|Teaching (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 34 p.)|
Teachers can prepare students for learning by providing an initial structure to clarify intended outcomes and cue desired learning strategies.
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 activitys 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).