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Paper Topic:

your own practical theory

An Essay on Practical Education Theory

The teaching profession is most times , synonymous with the ability to enforce rules , impart textbook knowledge , grade s and manage classroom discipline , but the practical theory that is involved in teaching is most of the time , obscure . Sepia-toned `school photographs ' of inappropriate images and inadequate expectations can become frozen in a time and context unreal to the present reality and complexity of present day schools , classrooms and day-to-day teaching

Every teacher is a theory builder , because teachers create a basis , or a theory of action

for effective teaching , and all teachers desire to make changes to , or fine-tune their teaching methods . This is a point of view which , until a decade or so ago , would have been roundly rejected , perhaps even ridiculed in some educational circles . Let us consider this proposition in some detail

Think about this question for a moment : Why do teachers teach the way they do ? Most times , teachers do not read from a script prepared by others , nor are they clones of some master teacher or some central office bureaucrat . Teachers are not robots that have been pre-programmed to behave in accordance with some centrally approved approach to teaching . Teaching is far too complex and variable for any of these approaches to have any hope of working . Rather , teachers use methods that are consistent with their own notions and beliefs about the ends and means of teaching , and which have been tailored to suit their own attributes and the contexts in which they work . When we think about it , we would realize that truly , teachers are theory builders

A theory is a well-substantiated explanation of an aspect of the natural world . It is an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of natural occurrences . A theory can also be seen as a belief that can guide behavior , and it can incorporate facts , laws and tested hypotheses . There is a very close link between theory and practice , as one modifies the other . Practice provides a basis for theory building and practice is itself guided by theory

It is a fact that teachers ' theories are built up over considerable time and involve creative design , shrewd observations of student reactions to various approaches , risk taking , and a lot of hard work . It seems , however , that the results of these practical theories are very worthwhile and do provide rewards for the teacher , as well as the students ' Marland (1997 . Theory building addresses significant problems related to student learning . It can also create designs , and experiment with various ways of solving these problems . It also involves inquiring into the relative effectiveness of these ways of solving problems , by using data from observations , tests and feedback to assist teachers to identify patterns which give rise to predictions about what is likely to happen , and build a basis for professional action

Teachers construct their own notions about how to teach . To a large extent , teachers ' notions are...

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