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FACULTY OF EDUCATION

FOUNDATION OF EDUCATION I

(LPP 1113)

MICROTEACHING SKILLS
1.0 INTRODUCTION

Microteaching is a unique model of practice teaching. It is a viable instrument for the


desired change in the teaching behavior or the behavior potential which, in specified types of real
classroom situations, tends to facilitate the achievement of specified types of objectives. The
pupil-teachers trained using the microteaching instrument are expected to have a greater range of
technical teaching skills to choose from for overcoming day to day classroom teaching problems.
According to G.A. Brown (1978), microteaching may be described as a scaled down
teaching situation in which a teacher teaches a brief lesson to small group of pupils or fellow
trainees. The lesson may last from three or four minutes to twenty minutes. In most cases about
10 minutes is preferred. The small group may consist of three or four pupils or peers, or up to
fifteen pupils or peers.
The lessons are usually video recorded and then viewed, discussed and analyzed by the
student teacher, his supervisor and perhaps, his fellow students. The student teacher may then be
given an opportunity to teach another lesson to different group of pupils and view, discuss and
analyze this lesson. In in-service courses it is customary to use peer group microteaching in
which each member of the group teaches the other members. After video recording the set of
teaching episodes they are analyzed and discussed by the group who should, preferably, use
checklists and other observation instruments to analyze the process and structure of the teaching
episode.

Definition of Microteaching

There are no fixed definition of microteaching has yet been given. The microteaching
approach facilitates the shaping of a teacher who is insensitive to his teaching behavior.
According to Allen and Ryan, microteaching is an idea with five essential propositions.
Microteaching is a real teaching. Firstly, microteaching lessens the complexities of normal
classroom teaching so that class size, scope of content and time are all reduced. Secondly,
focuses on training for accomplishment of specific tasks such as practice of instructional skills,
demonstration of teaching method, practice of techniques of teaching, and others. Thirdly,
microteaching allows for the increased control of practice. The rituals of time, students,
supervision, and many other factors can be manipulated and greatly expands the feedback
dimensions in teaching. Immediately after teaching a brief micro-lesson, the trainee engages in a
critique of his classroom performance.

2.0 SKILL OF WRITING INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECT


2.1 SKILL OF INTRODUCING A LESSON (INDUCTION SET)

This skill is concerned with methods of preparing classes for a lesson, that is pre-instructional orientation.
Students practice methods of starting lessons.

2.2 SKILL OF ASKING QUESTION


2.3 SKILL OF STIMULUS VARIATION

The third skill in microteaching is skill of stimulus variation. Most people are able to
learn about the world around them via their five senses which is sight, sound, taste, touch and
smell. Unfortunately, educators sometimes forget to use as many of five senses as possible.
Training in the skills of stimulus variation is aimed at helping student teachers to avoid teaching
styles likely to induce boredom in their pupils. A stimulus situation that changes in different
ways is one of the most powerful influences in maintaining orienting activity by the pupils.
Carefully structured teaching material and approaches to the subject can have an important effect
here, but so can the way a teacher conducts his lesson.
Stimulus variation, in the Stanford sense, focuses mainly on the latter. Some of the things
the student teacher is trained in are the use of movement in a systematic way and the avoidance
of teaching from one spot, the use of gestures, and the development of verbal and non-verbal
methods of focusing children's attention, the development of teaching methods other than the
teacher monologue by encouraging pupil participation, the systematic use of pauses, and the
controlled use of different sensory channels by switching primary modes of communication,
going, for example, from the oral to the visual.
For the success of any lesson, it is essential to secure and sustain the attention of the
pupils-learning is optimum when the pupils are fully attentive to the teaching-learning process.
How to secure and sustain the attention is main theme of this skill. It is known on the basis of
psychological experiments that attention of the individual tends to shift from one stimulus to
other very quickly. It is very difficult for an individual to attend to the same stimulus for more
than a few seconds. Therefore, for securing and sustaining the attention of the pupils to the
lesson it is imperative to make variations in the stimulus. This is because attention is the
necessary pre-requisite for learning.
The components of skill involved are:

i. Movements

ii. Gestures

iii. Change in Speech Pattern

iv. Change in Interactions Style

v. Focusing

vi. Pausing

vii. Oral-visual Switching

The meaning and purpose of these components in the context of the skill of stimulus variation
will be discussed below.

Movements

It means that making movements from one place to another with some purpose. (For writing on
the black board, to conduct experiment, to explain the chart or model, to pay attention to the
pupil who is responding to some question etc.)

Gestures

These include movements of head, hand and body parts to arrest attention, to express emotions
or to indicate shapes, sizes and movements. All these acts are performed to become more
expressive.

Change in Speech Pattern


When the teacher wants to show emotions or to put emphasis on a particular point, sudden or
radical changes in tone, volume or speed of the verbal presentation are brought out. The change
in the speech pattern makes the pupils attentive and creates interest in the lesson.

Change in Interaction Style

When two or more persons communicate their views with each other, they are said to be
interacting. In the classroom the following three styles of interaction are possible:

1. Teacher ↔ Class (Teacher talks to class and vice versa)

2. Teacher ↔ Pupil (Teacher talks to pupil and vice versa)

3. Pupil ↔ Pupil (Pupil talks to pupil)

All types of interaction should go side by side to secure and sustain pupils’ attention.

Focusing

The teacher draws the attention of the pupils to the particular point in the lesson either by using
verbal or gestural focusing. In verbal focusing the teacher makes statements like, “look here”
“listen to me” “note it carefully”. In gestural focusing pointing towards some object with fingers
or underlining the important words on the black board.

Pausing

This means “stop talking” by the teacher for a moment. When the teacher becomes silent during
teaching, it at once draws the attention of the pupils with curiosity towards the teacher. The
message given at this point is easily received by the pupils.

Oral-Visual Switching

The teacher gives information to the class verbally about something. This is called oral medium.
When the teacher is showing maps, charts and object without saying something, this is called
visual medium. If the teacher is giving information to the pupils through any one medium (oral,
visual, oral visual) for a long time, it is possible that the students may lose attention to what the
teacher is conveying to them. Therefore it is essential for the teacher to change medium rapidly
in order to secure and sustain pupils’ attention to what he says. There are three types media:

1) Oral ⇄ oral – visual

When the teacher while speaking shows objects, charts and models and explains their
various parts. It is switching from oral to oral-visual.

2) Oral ⇄ visual

When the teacher while speaking, shows objects, maps, charts, globe etc. It is switching
form oral to visual.

3) Visual ⇄ oral – visual

When the teacher demonstrates the experiment silently and then explains the
phenomenon with the help of charts, maps, diagram etc. This is visual-oral switching.

These devices are used interchangeably to secure and sustain pupils’ attention to the lesson. Let
us use these components of the skill of stimulus variation in the following micro-lesson to attract
and focus pupil’s attention.

2.4 SKILL OF EXPLAINING AND ILLUSTRATING WITH EXAMPLES

Explanation is a key skill. Generally, the skill of explanation is complex. Explanation is a


term which, through daily use, has acquired several meanings. For example, it can be functional,
causal or sequential; and inductive or deductive.
What is explanation? Explanation is to explain or to give understanding to another
person. It leads from the known to the unknown, it bridges the gap between a person’s
knowledge or experience and new phenomena, and it may also aim to show the interdependence
of phenomena in a general sable manner. It assists the learner to assimilate and accommodate
new data or experience.
The components of skill involved are:
i. Clarity
ii. Continuity
iii. Relevance to content using beginning and concluding statements
iv. Covering essential points
v. Simple
vi. Relevant and interesting examples appropriate media
vii. Use of inducts, deductive approach

An effective explanation should be simple, clear, concise and interesting. In general it


should not be rambling, long or dull. However, what is to be explained may be complex and
abstract. Effective explanation requires careful and sensitive planning. It requires the recognition
of a number of essential characteristics when putting it into operation.

(i) Planning

(a) Establish clearly, in advance, the major point or points you wish to communicate
to your pupils. These may be ideas, rules, relationships, generalization, etc.
Establish links between ideas.

(b) Obtain information from pupils about their knowledge, experience, and interest to
guide your planning. Your explanation must appeal to your class.

(c) Decide the means by which explanation is likely to be effective.

(d) Be flexible. Be prepared to modify your plans in the light of feedback from pupils
during the lesson. Adapt to pupil needs.

(e) Be brief. Think how much you recall after 10 minutes.

(ii) Operation

(a) Consider other skills on which Explanation partly rests (e.g. teacher liveliness) –
React to your class.
(b) Structure: introduction, elaboration, summary.
- Emphasis the main points, so that their importance is clear.
- Show them the relationship between the main points.
- Determine (if necessary) the general principles involved.

There are 7 considerations for effective explanation:

1. Is the explanation understood?


2. Does it interest your class?
3. Does it cover the main elements?
4. Did you respond to your pupils understanding?
5. Did you classify their responses?
6. Are illustrations interesting?
7. Are illustrations relevant?

We will now look a little more at the question of examples. Effective explanation relies
on illustration, analogy and the use of examples. In the task below, attention should be given in
particular to the last of these.

a) Examples

These are central to teaching new ideas and to obtaining feedback as to whether the ideas
have been understood. Examples may be used:

i. To provide concrete instances or information within the learner’s experience and


understanding, to lead pupils to perceive common features, and to abstract
generalizations appropriate to all the specific instances.
ii. To test understanding of an idea, concept or principle, it may be applied to particular
situations, for example to produce examples of the general category, to determine
whether a particular phenomenon is an instance of the general relationship, or to use the
general principle to solve a specific problem.

b) Using Examples
Inductive approach
It starts with examples, and infers generalization from them. The major claims are:
i. It helps students acquire skills for looking for order in an apparently pattern
less set of data.
ii. Encourages divergent and creative thinking.

Deductive approach
It states the generalization first, and applies it to a number of examples. The initial
statement, even if not fully understood by students, helps to focus their attention on
those aspects of examples on which teacher wishes them to concentrate. Classroom
observation suggests that effective explanation often occurs when first statement of a
rule is followed by examples and then by a second statement of the rule, for example,
clarity in establishing relationship between general rule and specific examples.

In all cases, it is essential for the teacher to use examples which are relevant to student’s
experience and interests, and their present level of understanding.

2.5 SKILL OF USING NON-VERBAL CLUES AND KEEPING SILENT (SUCH AS


GESTURES AND MOVEMENTS)

Most teachers talk too much. Training in the use of silence and non-verbal cues is aimed
at remedying this state of affairs. But it is not just a negative thing. Silence can have a powerful
effect if used insightfully, and non-verbal cues can very often be more effective than verbal ones.

Non-Verbal Aspects

a) Movement

Generally, a moving object is more interesting than a stationary one. Teacher can
use their teaching space purposefully. Don’t be stuck to the blackboard. Move towards
the class, and amongst them. In this way, as the teacher, they can create and convey
various meanings such as friendliness, firmness, hostility, anger, pleasure. Movement
can also help to exercise students’ eyeballs and prevent them falling asleep.
b) Gestures and Facial Expressions

As a teacher, the way they use their hands, body and head, and the way they vary
their facial expressions will also convey meaning and emphasis. Many gestures are used
in communication and interpersonal contact. Think of ways in which teacher can
encourage attention or positive response from students by teacher’s gestures and facial
expressions.

Figure 1.0
c) Eye-contact

The eyes are crucial in conveying meaning, emotion, influencing interaction


gaining and holding attention. Teacher should use their eyes purposefully, inexperienced
teachers are often too nervous to look at the class. Scan the whole of the class. In
general, look at students while teaching. Teacher will obtain response, control and
feedback of their interest and understanding in this way. Looking in to their eyes will
help to convey messages and meaning, and is an effective device for controlling class
discipline.

d) Interaction

Don’t talk too much. Use strategies to encourage various interaction patterns such
as T-P, P-P, T-group. Involve the pupils.

e) Switching sensory channel


Vary the stimulus between voices visual for example to hold attention.

Teacher liveliness basically involves changing patterns of stimulation of the learner, to


gain and hold interest and attention. It means use of these various qualities and cues in
combination, and for most people it requires practice. Teacher that have experience of teachers
or lecturers, who use very few cues, rarely change facial expressions, are limited in movements
and speak in a dull, flat, monotonous voice. They probably bored them. Therefore, the skills on
using non-verbal are very important for students in teaching and learning.

2.6 SKILL OF REINFORCEMENT

Every responding pupil of the class needs social approval of his behavior. To satisfy this
need, he is always eager to answer each question known to him. If the teacher is encouraging the
pupils by statements like, “good”, that is very good and certain non-verbal expressions, as
smiling, nodding the head and paying attention to the responding pupil, the pupil participation in
the class is maximized. The main theme of the skill is that encouraging remarks of the teacher
increases and discouraging remarks decreases the pupil-participation in the development of the
learning process. Teachers are right if their ways are in accordance with the following
components of the skill.
The components of skill involved are:

i. Positive Verbal Reinforcement

ii. Positive Non-Verbal Reinforcement

iii. Negative Verbal Reinforcement

iv. Negative Non-Verbal Reinforcement

v. Wrong use of Reinforcement

vi. Inappropriate use of Reinforcement

Positive -Verbal Reinforcement


These are the positive comments given by the teacher on the correct response of the
pupil. They are:

(i) Using words and phrases like, “good”, “very good” and “excellent”.

(ii) Repeating and rephrasing pupil’s response.

(iii) Using pupil’s idea in the development of the lesson.

(iv) Using extra-verbal cues, like “um”, “um”, “aha” to encourage pupils.

(v) Using prompts like carry on think again, to help the pupil give correct response.

Positive Non -Verbal Reinforcement

The teacher gives comments to pupils on their correct response without using words. For
example, this he does by nodding the head, smiling, patting, looking attentively at the responding
pupil, and writing pupil’s answer on the black boards. The teacher encourages the pupils to
participate maximally in the development of the lesson.

Negative Verbal Reinforcement

The teacher gives comments on the incorrect or partially incorrect response by telling that
the pupil’s response is incorrect or making sarcastic remarks like “idiots”, “stupid” and others.
Such behavior of the teacher discourages pupil-participation and should not be used.

Negative Non -Verbal Reinforcement

The teacher shows his disapproval without using words. This involves, frowning, staring,
and looking angrily at the responding pupil, when he gives wrong response. This type of
behavior of the teacher creates fear in the minds of the pupil and decreases pupil-participation.

Wrong use of Reinforcement

This is the situation, where the teacher does not give reinforcement when the situation is
demanding encouragement.
Inappropriate use of Reinforcement

This is the situation when the teacher does not encourage the pupil with respect to quality
of his response. He uses same type of comment for every response.

2.7 SKILL OF USING AUDIO VISUAL AIDS, LEARNING RESOURCES AND


LEARNING TECHNOLOGY (SUCH AS RADIO, TV, POWERPOINT SLIDES,
MULTIMEDIA, HANDOUTS)
2.8 SKILL OF USING BLACKBOARD/WHITEBOARD
2.9 SKILL OF CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
2.10 SKILL OF CLOSURE

3.0 CONCLUSION

Microteaching has several advantages. It focuses on sharpening and developing specific


teaching skills and eliminating errors. It enables understanding of behaviors important in
classroom teaching. It increases the confidence of the learner teacher. It is a vehicle of
continuous training applicable at all stages not only to teachers at the beginning of their career
but also for more senior teachers. It enables projection of model instructional skills. It provides
expert supervision and a constructive feedback and above all if provides for repeated practice
without adverse consequences to the teacher or his students.

4.0 REFERENCES

Atma Ram Sahu (1985). An introduction of microteaching: a systems approach. Department of


Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Maryland, Center for
Mathematics Education, College Park, Maryland, U.S.A. Publisher Taylor & Francis,
page 2-4
Brown, G.A. (1978), Microteaching: A Programme of Teaching Skills. London.
Edgar Stones (1976), Teaching Teaching Skills. University of Liverpool, 59-78
Micheal A.Lorber, et al, (1990), Objectives, Methods, and Evaluation for Secondary Teaching.
Third Edition, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Sean Neill (1991), Classroom Nonverbal Communication. International Library of Phycology,
London
Turney, C. et al, (1975-1977), Sydney Micro Skills. Series 3 Classroom Management and
Discipline Handbook, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
(1967). Microteaching teaching: A description. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, CA, USA