ELEMENTS The principal elements that make teaching and learning possible and attainable are the teachers, the learners, and a conducive learning environment. The teacher serves as the prime mover of the educational wheel. The learners are the key participants in the learning process. The favourable environment provides essential features and ingredients that could make headway in guiding the processes and methodologies needed for a smooth linkage among the three. The Learner The Nature of the Learner The learner is an embodied spirit, a union of a sentient body and a rational soul. His body experiences sensations, and feels pleasure and pain. His soul is the principle of spiritual acts, the source of intellectual abstraction, self reflection, and free rational volition. The Fundamental Equipment of the Learner COGNITIVE FACULTIES •Five (5) senses •Instinct •Imagination •Memory •Intellect APPETITIVE • Feelings FACULTIES • Emotions • Rational Will All learners are equipped with cognitive as well as appetitive faculties however, they differ in the degree to which they are utilized and expressed on the account of the learners’ abilities, aptitudes, interests, values and attitudes and home background. 1. Ability • The students’ native ability dictates the prospects of success in any purposeful activity. It determines their capacity to understand and assimilate information for their own use and application. 2. Aptitude • It refers to the students’ innate talent or gift. It indicates a natural capacity to learn certain skills. 3. Interests • Learners vary in activities that are undertaken due to a strong appeal or attraction. Lessons that give the learners the chance to express themselves will be more meaningful and easily absorbed. 4. Family & Cultural background • Students who come from different socioeconomic background manifest a wide range of behaviour due to differences in upbringing practices. 5. Attitudes • Attitude refers to an individual perspective and disposition. • Some positive attitudes are curiosity, responsibility, creativity & persistence. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory 1. Verbal-linguistic Intelligence 2. Logical-mathematical Intelligence 3. Spatial Intelligence 4. Bodily-kinaesthetic Intelligence 5. Musical Intelligence 6. Interpersonal Intelligence 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence 8. Naturalist Intelligence Learning Styles 1. Sensing-thinking (Mastery Learner) 2. Intuitive thinking (UnderstandingLearner) 3. Intuitive-Feeling (Self-Expressive Learner) 4. Sensing-Feeling (Interpersonal Learner) The Professional Teacher The professional teacher is the “licensed professional who possesses dignity with high moral values as well as technical and professional competence...he adheres to, observes, and practices a set of ethical and moral principles, standards, and values.” (Code of Ethics of Professional Teachers, 1997). The professional teacher is the one who went through four to five year period of rigorous academic preparation in teaching and one who is given a license to teach by the Board of Professional Teachers of the Professional Regulation Commission after fulfilling Requirements prescribed by law such as the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Professional Attributes A professional teacher possesses the following attributes: Control of the knowledge base of teaching and learning and use this knowledge to guide the science and art of his/her teaching practice. Repertoire of best teaching practice and can use these to instruct children in classrooms and to work with adults in the school setting. Disposition and skills to approach all aspects of his/her work in a reflective, collegial, and problem-solving manner. View of learning to teach as a lifelong process and dispositions and skills for working towards improving his/her own teaching as well as improving schools. Personal Attributes • Personality is the sum of one’s personal characteristics. It is one’s identity. • Teachers are judged more strictly than any other professionals. The personality they project determines they make upon students and colleagues. • Personalities may be described as authoritative, weak, dynamic, or “magnetic”. Teachers’ personality must be natural and genuine, devoid of pretences and artificiality. They must be consistent, true and authentic. Personal Attributes 1. Passion Passion in teaching is a compelling force that emerges from one’s inborn love for children. Passionate teachers exude spontaneity in ministering to the needs of the students especially those experiencing learning difficulties. 2. Humor Humor stands for anything funny, which elicits a smile, laughter or amusing reaction. It is an essential quality of teachers that serves a number of purposes. Personal Attributes 3. Values and Attitudes Teachers are model of values. Values connote standards, code of ethics and strong beliefs. a. Open-mindedness is basic in promoting respect and trust between teachers and students b. Fairness and impartiality eliminates discrimination. Teachers must be unbiased and objective in judging their students work and performance. c. Professionalism is highly treasured in the teaching profession. Teachers are adjudged professional if they are knowledgeable, skilled and value-laden. Personal Attributes 4. Patience • In teaching, patience refers to a teacher’s uncomplaining nature, self-control and persistence. Patient teachers can forego momentous frustrations and disappointments. They calmly endure their students’ limitations and difficulties. The teacher’s capacity to adjust his methodologies could allay the tension and save time and effort for appropriate remediation. Personal Attributes 5. Enthusiasm Enthusiasm is synonymous to eagerness and excitement. Enthusiastic teachers are full of energy and dynamism. With enthusiastic teachers, students look forward to any activity they can participate in with them. Commitment is a “solemn promise” to perform the duties and responsibilities mandated by the laws and code of ethics of the profession. It is an unwavering pledge to perform all teaching and learning activities with consistency and selflessness to the best interest of the students under their care. The learning environment is the place where teaching and learning can take place in the most effective and productive manner. It consists of the classroom and all the instructional features and the nonthreatening classroom climate needed in planning and implementing all teaching and learning activities. Arrangement of Furniture The furniture, like the table for demonstration located in front of the room and the chairs facing it are neatly arranged with sufficient spaces in-between for ease in moving around. Display shelves for safekeeping of projects, collections and outstanding work are located at the sides. Attached to the wall is the bulletin board for hanging posters, announcements and illustrations about the unit being undertaken. During discussions, the board in front is used for clarifying step-by-step procedures and making clearer diagrams, illustrations and figures. Arrangement of Furniture • Teaching devices like globes, maps and charts are kept in nearby cabinets, together with simple tools and materials. A temporary table is placed at the right side where supplies, materials and handled instruments are arranged, ready for the day’s lesson. Physical Condition of the Classroom As soon as the students enter they are attracted by a clean and orderly set-up. Natural light and flowing fresh air add to their comfort and ease. Free from noise coming from the surroundings, students’ concentration and interest are easily sustained. The doors and windows could be opened and closed with less difficulty and noise. The light fixtures are located where needed. Interactions A diverse situation may exist in the classroom at any given time. Students differ in abilities and interests while teachers likely employ different strategies. Teachers must be sensitive to positive or negative interactions and must immediately undertake an instant revision or adjustment in the methodology when necessary. The primary goal is to be able to motivate them to work harmoniously, thereafter, inculcate the values of cooperation and congeniality. A Facilitative Learning Environment Pine and Horn (1990) described the learning environment that facilitates learning. It is an environment: Which encourages people to be active; Which promotes and facilitates the individual’s discovery of the personal meaning of idea; Which emphasizes the uniquely personal and subjective nature of learning in which difference is good and desirable; A Facilitative Learning Environment Which consistently recognizes people’s right to make mistakes; Which tolerates ambiguity; In which evaluation is a cooperative process with emphasis on selfevaluation; Which encourages openness of self rather than concealment of self; In which people are encouraged to trust in themselves as well as in external resources; In which people feel they are respected; In which people feel they are accepted; Which permits confrontation.