Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 13

Andrew Server

EDCI 5550
Dr. Burrows
July 21, 2017
Theory and Practice Research Paper

A. In his work A Matter of Style: The Teacher as Expert, Formal Authority, Personal

Model, Facilitator, and Delegator, the late Dr. Anthony F. Grasha describes five teaching styles

that educators may be apt to utilize, but also how it is essential to refrain from boxing them into

only one such style. Instead, he argues that educators operate in variations, or clusters of those

styles since each style has some benefits and faults (Grasha 142). I agree with Grashas assertion

since it is not only realistic, but also very limiting to attempt to pigeonhole oneself into just one

or two styles or philosophies. I believe myself to adhere first and foremost to the Authority,

Formal Authority, and Personal Model styles, while recognizing and seeing the situational merit

for Facilitator and Delegator styles.

I see an educators role first and foremost is to be a learned authority in their respective

field, who is passionate about the subject matter they specialized in, and who shares that

knowledge, expertise, and passion with their students. According to Grasha, this belief falls

within the parameters of the Expert teaching style, as he states that it is where the educator

possesses knowledge and expertise that students need. Strives to maintain status as an expert

among students by displaying knowledge and by challenging students to enhance their

competence (Grasha 143). This seems to complement the culture of academic rigor described in

Doug Lemovs work Teach Like a Champion 2.0 which I also will seek to establish in my future

classroom. Simultaneously, it also appears to resemble part of the Growth Mindset described in

Growth Mindset Coach by Heather Hundley and Annie Brock, in how it encourages students to
better their competence regarding the subject matter at hand and likely push their personal

boundaries. The benefit to using is, as described by Grasha, contingent on the information,

knowledge, and skills such individuals possess (Grasha 143). I will aim to fully develop this

advantage in being both knowledgeable and visible excited regarding my subject while trying to

pass that knowledgeability and passion on to them.

The next styles that I would be most apt to use in my future classroom would be the

Formal Authority and Personal Model styles. These styles involve the educator maintaining

authoritative status among students as based on their status as faculty members and encouraging

students towards learning by teaching by personal example, respectively (Grasha 143). Like the

Formal Authority Model, I believe that students should have some de jure respect for an educator

based on professionalism and the educators status as hopefully strong understanding of their

subject. Sure, any further respect is fleeting, being dependent on how well the educator educates

and handles their students, but that initial respect ought to be present. I recognize this is not

always the case and will certainly adjust my style to appeal to those students who enter the

classroom with skeptic lack of de jure respect. The disadvantage of Formal Authority style is that

it has the potential to lead to unyielding and robotic classrooms. Being aware of this, I will

certainly use this style to provide structure, but remember to consider the other styles to keep

students engaged instead of oppressed under the rule of too many standards. Regarding the

Personal Model style, which has the advantage of giving students hands on learning, I feel the

disadvantage is easily remedied. Grasha states that the disadvantage of this style is that teachers

fall into the trap of thinking their way of thinking is the best way, which discourages students. I

will be sure to maintain a level of awareness when it comes to exhibiting this style, and be sure

to remind students that their way of thinking or approaching problems could be just as valid and
perhaps even better than the way I demonstrate. I feel as if encouraging students in this way will

also benefit the class as a whole since if a student has a different way of thinking or answering

problems, that way might be beneficial for other students to know about as well.

I feel as if Grashas notion of educators adhering to clusters of the styles he developed

is also applicable to the popular teaching philosophies such as essentialism, Perennialism,

constructivism, and social learning. It is unrealistic to think one educator to fall solely under one

philosophy and it would be ineffectual to try to only adhere to one philosophy. I became aware

of this when first learning about the major teaching philosophies in Diversity and Politics in

Education. I had concluded that I would be a very essentialist educator and would be unflinching

in face of other philosophies. However, my class was asked to line up as a spectrum of which

philosophy we thought we aligned with and I realized that I was not just essentialist, but adhered

to the concepts of Perennialism as well. As I went on to substitute teach, I found that my

philosophy preference was to broaden as I was faced with more situations. While I still

maintained and do maintain that educators ought to be the purveyors of content and material

most of the time since they are indeed ideally the experts in their fields, I now recognize there

can be situations where student-led learning and groups are certainly more effective. Somewhere

during my experience as a substitute teacher, my stringency for solely educator-led learning

waned slightly and I became more open to student group learning and students getting into pairs

to flesh out discussion, should the situation call for it.

While I will seek to maintain essentialist order in my classroom most of the time, I will

have opportunities for students to ask questions, quiz each other, and grow in learning from each

other. In this, I will attempt to play a facilitator role whereas typically, I would serve as a content

transmitter role. Too often, essentialist educators become depicted as distant from their students
and dry in their goal to get information to the students. While I think it is not the educators role

to be a friend figure for their students, I will strive to be reachable, relatable, and welcoming to

all of my students.

Throughout my experience of studying education and as a substitute teacher, I have

realized that many of the disparaging factors of any teaching philosophy can be remedied not

simply by adapting tones of other philosophies, but also through the attitude and flexibility a

teacher possesses. An essentialist educator can navigate away from becoming the

aforementioned stereotype of that philosophy if his or her attitude and flexibility. If an

essentialist educator exudes a genuine enthusiastic attitude about their content and lesson, the

transferal of knowledge does not have to be dry and dense. If an essentialist educator establishes

such atmospheres as the Culture of Error described by Lemov as well as a Growth Mindset Zone

as described by Brock and Hundley, they will avoid the negative connotations of essentialist

educators being unreachable and distant. Flexibility is key in avoiding falling into the negative

trope associated with the essentialist educating philosophy. That means flexibility in accepting

that sometimes despite wanting to have a lecture-based lesson, a classroom-wide discussion over

the subject matter might develop and might be a better use of time or learning than the planned

lecture. It also could mean to be flexible when it comes to more questions than expected during a

lecture. Lemovs discussion of teacher tells comes to mind when discussing flexibility. If an

educator becomes perturbed that classroom procession is not going as planned and they show it

in their inflection or body language, it could express abrasion against the students and inhibit

their learning.

When it comes to the purpose of education in a republic, I believe that it can be boiled

down to the individual and the individuals freedom to succeed. John Adams once said, Liberty
cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people. In this sentiment, one can

posit that a free and liberty-laden republic is contingent on an educated populace. The job of an

educator should be to provide students an environment that replicates the concept and ideas of

freedom and liberty, so that they can identify it. It should be to give students basic tools with

which they can pursue their interests and seek to be as successful as they would like to be. With

those tools that an educator should provide and inform about, students should be able to be

effective and active members of society where they can better both themselves and their fellow

person in the way of their choosing. With that in mind, I propose that the purpose of education in

a republic ought not to be what it perceivably has become- to get to and go through university,

get ones degree, and move on. There are several paths after high school that should be discussed

and supported just as much as pursuing a college degree. As an educator, while big standardized

tests such as the ACT and SAT are stressed for college admittance, I will seek to be supportive

of those who might want to seek trade school or other non-academic futures. Too frequently, I

feel those students are looked differently at and not encouraged with their aspirations.

B1. My ideal classroom physical environment will reflect my leanings towards the

essentialism educating philosophy and Authority teaching style. Desks will be in either single

rows or in rows of two for some peer-to-peer discussion. The focal point in the classroom will be

a whiteboard or smartboard where I as the educator will be able to demonstrate the content

matter and communicate the information to be learned. Although I intend for the desk layout to

be essentialist most of the time, I must harken back to my previous point of being flexible. I will

be sure to ensure enough room around the desk so that they may be turned to face each other for

group discussion and student-led learning when the situation calls for it. I also like the concept of

rows since it is a layout where I feel that Lemovs Technique 24: Circulate would be easiest and
most effective. The technique involves the educator navigating around the classroom

strategically throughout a lesson to ensure they are receiving student attention (Lemov 155). In

either a grid or row formation, I feel as if walking from location to location strategically would

be most conducive for that technique. Having students facing one direction would also help in

implementing the technique in easily being able to discern if a student is distracted or not.

The physical environment of my classroom would also aim to be conducive for Lemovs

Technique 4: Tracking, Not Watching. Tracking, Not Watching involves educators walking

around the classroom to observe student group or individual work to gather data and conduct

summative assessment on student performance (Lemov 45). In addition to having desks in grid

or row format to aid in that technique, I would have it in place that students keep backpacks

either under their desks or very close to their desks so as to allow for open pathways to track

student work.

As mentioned earlier, I would like a whiteboard or smartboard to be the focal point of my

classroom. I would like this not only to be able to conveniently display PowerPoint slides or

other visual aids for lectures, but also to be able to model how to do assignments or answer

questions for students. This concept of modeling is seen in Lemovs Technique 22: Board =

Paper. Lemov describes that this technique is where the educator can model and shape how

students should take notes in order to capture information you present (Lemov 155).

Regarding other physical aspects to my ideal classroom, I would have my desk located in

a corner in the front of the room so students can easily see and locate me if I am sitting at it

during individual or group work. The purpose of having my desk located there would also seek

to give students ease of access to me, encouraging that I would be accessible and approachable.

There will be two boxes located on my desk where late and on-time work will be turned in each
period. No-name assignments will be pinned up on a bulletin board near the entrance of the

classroom so that students will see them visibly as soon as entering the classroom and have the

opportunity to claim them.

For those students hard of seeing, I will ensure that the desk layout includes desks

particularly close to the smart or whiteboard so they can be seated there. This would apply

similarly to those hard of hearing as well, so they will be seated closer to me as I would lecture.

For students who are either unable to speak or shy to give their answers vocally, I would provide

whiteboards in the baskets under their seats. Returning to desk layout, the pathways between the

desks will be wide enough to accommodate for crutches users as well as those in wheelchairs.

B2. The ideal psychological environment of my classroom will reflect my excitement for

the subject matter, encourage mutual respect for the educator and among students. It will also

involve a variety of cultures, namely the culture of academic excellence and Culture of Error

found in Lemovs work. Establishing a Culture of Error coincides with establishing respect for

everyone in my future classroom. Lemov states that to establish a Culture of Error, an educator

might say I want to be very clear about the respect we will all show one another when we are

in this classroom. We will support each other and help one another. And we will never, ever

under take actions that tear down another person. Among other things, we know that person

could just as well be us (Lemov 66). I feel as if this very succinctly expresses to students that

there will be respect in ones classroom while simultaneously encouraging students that there is

no shame in answering incorrectly.

As indicated above, rules in my ideal classroom will be based on mutual respect. There

will be the expectation of respect directed from me to the students, from the students to me, and

from student to fellow peer. Brock and Hundley describe at least in part, my feelings regarding
conduct of the educator towards students in developing a Growth Mindset Zone. In a Growth

Mindset Zone, students know that the teacher has faith in their ability to achieve (Hundley and

Brock Location 1232). I will seek to let my students know directly and indirectly that I believe in

their ability to succeed inside and outside my classroom. I will expect professionalism in my

classroom as during our time there, students are professional learners and I have the expectation

of myself to be a professional educator.

C. During my practicum experience, I witnessed in Mr. Baileys 7th grade social studies

classroom, the educators process of lesson planning and scheduling. I greatly admired how

detailed and meticulous his process was. Mr. Bailey had binders full of lesson plan procedures

sorted by semester, spiral bound notebooks for each month of lesson plans, and composite

notebooks that had lesson plans scheduled down to the day. He also had two jump drives full of

PowerPoint presentations to accompany lectures as well as videos for documentary days. His

classroom appeared to work like clockwork and I would attribute that in large part to his

extensive planning process. While I might not take my lesson planning to such a degree initially

to the point he had, I know that I will strive to maintain a meticulous and detailed planning

process as Mr. Bailey.

As for my personal curriculum choices, I intend to test on the state and national

standards, but I also intend to teach and expand so much further than just that when appropriate.

Inspired by Lemovs Technique 12: Right is Right, where educators enhance the quality of their

educating in expecting the fully correct answer from students (Lemov 100), I will enact a form of

grading written assessments that marks and corrects every incorrect part of the paper, regardless

of the state or national standards. However, although the correction will be marked on the paper,

only those incorrect answers consistent with state and national standards will be counted off the
grade. The corrections consistent with and beyond standards will be marked with different ink

colors. The goal here is to demonstrate the fully correct answer for students to learn more from,

while only counting the grade that they truly earned. I also intend to use Lemovs technique

Stretch It in order to encourage class discussion deeper than just addressing the state and national

standards (Lemov 66). I hope to establish a culture of academic rigor that encourages students to

learn and strive to be their best scholarly self through the personal curriculum I develop.

During my time as a substitute teacher, I learned the importance of having variability in

lesson plans that were not even my own. Referring back to Mr. Baileys classroom, he had three

separate lesson plans for substitutes to use based on situation. I will be sure to prepare for

inclement situations within lesson plans. An example of this could be switching from planned

read aloud sessions to having worksheets regarding the same subject matter, should students

derail reading aloud.

D. Leaning heavily towards the essentialist philosophy, I undoubtedly will utilize direct

instruction as my primary mode of transferring knowledge and information to my students. As

per the essentialist philosophy and aforementioned authority teaching style, the teacher is to be

the focal point of student attention as well as the distributor of the knowledge and information

regarding the subject matter. In this, essentialism works well and encourages the direct

instruction instructional method. That being said, recalling Grashas cluster concept, I believe

that teachers ought to and do utilize several instructional choices to best suit themselves and their

students. I see the merits in discussion, problem-based, and cooperative learning instruction

methods as well, depending on the situation.

My lesson plan implemented a problem-based learning instructional method. I feel that

when it comes to secondary social studies education, having students relate to problems in
history and think of how they would personally have approached those problems is beneficial

and aids in their understanding of the times and of the problem. As mentioned in my lesson plan

and mentioned in class, problem-based learning relies heavily on getting students to buy into

caring about the problem at hand. I will attempt to immerse students in the history and situation

when using problem-based instruction and inspire them to care about the problem so they fully

benefit from that technique.

As mentioned before, I support discussion based instruction when the situation calls for

it, such as when a contentious issue is brought up or if I feel students would benefit from fleshing

out concepts themselves. As such, I would be apt to utilize discussion based instruction for parts

of my lesson plans like after my lesson plan project where students might gain from discussing

outcomes and what might have happened in history if things had been done differently.

E. The ways in which I will conduct formative assessment will be via unit tests with

weekly or biweekly mini-quizzes, depending on the schedule for the week. Weekly formative

assessments will give students many opportunities to prove their knowledge and earn more

points. Similarly, I will have several opportunities for ungraded or graded for completion

assignments to establish Lemovs Culture of Error. If students can be relieved of the stress of

everything for a grade, the can be more apt to be comfortable making mistakes and, more

importantly making mistakes that are visible to the teacher to be able to measure their true

comprehension. Ungraded or graded for completion assignments might be substituted in for the

aforementioned mini-quizzes.

Regarding summative assessment, I will utilize Lemovs technique of Cold Call (Lemov

66) in order to gauge where proficient, somewhat proficient, and struggling students are in their

comprehension. Surely this will require that I establish it as a norm from the beginning of the
school year since I know students often groan at the concept of calling on them point blank. In

addition, I would be sure to keep in mind those students with social anxiety and refrain from cold

calling them as well. Instead, I would utilize Tracking not Watching to glean their

comprehension level. Summative assessment can also be gained via the technique Stretch It

(Lemov 45) where students answer a Cold Call question and the teacher either has them or peers

expand on the topic to see how deep their understanding goes. I will certainly use Stretch It in

conjunction with Cold Call. I found success with Stretch It during my substitute teaching

experience as well.

F. I learned a concept from a prior job, that moral indignation can be effective only if

timed correctly and channeled effectively and appropriately. This was confirmed to be true when

it comes to education during my practicum experience. Disciplining students when they stray far

from class expectations takes time from addressing the rest of the class and if timed incorrectly,

can cause students to look negatively upon you. Timing an opportunity to react heavy handedly

is important in that one can reduce time wasted and in fact gain future time in ensuring that no

future incidences occur. Reacting heavy handedly effectively is important in that one must be

sure to do so when the offense is at the right level to react to it in front of students visibly

enough. If reacted upon effectively enough, students will be more apt to listen and adhere better

to classroom policy. This was also confirmed in the practicum experience.

When it comes to classroom monitoring, I will again refer to Lemovs Tracking Not

Watching technique. Making sure to strategically trek around all parts of the classroom during

lecture, group, and individual work is important not only for data collection, but also classroom

management. I learned this via substitute teaching, where I realized that while it might be comfy

to sit behind the teachers desk while students do individual quiet work, but it is inefficient in
regard to making sure students are behaving or getting work done. I developed the habit of

wandering around the students during work time, pausing at good vantage points to view them

getting work done or tell them to get back to work if they were distracted. I will surely continue

this as I continue into the teaching profession.

Works Cited

Brock, A., & Hundley, H. (2016). The growth mindset coach: a teachers month-by-month
handbook for empowering students to achieve. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press.

Grasha, A. F. (1994). A Matter of Style: The Teacher as Expert, Formal Authority, Personal
Model, Facilitator, and Delegator. College Teaching, 42(4), 142-149.

John Adams Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2017, from


Lemov, D. (2015). Teach like a champion 2.0: 62 techniques that put students on the path to
college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.