EduSci Part 4

For this task, we (with Elina) chose two quite different videos from Timssvideo-portal. The videos were:

http://www.timssvideo.com/77 (USA, lesson about rocks)
http://www.timssvideo.com/57 (Netherlands, lesson about eye, stimulus and response and animal behavior)

With both examples the teachers had “traditional” teacher-centric teaching-approach, although there were number of quite big differences as well.

The first video was being recorded in a United States, and it was eighth-grade lesson in geology. In the first video, the teacher had lots of interaction with the students and it seemed, that the topic was really interesting for the teacher, as he displayed some of his personal photos relevant to the topic. There were lots of interaction, and he kind of lead the discussion towards the point, in which the student found the answer. The examples were really good and creative, as the layers of sediments compared to pages of a book, etc. The teacher also walked around the classroom, and had examples of real rocks which the students could touch and feel. In the end of the lesson, the students gave spontaneous applauds and I heard someone saying, “good lesson” or something related.

The other video was recorded in Netherlands and it was also eighth-grade about biology, and it also included the results of end-of-year tests. In the lesson, there were quite much disorder among students and some students arrived to the lesson late and without material. During the lesson, the teacher reported the test results in public, and it felt bit strange as everyone heard everyone’s test results. During reporting the results, there were also lots of disorder and hassle. In the lesson, the teacher also gave some tasks to do, and that also caused lots of distraction among students. Some students were working in pairs, and it felt like bit collaborative-type of approach. But in the end of the lesson, there were lot of hassle and students rushing to the door before the end of the class. But I don’t know wether it was during last few days of the semester, why the students were unmotivated, but it felt totally opposite comparing to the other video.

In terms of teaching methodology, both teachers used traditional lecture-based teaching, but with additional discussion. The video from the Netherlands was more teacher-centered comparing to the one from USA, as the student-centered methods such as class participation and group discussion were clearly there. Perhaps, according to the theories of learning, both were somewhat similar, but the lesson from the NL was more behavioristic due to test results (operant conditioning). The lesson from USA, although, was more constructivistic with real-life examples and inquiry-based type of teaching.

Altogether, it was fascinating to notice the differences in teaching, and how the teacher from the USA made the lesson interesting. I guess, the teacher from the NL was not unmotivated, but maybe the students were distracted by the presence of camera, or possibly it was a last lesson of the course (test results) which caused disorder in the classroom.

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