Content Teaching - Research Paper
Length: 812 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
By asking students about their situation in school, linked to the teaching-style of their teachers, I found out in which way students are influenced by the way their teachers try to submit the knowledge to them.
The survey was supposed to indirectly find out how effective the current teaching-style of the teachers is. For that, the following statements were evaluated by the students (The numbers in parentheses display how much the surveyed students agreed with the statements  “Counting Mechanism” on page 3):
- “Teachers should base teaching more on contents” (5 points)
- “The way teachers teach is keeping the student’s attention” (1.5 points)
- “Teachers stay focused in the topic” (-1 point)
- “Teachers have a way of teaching that is the right way of learning for me as an individual” (-2 points)
- “If I would be a teacher I would give less time in class to work on homework” (-18 points)
As we can see, the only point where the surveyed students agree is, that they would not reduce the homework in class, even though I think most students just handled the statement as “Students should have less time for homework in class.” In my opinion they didn’t really think about a situation where they would be teachers but only amount the situation they want to be in as students. All other results vary so much that the difference between the surveyed students is so big that they almost even each other out which shows us they all have different needs.
Counting mechanism: 25½ points for strong agreement
17 points for agreement
0 points for “don’t care”
-17 points for disagreement
-25½ for strong disagreement
Accordingly, the highest score for each question can be 25½ if all 17 surveyed people indicated a strong agreement and -25½ if all 17 surveyed people indicated a strong disagreement.
Section B – Survey Results  open-ended
The answers to the open-ended questions show that most students don’t really focus on the actual teaching but more on the material environment they are in, like “Air-Conditioning” or the school building. Most of the questions were answered that way so that I’m just going to consider a couple questions and answers which apply to the topic.
The most important thing teachers have to do different is…
The way that makes me understand the content the best is…
…interaction with the lesson plans
…clear visual aids
Teachers focus too much on…
…tests and lecturing
…interaction with kids who are struggling
The thing keeping me most from learning is…
…nit-picking school policies
…too much material at once
Section C – Revision of Sec. B with extern sources
According to the “Dreikurs” model, there are 3 teaching-styles. Autocratic teaching (the teacher controls everything the students do and handles insubordination roughly), permissive teaching (No structure in teaching, teachers have hardly any authority. The class is uncontrolled.) and democratic teaching (teachers find the balance between autocratic and permissive teaching). Democratic teaching seems to be the one most teachers today prefer even though most teachers are likely to be more autocratic or permissive. The ideal characteristics for democratic teaching are that there is an order in the classroom, students show independence and take the responsibility for their actions. In return they receive a great amount of respect from the teacher. In the answers of the students which answered according to the topic I could definitely see that students would appreciate such an environment rather than autocratic teaching which seems to be a problem.
Section D – In-Class Observations
In my in-class observations I surprisingly observed the extreme of permissive teaching (see Section C). The first class I observed was really free and open for student comments and the teacher also allowed some off-topic conversations. Soon afterwards, the teacher came back to the actual topic. The overall atmosphere of the class was really loose but still provided enough content-teaching to make it effective.
The second class I observed was an AP-class. This class totally stopped any kind of content-teaching after the AP-testing, about three weeks before the end of the school year. One of the most advanced classes in the school stopped teaching early. This might mean that the management of the scheduling was not thought through.
Section E – Summary and Conclusion
In conclusion, I would say that the teaching styles of the teachers vary a lot. Some tactics seem to be more effective to teach a large amount of content, others build a class-environment which allows students room to better use the ways of learning which they found to be the most effective for them.
Effective education requires an appropriate amount of teaching of the actual content. Though the needs of different students vary, teachers need to focus on being effective in submitting the content rather than just trying to push the content through.