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XIII. TYPES OF CLASSROOM EXERCISES






From: How to Teach

The exercises which teachers conduct in their classrooms do not commonly
involve a single type of mental activity. t is true, however, that
certain lessons tend to involve one type of activity predominantly.
There are lessons which seek primarily to fix habits, others in which
thinking of the inductive type is primarily involved, and still others
in which deductive thinking or appreciation are the ends sought. As has
already been indicated in the discussion of habit, thinking, and
appreciation in the previous chapters, these types of mental activity
are not to be thought of as separate and distinct. Habit formation may
involve thinking. n a lesson predominantly inductive or deductive, some
element of drill may enter, or appreciation may be sought with respect
to some particular part of the situation presented. These different
kinds of exercises, drills, thinking (inductive or deductive), and
appreciation are fairly distinct psychological types.

n addition to the psychological types of exercises mentioned above,
exercises are conducted in the classroom which may be designated under
the following heads: lecturing, the recitation lesson, examination and
review lessons. n any one of these the mental process involved may be
any of those mentioned above as belonging to the purely psychological
types of lessons or a combination of any two or more of them. t has
seemed worth while to treat briefly of both sorts of lesson types, and
to discuss at some length, lecturing, about which there is considerable
disagreement, and the additional topic of questioning, which is the
means employed in all of these different types of classroom exercises.

_The nductive Lesson_. t has been common in the discussion of the
inductive development lesson to classify the stages through which one
passes from his recognition of a problem to his conclusion in five
steps. These divisions have commonly been spoken of as (1) preparation;
(2) presentation; (3)comparison and abstraction; (4) generalization; and
(5) application. t has even been suggested that all lessons should
conform to this order of procedure. From the discussions in the previous
chapters, the reader will understand that such a formal method of
procedure would not conform to what we know about mental activity and
its normal exercise and development. There is some advantage, however,
in thinking of the general order of procedure in the inductive lesson as
outlined by these steps.

The step of preparation has to do with making clear to the pupil the aim
or purpose of the problem with which he is to deal. t is not always
possible in the classroom to have children at work upon just such
problems as may occur to them. The orderly development of a subject to
be taught requires that the teacher discover to children problems or
purposes which may result in thinking. The skill of the teacher depends
upon his knowledge of the previous experiences of the children in the
class and his skill in having them word the problem which remains
unsolved in their experience in such a way as to make it attractive to
them. ndeed, it may be said that children never have a worthy aim
unless it is one which is intellectually stimulating. A problem exists
only when we desire to find the answer.

The term "presentation" suggests a method of procedure which we would
not want to follow too frequently; that is, we may hope not simply to
present facts for acceptance or rejection, but, rather, we want children
to search for the data which they may need in solving their problem.
From the very beginning of their school career children need, in the
light of a problem stated, to learn to utilize all of the possible
sources of information available. Their own experience, the questions
which they may put to other people, observations which they may
undertake with considerable care, books or other sources of information
which they may consult, all are to be thought of as tools to be used or
sources of information available for the solution of problems. t cannot
be too often reiterated that it is not simply getting facts, reading
books, performing experiments, which is significant, but, rather, which
of these operations is conducted in the light of a problem clearly
conceived by children.

The step of presentation, as above described, is not one that may be
begun and completed before other parts of the inductive lesson are
carried on. As soon as any facts are available they are either accepted
or rejected, as they may help in the solution of the problem;
comparisons are instituted, the essential elements of likeness are
noticed, and even a partial solution of the problem may be suggested in
terms of a new generalization. The student may then begin to gather
further facts, to pass through further steps of comparison, and to make
still further modifications of his generalization as he proceeds in his
work. At any stage of the process the student may stop to apply or test
the validity of a generalization which has been formed. t is even true
that the statement of the problem with which one starts may be modified
in the light of new facts found, or new analyses instituted, or new
elements of likeness which have been discovered.

n the conduct of an inductive lesson it is of primary importance that
the teacher discover to children problems, the solutions of which are
important for them, that he guide them in so far as it is possible for
them to find all of the facts necessary in their search for data, that
he encourage them to discuss with each other, even to the extent of
disagreeing, with respect to comparisons which are instituted or
generalizations which are premature, and above all, that he develop, in
so far as it is possible, the habit of verifying conclusions.

_The Deductive Lesson._ The interdependence of induction and deduction
has been discussed in the chapter devoted to thinking. The procedure in
a deductive lesson is from a clear recognition of the problem involved,
through the analysis of the situation and abstraction of the essential
elements, to a search for the laws or principles in which to classify
the particular element or individual with which we are dealing, to a
careful comparison of this particular with the general that we have
found, to our conclusion, which is established by a process of
verification. Briefly stated, the normal order of procedure might be
indicated as follows: (1) finding the problem; (2) finding the
generalization or principles; (3) inference; (4) verification. t is
important in this type of exercise, as has been indicated in the
discussion of the inductive lesson, that the problem be made clear. So
long as children indulge in random guesses as to the process which is
involved in the solution of a problem in arithmetic, or the principle
which is to be invoked in science, or the rule which is to be called to
mind in explaining a grammatical construction, we may take it for
granted that they have no very clear conception of the process through
which they must pass, nor of the issues which are involved. n the
search for the generalization or principle which will explain the
problem, a process of acceptance and rejection is involved. t helps
children to state definitely, with respect to a problem in arithmetic,
that they know that this particular principle is not the one which they
need. t is often by a process of elimination that a child can best
explain a grammatical construction, either in English or in a foreign
language. Of course the elimination of the principle or law which is not
the right one means simply that we are reducing the number of chances of
making a mistake. f out of four possibilities we can immediately
eliminate two of them, there are only two left to be considered. After
children have discovered the generalization or principle involved, it is
well to have them state definitely the inference which they make. Just
as in the inductive process we pass almost immediately from the step of
comparison and abstraction to the statement of generalization, so in the
deductive lesson, when once we have related the particular case under
consideration to the principle which explains it, we are ready to state
our inference. erification involves the trying out of our inference to
see that it certainly will hold. This may be done by proposing some
other inference which we find to be invalid, or by seeking to find any
other law or principle which will explain our particular situation. Here
again, as in the inductive lesson, the skillful teacher makes his
greatest contribution by having children become increasingly careful in
this step of verification. Almost any one can pass through the several
stages involved in deductive thinking and arrive at a wrong conclusion.
That which distinguishes the careful thinker from the careless student
is the sincerity of the former in his unwillingness to accept his
conclusions until they are verified.

_The Drill Lesson._ The drill lesson is so clearly a matter of fixing
habits that little needs to be added to the chapter dealing with this
subject. f one were to attempt to give in order the steps of the
process involved, they might be stated as follows: (1) establishing a
motive for forming the habit; (2) knowing exactly what we wish to do, or
the habit or skill to be acquired; (3) recognition of the importance of
the focusing of attention during the period devoted to repetitions; (4)
variation in practice in order to lessen fatigue and to help to fix
attention; (5) a recognition of the danger of making mistakes, with
consequent provision against lapses; (6) the principle of review, which
may be stated best by suggesting that the period between practice
exercises may only gradually be lengthened.

Possibly the greatest deficiency in drill work, as commonly conducted,
is found in the tendency upon the part of some teachers to depend upon
repetition involving many mistakes. This is due quite frequently to the
assignment of too much to be accomplished. Twenty-five words in
spelling, a whole multiplication table, a complete conjugation in Latin,
all suggest the danger of mistakes which will be difficult to eliminate
later on. The wise teacher is the one who provides very carefully
against mistakes upon the part of pupils. He assigns a minimum number of
words, or a number of combinations, or a part of a conjugation, and
takes care to discover that children are sure of themselves before
indulging in that practice which is to fix the habit.

n much of the drill work there is, of course, the desirability of
gaining in speed. n this field successful teachers have discovered that
much is gained by more or less artificial stimuli which seem to be
altogether outside of the work required to form a habit. n drill on
column addition successful work is done by placing the problem on the
board and following through the combinations by pointing the pointer and
making a tap on the board as one proceeds through the column. Concert
work of this sort seems to have the effect of speeding up those who
would ordinarily lag, even though they might get the right result. The
most skillful teachers of typewriting count or clap their hands or use
the phonograph for the sake of speeding up their students. They have
discovered that the same amount of time devoted to typewriting practice
will produce anywhere from twenty-five to one hundred per cent more
speed under such artificial stimulation as they were in the habit of
getting merely by asking the students to practice. These experiences, of
course, suggest that drill work will require an expenditure of energy
and an alertness upon the part of teachers, and not merely an assignment
of work to be done by pupils.

_Appreciation Lesson._ The work which the teacher does in securing
appreciation has been suggested in a previous chapter. t will suffice
here briefly to state what may be thought of as the order of procedure
in securing appreciation. t is not as easy in this case to state the
development in terms of particular steps or processes, since, as has
already been indicated in the chapter on appreciation, the student is
passive rather than active, is contemplating and enjoying, rather than
attacking and working to secure a particular result. The work of the
teacher may, however, be organized around the following heads: (1) it is
of primary importance that the teacher bring to the class an enthusiasm
and joy for the picture, music, poetry, person, or achievement which he
wishes to present; (2) children must not be forced to accept nor even
encouraged to repeat the evaluation determined by teachers; (3)
spontaneous and sincere response upon the part of children should be
accepted, even though it may not conform to the teacher's estimate; (4)
children should be encouraged to choose from among many of the forms or
situations presented for their approval those which they like best; (5)
the technique involved in the creation of the artistic form should be
subordinated to enjoyment in the field of the fine arts; (6) throughout,
the play spirit should be predominant, for if the element of drudgery
enters, appreciation disappears.

Teachers who get good results in appreciation secure them mainly by
virtue of the fact that they have large capacity for enjoyment in the
fields which they present to children. A teacher who is enthusiastic,
and who really finds great joy in music, will awaken and develop power
of appreciation upon the part of his pupils. The teacher who can enter
into the spirit of the child poetry, or of the fairy tale, will get a
type of appreciation not enjoyed by the teacher who finds delight only
in adult literature. t is of the utmost importance to recognize the
fact that children only gradually grow from an appreciation or joy in
that which is crude to that which represents the highest type of
artistic production. t is important to have children try themselves out
in creative work; but the influence of a teacher may be far greater than
that of the attempts of the children to produce in these fields.

_Lecturing_. Among the various types of methods used in teaching there
is probably no one which has received such severe criticism as the
so-called lecture method. The result of this criticism has been,
theoretically at least, to abolish lecturing from the elementary school
and to diminish the use of this method in the high school, although in
the colleges and universities it is still the most popular method.
Although it is true that the lecture method is not the best one for
continual use in elementary and high school, still its entire disuse is
unfortunate. So is its blind use by those who still adhere to the old
ways of doing things.

The chief criticisms of the method are, first, that it makes of the
learner a mere recipient instead of a thinker; second, that the material
so gained does not become part of the mental life of the hearers and so
is not so well remembered nor so easily applied as material gained in
other ways; third, that the instructor has no means of determining
whether his class is getting the right ideas or wholly false ones;
fourth, the method lacks interest in the majority of cases. Despite the
truth of these criticisms, there are occasions when the lecture or
telling method is the best one--in fact the only one that can accomplish
the desired result.

First, the lecture method may sometimes take the place of books. Often,
even in the elementary school, there is need for the children to get
facts,--information in history or geography or literature,--and the
getting of these facts from books would be too difficult or too
wasteful. n such a case telling the facts is certainly the best way to
give them. A teacher in half a period can give material that it might
take the children hours to find. By telling them the facts, he not only
saves waste of time, but also retains the interest. ery often
discouragement and even dislike results from a prolonged search for a
few facts. Of course in the higher schools, when the material to be
given is not in print, when the professor is the source of certain
theories, methods, and explanations, lecturing is the only way for
students to get the material. t must be borne in mind that human beings
are naturally a source of interest, particularly to children, and
therefore having the teacher tell, other things being equal, will make a
greater impression than reading it in a book.

Second, the lecture method is valuable as a means of explanation.
Despite the fact that the material given may be adapted to the child's
level of development, still it often happens that it is not clear. Then,
instead of sending the child to the same material again, an explanation
by teacher or fellow pupil is much better. t may be just the inflection
used, or the choice of different words, that will clear up the
difficulty.

Third, the telling method should be used for illustration. ery often
when illustration is necessary the lecture method is supplemented by
illustrative material of various types--objects, experiments, pictures,
models, diagrams, and so on. None of this material, however, is used to
its best advantage unless it is accompanied by the telling method. t is
through the telling that the essentials of the illustrative material
gain the proper perspective. Without such explanation some unimportant
detail may focus the attention and the value of the material be lost. t
has been customary to emphasize the need for and the value of this
concrete illustrative material. Teachers have felt that if it was
possible to have the actual object, it should be obtained; if that was
not possible, why then have pictures, but diagrams and words should only
be used as a last resort. There can be no doubt as to the value of the
concrete material, especially with little children--but its use has been
carried to an extreme because it has been used blindly. For instance,
sometimes the concrete material because of its general inherent
interest, or because of its special appeal to some instinct, attracts
the attention of the child in such a way that the point which was to be
illustrated is lost sight of. Witness work in nature study in the lower
grades, and in chemistry in the high school. The concrete material may
be so complex that again the essential point is lost in the
mass of detail. No perspective can be obtained because of the
complexity--witness work with principles of machines in physics and the
circulation of the blood in biology. Sometimes the diagram or word
explanation with nothing of the more concrete material is the best type
of illustration. A fresh application of the principle or lesson by the
teacher is another means of illustration and one of the best, for it not
only broadens the student's point of view and gives another cue to the
material, but it may also make direct connection with his own
experience. llustrations in the book often fail to do this, but the
teacher knowing his particular class can make the application that will
mean most. Telling a story or incident is another way of illustration.
The personal element is nearly always present in this means, and is a
valuable spur to interest.

llustrations of all kinds, from the concrete to the story form, have
been grossly misused in teaching, so that to-day teachers are almost
afraid to use any. The difficulty has been that illustrations have been
used as a means of regaining wandering attention. t has been the
sugar-coating. The illustration, then, has become the important thing
and the material nonimportant. The class has watched the experiment or
listened to the story, but when that was over the attention was gone
again. llustrations should not be the means of holding the attention;
that is the function of the material itself. f the lesson cannot hold
the interest, illustrations are worse than useless. llustrations, then,
of all kinds must be subordinated to the material--they are only a means
to an end, and that end is a better understanding of the material.
llustrations, further, should have a vital, necessary connection with
the point they are used to make clearer. llustrations that are dragged
in, that are not vitally connected with the point, are entirely out of
place. f illustrations always truly illustrated, then children would
not remember the illustration and forget the point, for remembering the
illustration they would be led directly to the point because of the
closeness of the connection.

Fourth, telling or lecturing is the best way to get appreciation. This
was discussed in the chapter on appreciation, so need only be mentioned
here. The interpretation by the teacher of the character, the picture,
the poem, the policy, or what not, not only increases the understanding
of the listener, but also calls up feeling responses. t is in this
telling that the personality of the teacher, his experiences, his
ideals, make themselves felt. One can often win appreciation of and
allegiance to the best in life by the use of the telling method in the
appropriate situations.

Fifth, the lecture method should sometimes be used as a means of getting
the desired mental attitude. The general laws of learning emphasize the
importance of the mind's set as a condition to readiness of neurone
tracts. Five or ten minutes spent at the beginning of a subject, or a
new section of work, in introducing the class to it, may give the
keynote for the whole course. A whole period may be profitably be spent
this way. Not only will the telling method used on such occasions give
the right emotional attitude towards a subject, but also the right
intellectual set as well.

t is evident then that the lecture or telling method has its place in
all parts of the educational system, but its place should be clearly and
definitely recognized. The danger is not in using it, but in using it at
the wrong time, and in overusing it. Bearing in mind the dangers that
adhere to its use, it is always well, whether the method is used in
grades or in college, to mix it with other methods or to follow it by
another method that will do the things that the lecture method may have
left undone.

_The Recitation Lesson._ As has been suggested in the opening of this
chapter, the recitation lesson is not a type involving any particular
psychological process. t is, rather, a method of procedure which may
involve any of the other types of work already discussed. When the
recitation lesson means merely reciting paragraphs from the book with
little or no reference to problems to be solved or skill to be
developed, it has no place in a schoolroom. When, however, the teacher
uses the recitation lesson as an exercise in which he assures himself
that facts needed for further progress in thinking have been secured, or
that habits have been established, or verbatim memorization
accomplished, this type of exercise is justified. t is well to remember
that the thought process involved in the development of a subject, or
the solution even of a single problem, may extend over many class
periods. The recitation lesson may be important in organizing the
material which is to be used in the larger thought whole. Again, this
type of exercise may involve the presentation of material which is to be
used as a basis for appreciation in literature, in music, in art, in
history, and the like. The organization of experiences of children,
whether secured through observations, discussions, or from books, around
certain topics may furnish a most satisfactory basis for the development
of problems or of the gathering of the material essential for their
solution. A better understanding of the conditions which make for
success in habit formation, in thinking, and the development of
appreciation, will tend to eliminate from our schools that type of
exercise in which teachers ask merely that children recite to them what
they have been able to remember from the books which they have read or
the lectures which they have heard.

_The Examination and Review Lessons._ n the establishment of habits,
the development of appreciation, or the growth in understanding which we
seek to secure through thinking, there will be many occasions for
checking up our work. Successful teaching requires that the habit that
we think we have established be called for and additional practice given
from time to time in order to be certain that it is fixed. n like
manner, the development of our thought in any field is not something
which is accomplished without respect to later neglect. We, rather,
build a system of thought with reference to a particular field or
subject as a result of thinking, and rethinking through the many
different situations which are involved. n like manner, in the field of
appreciation the very essence of our enjoyment is to be found in the
fact that that which we have enjoyed we recall, and strengthen our
appreciation through the revival of the experience. The review is, of
course, most successful when it is not simply going over the whole
material in exactly the same way. n habit formation it is often
advisable to arrange in a different order the stimuli which are to bring
the desired responses, for the very essence of habit formation is found
in the fact that the particular response can be secured regardless of
the order in which they are called for. n thinking, as a subject is
developed, our control is measured by the better perspective which we
secure. This means, of course, that in review we will not be concerned
with reviving all of the processes through which we have passed, but,
rather, in a reorganization quite different from that which was
originally provided.

The examination lesson is classified here as of the same type as the
review because a good examination involves all that has been suggested
by review. The writer has no sympathy with those who argue against
examinations. The only proof that we can get of the success or failure
of our work is to be found in the achievement of pupils. t is not
desirable to set aside a particular period of a week devoted entirely to
examinations, because examinations in all subjects cannot to best
advantage be given during the same period. There are stages in the
development of our thinking, or in the acquiring of skill, or in our
understanding and appreciation which occur at irregular intervals and
which call for a summing up of what has gone before, in order that we
may be sure of success in the work which is to follow. t is, of course,
undesirable to devote a whole week to examinations on account of the
strain and excitement under which children labor. t is entirely
possible to know of the achievements of children through examinations
which have been given at irregular intervals throughout the term. t
would be best, probably, never to give more than one examination on any
one day, and, as a rule, to devote only the regular class period to such
work. n another chapter the discussion of more exact methods of
measuring the achievements of children will be discussed at some length.

n all of the lesson types mentioned above, one of the most important
means employed by teachers for the stimulation of pupils is the
question. t seems wise, therefore, to devote some paragraphs to a
consideration of questioning as determining skill in teaching.

_Questioning_. The purpose of a question is to serve as a situation
which shall arouse to activity certain nerve connections and thus bring
a response. Questions, oral or written, are the chief tools used in
schools to gain responses. n some situations it is the only means a
teacher may have of arousing the response. Psychologically, then, the
value of the question must be judged by the response.

Questions may be considered from the point of view of the kind of
response they call for. Probably the most common kind of question is the
one that calls for facts as answers. t involves memory--but memory of a
rote type. t does not require thinking. All drill questions are of this
type. The connections aroused are definitely final in a certain order,
and the question simply sets off the train of bonds that leads directly
to the answer. Another type of question involving the memory process is
the one which initiates recall, but here thought is active. The answer
cannot be gained in a mechanical way, but selection and rejection are
involved. The answer is to be found by examining past experience, but
only in a thoughtful way. Questions which call for comparison form
another type. These may vary from those which involve the comparison of
sense material to those which involve the comparison of policies
or epochs. Words, characters, plots, definitions, plans,
subjects--everything with which intellectual life deals is open to
comparison. Comparison is one of the steps in the process of reasoning,
and hence questions of this type are extremely important. Then there are
the questions which arouse the response of analysis. These questions
vary among themselves according to the type of analysis needed, whether
piecemeal attention or analysis due to varying concomitants. The former
drives the thinker through gradual recognition and elimination of the
known elements to a consciousness of the only partly known. The latter,
by attracting the attention to unvarying factors in the changing
situations, forces out the new and until then unknown element. Some
questions require judgment as a response. The judgment may be one
concerning relationships, or concerning worth or value, or be merely a
matter of definition--all questions calling for criticism are of this
type. n any case this type of question involves the thought element at
its best. The question requiring organization forms another type. There
is no sharp line of division between these types of questions. No one of
them should be used exclusively. Some of them imply operations of a
simple type as well as the particular response demanded by that form.
For instance, some of the questions involving analysis imply comparison
and recalling. A judgment question might call for all the simple
processes noted above and others as well. The responses then vary in
complexity and difficulty. The order of advance in both complexity and
difficulty of the response is from the mere drill question to the
judgment question.

Another type of question is the one which desires appreciation as a
response. This question is one of the most difficult to frame, for it
must tend to inhibit the critical attitude and by means of the
associations it arouses or its own suggestive power get the appreciative
response. Questions of this type often call for constructive imagery as
a means to the desired end. Some questions are directive in their
tendency. They require as response an attitude or set of the mind. They
set the child thinking in this direction rather than that. n a sense
they are suggestive, but they suggest the line of search rather than the
response. A final type of question is akin to the one just
discussed--the question whose response is further questions. Here again
the response desired is an attitude, but in this case it is more than an
attitude, it is also a definite response that shall come in the form of
questions. The questions of a good teacher should result in students
asking questions both of people and of books. These last three types of
questions are perhaps the most difficult of all. Because of their
complexity and subtlety they often miss fire and fail of their purpose.
Properly handled they are among the most powerful tools a teacher has.
The type of question used must vary, not only with the particular group
of children, and the type of lesson, but also with the subject.
Questions that would be the best type in mathematics might not be so
good for an art lesson. The kinds of questions used must be adapted to
the particular situation.

Psychologically a question is valuable not only in accordance with the
kind of response it gets, but also in proportion to the readiness of the
response. A question that is of such a character that the response is
hazy, stumbling, hesitating--a question that brings no clear-cut
response because the child does not understand what is wanted, is a poor
question. This does not at all mean that the right response must always
come immediately. Some of the best questions are put with the intention
of forcing the child to realize that he can't answer--that he doesn't
know. f that type of response comes to that question, it is the best
possible answer. Nor need the whole answer come immediately. For
instance, in many of the judgment questions the thinking process aroused
may take some time before the judgment is reached, and meanwhile several
partial answers may be given. But if the question asked started the
process, without waste of time in trying to find out what it meant, the
question is good. With these explanations, then, the second
qualification of a good question is that it secures the appropriate
response readily. n order to do this, these factors must be considered:
First, the principle of apperception must be recognized. Every question
must deal with material that is on a level with the stage of development
of the one questioned. Not only so, but the question must connect
somewhere with the learner's experience. This means a recognition also
of individual differences. The question must also be couched in language
that can be understood easily by the one questioned. To have to try to
understand the language of the question as well as the question, results
in divided attention and delayed responses. Second, the question should
be clear and definite. A question that has these characteristics will
challenge the attention of the class. t is directed straight at the
point at issue, and no time will be lost in wondering what the question
means, or in trying two or three tentative answers. Third, the younger
the child, the simpler the question must be. With little children, to be
good a question may involve only one idea, or relationship. The amount
involved in the question, its scope and content, must be adapted to the
mental development of the learner. t is only a mature thinker who can
carry simultaneously two or three points of issue, or possibilities.
Fourth, the question to gain a ready response must be interesting. Not
only must the lesson as a whole be interesting, but the questions
themselves must have the same quality. Dull questions can kill an
otherwise good lesson. The form of the question is thus a big factor in
gaining a ready response. All the qualities which gain involuntary
attention can be used in framing an interesting question--novelty,
exaggeration, contrast, life, color, and so on.

The third point to be considered in determining a good question is
whether or not it satisfies the demands of economy. This demand is a
fair one both from the standpoint of the best use of the time at the
disposal of the learner, and also from the standpoint of the best means
of gaining the greatest development on the part of the learner in a
given time. The number of questions asked thus enters in as a factor.
When a teacher asks four or five questions when one would serve the same
purpose, she is not only wasting time, but the child is not getting the
opportunity to do any thinking and therefore is not developing. Recent
studies on the actual number of questions asked in a recitation point to
the conclusion that economy both of time and in development is being
seriously overlooked. Economy in response may also be brightened by
preserving a logical sequence between questions. t is a matter of fact
in psychology that associations are systematized about central ideas; it
is also a fact that the set of the mind, in this direction rather than
that, is characteristic of all work. Logical sequence, then, makes use
of both these facts--both of the systematization of ideas and of the
mental attitude.

The fourth test of good questioning is the universality of its appeal.
Some questions which are otherwise good appeal but to comparatively few
in the class. This, of course, means that responses are being gained but
from few. The best questioning stimulates most of the class; all members
of the class are working. n order to secure this result the questions
must be properly distributed over the class. The bright pupils must not
be allowed to do all the work; or, on the other hand, all the attention
of the teachers must not be given to the dull pupils. Not only should
the questions be well distributed, but they must vary according to the
individual ability of the particular child. This has already been
emphasized in dealing with readiness of response. Many a lesson has been
unsuccessful because the teacher gave too difficult a question to a dull
child, and while she was struggling with him, she lost the rest of the
class. The reverse is also true, to give a bright child a question that
requires almost no thinking means that a mechanical answer will be given
and no further activity stimulated. The extent to which all the class
are mentally active is one measure of a good question.


QUESTONS


1. Give an example of a lesson which you have taught which was
predominantly inductive. Show how you proceeded from the discovery of
the problem to your pupils to the solution attained.

2. What is involved in the "step" of presentation?

3. Why may we not consider the several "steps" of the inductive lesson
as occurring in a definite and mutually exclusive sequence?

4. n what respect is the procedure in a deductive lesson like that
which you follow in an inductive lesson?

5. Show how verification is an important element in both inductive and
deductive lessons.

6. Give illustrations of successful drill lessons and make clear the
reason for the degree of success achieved.

7. What measures have you found most advantageous in securing speed in
drill work?

8. What are the elements which make for success in an appreciation
lesson?

9. Upon what grounds and to what extent can lecturing be defended as a
method of instruction?

10. What may be the relation between a good recitation lesson and the
solution of a problem? Growth in power of appreciation?

11. For what purposes should examinations be given? When should
examinations be given?

12. When are questions which call for facts justified?

13. Why are questions which call for comparisons to be considered
important?

14. Why is it important to phrase questions carefully?

15. Why should a teacher ask some questions which cannot be answered
immediately?

16. What criteria would you apply in testing the questions which you put
to your class?

17. Write five questions which in your judgment will demand thinking
upon some topic which you plan to teach to your class.

* * * * *





Next: XIV. HOW TO STUDY

Previous: XII. TRANSFER OF TRAINING



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