The Teacher's Way: The Role of the Teacher in Today's Classroom

Description

336 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography
$17.95
ISBN 1-895411-67-X
DDC 372.1

Publisher

Year

1994

Contributor

Reviewed by Michael Kasoian

Michael Kasoian is an elementary-school principal in Burlington,
Ontario.

Review

Teachers have always been responsible for setting the tone in the
classroom, providing learning materials, organizing learning activities,
providing information, and modeling learning behavior. Recently, their
role has expanded to helping students become independent learners, who
share with the teacher the responsibility for learning. This book—a
follow up to The Learner’s Way, in which the authors looked at ways
children learn—focuses on the role of the teacher in a learner-centred
classroom.

The authors believe that teachers must take a “lead” role, share
responsibilities with their learners, and move away from the role of a
“boss” teacher who directs instruction and maintains a power
position at all times. An excellent description and comparison is given
showing how and why power in the classroom has changed.

Each chapter provides practical descriptions of learning, language
acquisition, and cognitive research while showing a variety of ways to
meet the needs of children. As well, many practical ideas are shared:
getting the school year started on a positive note, meeting needs of
students working at different levels, initiating projects in positive
ways, building on the learner’s way to improve spelling, fitting the
learning with the curriculum, and year-end activities. The authors
reinforce the need to support learning through interactions such as
buddy systems, parents as a resource, and networks of like-minded
teachers.

One issue that will stimulate questions and on-going discussion is that
of multiage groupings. The authors make the point that there will always
be a need to deal with a wide range of student needs, abilities,
attitudes, maturity, backgrounds, styles, and interests in any
classroom. And while these factors may build a case for multiage
groupings, they also show the need for students to work and socialize
with their own peer group.

The underlying message throughout the book is keeping the tone in the
classroom positive. This is done by focusing on children’s strengths
and offering suggestions for improvement in encouraging ways. Although
the book’s examples deal with primary-grade situations, many
suggestions can be transferred to the junior or intermediate levels.
This is a book of suggestions for teachers to use as they reflect on
their practices, strategies, and changing role in the classroom.

Citation

Forester, Anne D., and Margaret Reinhard., “The Teacher's Way: The Role of the Teacher in Today's Classroom,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/6931.