The Importance Of Teaching

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It is important when analysing any aspect of a particular field, to first of all have a clear understanding of what that field is and what it entails. A clear understanding of what teaching is, affects what teachers do in the classroom and also how these actions are viewed. The first questions which this paper seeks to answer, are “What is teaching?” and “Who is a teacher?”
Teaching, according to Nacino-Brown, Oke, & Brown (1985), “is an attempt to help someone acquire, or change, some skill, attitude, knowledge, ideal or appreciation. In other words, the teacher’s task is to create or influence some desirable change in behaviour, in his/her students”. Teaching, according to this definition transcends the general school of thought that teaching
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This aspect of teacher knowledge is evident in Nancy’s teaching as she exhibited great control as the classroom leader. She allowed for and encouraged active engagement and participation by her students in discussions. However, she did not allow these discussions to run amok as is likely to happen when students become excited to talk about a particular topic or issue. She kept the classroom discourse under her control and adequately structured and paced her activities. When the teacher who normally ran her class with her strong voice and personality could not speak and was lethargic due to illness, one would probably think that she would not be able to maintain control of the class and that it would careen out of control. However, what happened was the exact opposite, despite her illness and inability to speak aloud, her knowledge of general pedagogical skills, allowed her to maintain structure and the smooth running of her class. Hammond and Snowden (2005) assert that teachers who know how to structure activities and interactions so that they are orderly and purposeful, and based on common understandings of what to do and how to behave give students more opportunity to succeed because they understand what is expected of them. This goes beyond basic classroom management as it relates to…show more content…
Curriculum knowledge is the teacher’s knowledge of the organization and sequencing of the topics to be taught. They should know how to make sound curricular decisions, including selecting appropriate materials and choosing teaching strategies that will help students understand key ideas (Hammond and Snowden 2005). Curriculum Knowledge guides the teacher’s decision making on the goals, aims and objectives of the class. Nancy had a clear idea of where she was going and how she was going to get her students to get there. “Although as a teacher she maintained tight control of the classroom discourse, her teaching goals were to liberate her students’ minds through literacy, eventually to use great works of literature to illuminate their own lives.” (Schulman 1987). In order to achieve the curriculum objectives Nancy had to figure out how to organize the curriculum to fit the needs of the students as well as the school and she did this through her know how on the use of the texts and materials provided. “She seemed to possess a mental index of these books she taught so often … with key episodes organized in her mind for different pedagogical purposes, different levels of difficulty, different kinds of pupils, different themes or emphasis.” (Schulman

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