A quantitative examination of two different teaching paradigms in pre-school instruction.
Paper topic: 5. Education and conversation; 9. Social sciences; 3. Constructivism
A study is proposed on the efficacy of two different teaching styles in the pre-school environment. The purpose of this study is to determine if a costly media-centric cybernetic approach to pre-school tuition is an improvement over the traditional teaching approach. The demographic for this study are pre-schoolers aged 3-6 years comprising of a multi-cultural group in a South African Johannesburg based pre-school.
The first teaching style adheres to the traditional teaching methods, whereby the teacher presents the theme work relying on books and verbal instructions to the children. The children are passive participants in this system. The teacher presents the work to the children from the theme book, while the children listen and may ask questions at any time. The teacher “teaches” the children. If questions about the theme work are beyond the scope of the hard copy learning material, an imaginative answer is needed. The second approach relying on a cybernetic epistemology incorporates the children into the tuition system. The children are allowed and encouraged to dynamically adjust the trajectory of the lesson plan. The children generate sub themes of the lesson plan. A media-centric approach is also incorporated in this method to allow for a wider scope of information gathering. For example, in a wildlife themed lesson, the teacher may ask any child what their favourite wild animal is. The response given for example may be a lion. Using this response the teacher then presents information about lions to the children. The children are engaged in the lesson by the teacher constantly empowering the children to make decisions and lead the learning by perturbing the group with enticing questions: “Who wants to hear a lions roar?” Now the teacher quickly locates this sound stream and plays it to the children. For each explanation, visual/auditory proof must be presented to the children allowing them to see/hear and experience in the here and now for themselves what it is that the teacher or other children are referring to. One child may say “when I was in the game park, we saw hyenas”. Now the teacher uses this as an opening for the next sub theme. The teacher may ask “do you all know what a hyena looks like?” Following this question, the children are shown actual real life pictures of hyenas and their habitat with contextual information provided as part of the revised lesson. The lesson changes dynamically by incorporating the responses of each child. The child and teacher are now both leaders in the tuition system. The traditional teacher role is adjusted to be one of specialist information gatherer and presenter.
The efficacy of the two methods are qualitatively examined by testing the children’s recall memory at specific intervals after the lesson for each teaching method. The results are to be compared using a t-test and Pearson (r) correlation statistic.
- 5) Education and conversation
- 9) Social sciences