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Where and when does learning process happen? It can happen anywhere and anytime. Even a baby has already learnt since he or she is in his or her mother's womb. The process can happen automatically and naturally. This is what we desire that everyone can manage the teaching and learning in their mind. Rarely does it happen by itself effectively and efficiently. Therefore, the role of a teacher as a moderator to let natural, effective, and efficient self teaching and learning happen is very crucial.
First of all, let define what processes and sequence are involved in teaching and learning.
Planning is the initial process of teaching and learning. Planning the teaching and learning process usually involves
- the goal or objectives of the process
- the steps of learning or teaching points
- the material or the resources needed to get the process done
- the activities to achieve the objectives or goal based on the teaching or learning points
Planning can ease the process of teaching and learning as either teachers or learners know what they need to do prior their next step of exploration. By planning, learners and teachers should be able to cope all expected goal or objectives.
Sometimes people can say that they learn without planning. Anyway, planning doesn't always appear in a form of writing. It often stays in our mind accidentally. Once people feel curious about something, inquiries come in their mind and they just flow and lead people to go to the next steps of thinking. That is what happen to young learners naturally. It becomes a desire to explode. As a teacher, leading the inquiry into something more organised can sharpen the study skills of the learners. It means that planning doesn't always start from the teacher. When learning is started from learners and it is well directed, it can increase the love of learning.
Anyway, such natural learning inquiries don't always happen by themselves and most of the time students are expected to meet certain standard of educational institution or government. In this case, it is the ‘job' of the teachers to organise a teaching and learning plan.
It is very lucky for homeschoolers as we are free to customise our planning to meet individual needs, inquiries, and standardised expectation.
Teaching and learning is the realisation of planning. Teaching and learning can be done in groups or individually. Teaching and learning can also be teacher driven, learners driven, or both of them in a form of discussion. The ideal teaching and learning process should involve thinking skill stages as stated in Bloom Taxonomy. In homeschooling atmosphere, the homeschool philosophy of method used gives influence to the teaching and learning process. Some knowledge of homeschooling methods will be posted later.
Assessment is a tool to measure the success of learners achieving the goals or objectives. We often forget this stage. Most of the times we just leave it as long as we feel that the learners have learnt something or as long as they look enjoy the teaching and learning. Assessment can be in form of:
- Marked written test consists of questions about presented materials in the teaching and learning. This is the most common measuring tool used.
- Portfolio which compiles selected students work samples with comments. Lapbooking and notebooking can be used as children portfolio. Narration also show the depth of knowledge and presentation of students' achievement.
- Self assessment where learners assess their own achievement during the teaching and learning
- Peer assessment is assessment done by other learners.
- Performance assessment is a non written assessment performed by learners. Example: drama, stage performance, etc.
The tools used in doing assessment can be in forms of:
- grade or number or mark in another word.
- Rubric is a set of achievement qualification which is classified into groups
- oral comment
- written comment
- checklist based on the goals
We assess because:
- We need to know how deep or how far the learners have gain knowledge and skills
- We should evaluate whether the teaching and learning process have been done well. We should see which area that we need need to improve
- We eager to know what next step of learning we need to explore.
Evaluation is a step to see the whole stages of teaching and learning process sequence as a big picture. It involves a wider and deeper evaluation which is not only focused to the learners, but also the teacher, the environment, the resources, and the achievement. Evaluation can give motivation for both teacher and learners to start the next sequence better. Evaluation can be done orally or written.
Well, those sequence is theoretically done in academic environment, but it also happens naturally as learning is a journey. It does not only happen in school or institution, but it happens in whole life. As a teacher in home education, it is my duty to shape well organised learning process for the learners. They should have got it in their mind, but what happens in mind need to show up to get them love learning more than they do now.