Friday, December 16, 2011

Describe an ideal classroom.

     Q:  Describe an ideal classroom.
     A:   I believe an ideal classroom is composed of five basic elements.  These include 1) Learning occurs best when the development of positive attitudes and perceptions is made part of every learning task.  2) Knowledge is best learned by making connections between what is known and what is to be learned.  I always want my students to understand what it is to construct meaning.  3) I believe that for learning to be effective and meaningful, students should be provided with opportunities to use knowledge in practical situations – that is, opportunities to apply that knowledge.  4) We know that in an ideal classroom students learn best when they need knowledge to accomplish a goal they consider important.  This often involves problem-solving, decision-making, and inquiry-based learning.  And 5) in that ideal classroom, teachers can help students develop the mental habits that will enable them to learn on their own.  Critical thinking activities and metacognitive practices help ensure this.  While these five principles are all part of that ideal classroom, they are also goals or aspirations I see for myself and my students.  That ideal classroom may not always be achievable, but it can certainly be a realistic goal.

            Demonstrate your knowledge of educational principles and practices that can be part of every teacher’s classroom.  Detail those items and show how they can serve as goals for your future classroom.  The interviewer wants to know two things: 1) What’s good teaching; and 2) What kind of teaching will you practice?

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