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Research-Based Instructional Approach in Reading Lesson Essay

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Updated: Jan 16th, 2021

Describe the delivery of the research-based instruction you observed

During my assessment, I have observed a first grade reading lesson. The instruction was effectively delivered using the various approaches to research-based strategies for the reading lesson. The instructor managed to use the cooperative learning strategy. This strategy is particularly beneficial to students because it promotes language development through peer interaction. The instructor began the delivery of the strategy by letting the students form literature circles; each group consisting of 6 pupils.

The teacher then presented a set of four reading materials and allowed the pupils to choose their preferred book from the set. The teams were formed based on the books chosen by each group. In the groups, students were expected to analyze the content using discussion questions, post-its, and notes. After the analysis, each team had a moment to discuss the book amongst themselves before the teacher facilitated a general classroom discussion on each book.

Explain elements of the instructional approach you observed

The elements of cooperative learning observed include: positive interdependence and promotion of interaction. Positive interdependence allows the pupils to believe that they cannot be successful unless they all work together and make contribution towards the success of the whole group. The teacher was able to create this belief in the pupils by communicating the goals and tasks of the learning activity in a way that made them think they have to work together. Proper structuring of positive interdependence is important to enable each member in a group to put some effort towards the success of the entire group. Each member of a group makes unique contribution because of their unique abilities and resources.

The second element is promotion of interaction. This element is demonstrated through sharing of resources, supporting and helping each other, and applauding the effort made by each member of a group. This element was observed during the lesson as pupils were able to interacting in a manner that encouraged the participation of every member within a group.

Make a connection between the research-based instructional approach you observed and the research you did on effective instructional approaches

Cooperative learning has been identified by Linn, Miller, and Gronlund (2009) to be effective for instruction. They argue that the strategy can be used on all types of pupils because of the fact that it encourages friendship among learners, fosters respect and promotes learning. Borich (2007) also agrees with Linn, Miller, and Gronlund (2009) and Hsiung (2012) on the effectiveness of cooperative learning. She says that cooperative learning is particularly beneficial for pupils who are learning how to read. The strategy helps them develop language skills in addition to learning various concepts. Hsiung (2012) says that cooperative learning strategy used in language teaching enables students to pick vocabularies from their peers and make observations on how their colleagues solve problems and learn.

Evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional approach used in the observed lesson

Cooperative learning strategy is based on social learning theory that suggests that learning becomes effective when learners interact and receive input from their peers. Its effectiveness, as mentioned by Borich (2007), relies on the fact that it promotes a learning environment that encourages learners to interact and discover information from their peers (Hsiung, 2012). In the observed lesson, the teacher engaged students to work in small groups based on how they were sited. The groups incorporated students with different abilities. This strategy of mixed ability grouping proved to be helpful for some of the slow learners. One other major aspect that I noticed is that all the children in the groups contributed to the learning activities, indicating the effectiveness of cooperative learning.

Explain the thinking process you went through to complete this evaluation

In order to complete this evaluation, I first had to identify all the research based instructional strategies before narrowing them down to only those that can be applied in first grade reading lesson. During the observation, it was easy to connect what I was observing with the information I got from the research. I was categorical during the observation to only focus on cooperative learning strategy. I noted how the strategy was delivered, and the impact it had on the students. I made these observations in relation to the information retrieved from the three academic sources used.

Explain an alternative research-based instructional approach that could have been used in delivering the observed lesson

An alternative research-based instructional approach that could be used to deliver the lesson I observed is inquiry-based learning. The strategy helps student to connect with ideas in real life situation because it is student centered. In the delivery of the lesson observed, the teacher can help students develop inquisitive attitude where they ask questions related to the lesson. Open ended questions are best for inquiry and the teacher is expected to lead children to ask such kind of questions.

Justify your choices of recommendations

According to Hsiung (2012), inquiry learning has the uniqueness of enhancing the process of learning. Hsiung also say that inquiry learning approach to instructions needs to demonstrate a real life situation so that learners can connect the content to real life. In the lesson observed, the teacher focused on phonetic awareness. In order to deliver the content using inquiry based learning, the teacher could support the children to ask relevant questions that enable them to discover the phonemes and letters presented in class. This can be achieved by creating an environment that stimulates curiosity in the students.

Predict how this observation might influence your choice of instructional approaches in your own classroom

The choice for instructional approaches for lesson delivery depends upon the content material. Personally, I have noted during the observation that cooperative learning approach is generally effective for different grade levels. The approach can be used in lower grade and upper grades while still managing to enhance knowledge among learners. However, I would prefer to integrate this choice of instruction strategy with other research-based instruction approaches in order to enhance learning outcomes.

Explain what you considered as you formulated ideas regarding personal and/or professional implications

Selection of an instruction method would require the teacher to consider certain factors such as classroom size, skill level, and topic. However, cooperative learning approach can be used for general teaching to help students connect new information with the old one in addition to developing social skills. Depending on a topic being covered in class, the need to use cooperative learning alongside other strategies will be necessary. As a teacher, cooperative learning offers a suitable ground for me to develop both personally and professionally.

Annotated bibliography

Ballantine, J., & Larres, P. M. (2007). Cooperative learning: a pedagogy to improve student’s generic skills? Education + Training, 126-137.

Ballantine & Larres (2007) conducted the study with two purposes in mind: to provide educators with guidance on creating a coperative learning environment and explore the opnions of university students on the effectiveness of cooperative learning. The study took a survey approach in examining the perception of students on the effectiveness of cooperative learning. From the findings the authors were able to establish that cooperative learning strategy help students to develop generic skills. The study was able to offer assurance to educators that when students engage in cooperative learning, they develop essential skills for the academic development. Through the recommendations, the authors provided teachers with the information on what needs to be done during instruction to create a cooperative learning environment.

Cohen, E. G., Brody, C. M., & Sapon-Shevin, M. (2004). Teaching Cooperative Learning: The Challenge for Teacher Education (10th ed.). New York: Suny Press.

The book analyzes teacher educator programs from ten academic institutions in three different countries. The programs basically incorporate the concepts of cooperative learning. Through the commentaries on the analysis, the authors say that even though cooperative learning is effective as an instructional approach, it has to adapt to the needs and challenges of students as well as institutions. The book therefore offers programs incorporating cooperative learning which educators and trainers can use for practice. The authors also present practical methods which teachers can use to motivate students during cooperative learning.

Hsiung, C.-M. (2012). The Effectiveness of Cooperative Learning. Journal of Engineering Education, 119-137.

This article provides the guidelines for integrating cooperative learning strategy into classroom instruction. Instruction is enhanced and made effective when learners are able to interact amongst themselves. The article generally provides an empirical background that suggests studying collaboratively produces significant academic achievement compared to individual learning. The primary purpose of the study was to make a comparison between the impacts of individualistic learning environment and cooperative learning environment.

References

Ballantine, J., & Larres, P. M. (2007). Cooperative learning: a pedagogy to improve student’s generic skills? Education + Training, 126-137.

Cohen, E. G., Brody, C. M., & Sapon-Shevin, M. (2004). Teaching Cooperative Learning: The Challenge for Teacher Education (10th ed.). New York: Suny Press.

Hsiung, C.-M. (2012). The Effectiveness of Cooperative Learning. Journal of Engineering Education, 119-137.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Research-Based Instructional Approach in Reading Lesson." January 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/research-based-instructional-approach-in-reading-lesson/.

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