Dr. Coley along side his translator Eduardo spoke to over 200 Christian school leaders in Panama in November.
This past November Dr. Coley was the keynote at the MACSA in Lancaster, PA. Below are some review tips from
“Reimagining Your Philosophy of Christian Education”
What is your measure for effective teaching? In the next three MASCA News Updates we are going to review some of the information and activities from our time together in November. Each update will focus on a tip that research says leads to effective teaching. A thread that runs through these essays on teaching is the single word engage…when students are in engaged in the teaching/learning process, they are directly involved in constructing their understanding of new ideas. This concept of engagement is in direct contrast to instructional episodes where students remain passive.
Tip #1: Make your teaching HOT through metacognitive discussions.
Do you recall how you went about learning the material that you plan to present tomorrow? Take a moment and think about your own thinking. This is what the term metacognition refers to. Did you have to practice a series of steps? Was there a confusing piece of information or a particularly challenging word or concept? Or perhaps there was a new concept that was actually in conflict with your prior understanding. So talk through how you mentally worked out these knots.
Research says that when teachers discuss their own mental processes with their students, then students engage in Higher Order Thinking (HOT). Here’s what a metacognitive discussion might look like–
Step 1: Identify a point in the lesson where you can speak about your own mental processes that helped you learn the concept or skill. Plan out what you will say.
Step 2: As you teach the lesson, park the bus and describe your thinking process. Try to use metaphors or descriptions that connect with the schema of your students. This modeling is crucial in assisting students with their own thinking.
Step 3: Invite students to verbalize how they approach the new material.
Step 4: In a future lesson (the sooner the better), pause during your instruction and invite the class to reflect on their thinking process. Take note of your class’s ability to transfer the metacognitive discussion to a new lesson.
As students become increasingly aware of their metacognitive processes, their independent learning skills increase. This what we all strive for–developing self-motivated, independent learners.
Dr. Coley and Pastor Mitogo Opria spent this week working with a team of educators in Indiana designing training seminars for schools in the Congo. The team hopes to serve together in the Congo in July 2014.
Practicing Virtue in the University Classroom: An Aristotelian Look at Effective Teaching in the 21st Century
We invite you to read Dr. Coley’s Paper: Practicing Virtue in the University Classroom: An Aristotelian Look at Effective Teaching in the 21st Century. This paper was presented at Calvin College in October 2013.