and simply make the learning process interesting and effective.
As has been mentioned above, the existing models can help teachers solve various educational issues. At that, the presentation of the approaches as the Informational Processing Family is beneficial for teachers. They do not simply use a set of approaches and methods but can see the ties and links between different models, which results in the most effective use of these systems.
Being a teacher, I have used different teaching models. The choice of a model depends on the class or even individual students. I would not modify the models, but I think it could be helpful to develop (or rather share) frameworks for using sets of models. For instance, the use of a set of social interaction and personal development models can be specifically effective with students with special needs. Behavioral systems and information-processing models are central to the acquisition of knowledge and skills, as well as assessment.
I would like to pay special attention to one of the information processing models, namely, the inquiry training model. This framework is specifically valuable when training students with special needs. The model focuses on the development of skills necessary to analyze, collect, synthesize data. It also helps students to make sense of the world around them as they learn how to learn about different things.
The teacher using this model creates the need to address problems and helps students find the necessary answers to questions they come up with. This approach is really effective with students with special needs. These young learners may often feel disinterested in learning as well as many other things due to their health issues. The major value of the inquiry training model is its comprehensiveness. The teacher has the tools to encourage students to learn or participate in different ways. For instance, I would definitely use this approach to training students with special needs. I would try to find areas of their major interest to make them eager to start the learning process.
Furthermore, the model also implies a close collaboration between the teacher and the learner as the teacher helps students to put the right questions. The teacher also helps learners to use their existing knowledge and skills to acquire new ones. Students with special needs often have difficulties with developing logical ties between concepts and phenomena; they may have memory or attention issues.
The learning process based on the inquiry training model is often interesting and engaging, which helps students to pay less attention to some difficulties. The teacher supervises the learning process and is always there to help. Finally, the model can help students with disabilities become more confident, which is very important for this population.
As an illustration of the effectiveness of teaching models, it is possible to consider a brief teamwork lesson. The major focus of this kind of training session is the development of teamwork skills (Joyce et al., 2015). It can be effective to employ such models as social inquiry, classroom meetings, and group investigation. For example, students start every class by setting particular goals and rules to abide during the lessons (or time spent when working on the problem).
The social problem in question can be helping lonely older adults living in the community. The learners implement certain research to identify this population’s needs. Some part of the inquiry is individual, and students carry out online research and ask elderly people they know about their needs.
When some information is collected, students discuss their findings and identify the most urgent needs. Each student is encouraged (by the teacher) to reflect on his/her input and contribution to the teamwork and the development of the community. When some solutions to the problem are found (arranging parties for the elderly, doing chores, etc.), students share responsibilities, develop action plans, implement and evaluate them. They gain older adults’ opinions concerning the effort made and decide whether their activities were effective.
Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of teaching (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.