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close this bookTeaching (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 34 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe International Bureau of Education - IBE
View the documentSeries preface
View the documentOfficers of the International Academy of Education
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. A supportive classroom climate
View the document2. Opportunity to learn
View the document3. Curricular alignment
View the document4. Establishing learning orientations
View the document5. Coherent content
View the document6. Thoughtful discourse
View the document7. Practice and application activities
View the document8. Scaffolding students’ task engagement
View the document9. Strategy teaching
View the document10. Co-operative learning
View the document11. Goal-oriented assessment
View the document12. Achievement expectations
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
View the documentThe International Academy of Education

4. Establishing learning orientations

Teachers can prepare students for learning by providing an initial structure to clarify intended outcomes and cue desired learning strategies.

Research findings

Research indicates the value of establishing a learning orientation by beginning lessons and activities with advance organizers or previews. These introductions facilitate students’ learning by communicating the nature and purpose of the activity, connecting it to prior knowledge and cueing the kinds of student responses that the activity requires. This helps students to remain goal-oriented and strategic as they process information and respond to the questions or tasks embodied in the activity. Good lesson orientations also stimulate students’ motivation to learn by communicating enthusiasm for the learning or helping students to appreciate its value or application potential.

In the classroom

Advance organizers orient students to what they will be learning before the instruction begins. They characterize the general nature of the activity and give students a structure within which to understand and connect the specifics that will be presented by the teacher or text. Such knowledge of the nature of the activity and the structure of its content helps students to focus on the main ideas and order their thoughts effectively. Therefore, before beginning any lesson or activity, the teacher should ensure that students know what they will be learning and why it is important for them to learn it.

Other ways to help students learn with a sense of purpose and direction include calling attention to the activity’s goals, overviewing main ideas or major steps to be elaborated, pretests that sensitize students to main points to learn, and pre-questions that stimulate their thinking about the topic.

References: Ausubel (1968); Brophy (1998); Meichenbaum & Biemiller (1998).