Continuum teaching refers to the continuity of teaching. According to McKegney, 2016, the word continuum means to continue something or something that keeps on going changing with the pace of time. The continuum of teaching refers to the strategies that are applied in teaching (McKegney, 2016). There are strategies that would be discussed thoroughly in the following report. The teaching strategies are put in use in order to get the desired educational outcomes from the children (Hughes et al., 2018).
There are several keys applied in the continuum of teaching. According to Arthur et al, (2016), for an easier understanding of the strategies, it can be divided into three parts: The low interacting strategies in the continuum is about providing comments by the educators through actions and model language. The mediating strategies can help explain the concept by the teacher playing the mediating factor between education and the children. The explicit strategies are meant to provide demonstration and directions to the children when required. These strategies when applied in the right way while executing the teaching can help the children learn successfully and can also make the teaching effective. They are proved useful in education in early childhood years (Arthur et al., 2016).
The low interacting ways of teaching includes strategies that have upheld fewer communication skills from the teacher. There are ways by which educators can provide children with adequate instructions just by gestures of small sentences (Arthur et al., 2019). The strategies related are:
Acknowledging what the children say is an effective medium of teaching. It gives a positive attitude towards the children and it helps them in getting their comments delivered in a positive way. It is mainly about the encouragement the children get when they are acknowledged. The teachers through acknowledgment provide proper feedback to children that help in developing positive skills that help them throughout their life (Darling-Hammond et al., 2019). For example, when the child finishes his task on time, the acknowledgment must be offered to him. Telling them that they had done great work would help in increasing the confidence and love towards the work. Giving positive feedback when the child shows creativity through words or actions also encourages positive behavior. This leads to a better learning environment and better learning opportunities.
The process of modeling in education proves to be very effective in making the physical world available for the children. It has proved to be an effective way of teaching mathematics and science to children. According to Lindmeier et al., (2020), modeling may include roleplay by type teachers in order to explain something important that can be messages without much communication. The physical world is made to be available by the teacher through modeling. It is one of the best approaches by the teachers in order to make a better understanding of the topic. It kills boredom and helps in active learning. For example, role plays by the teachers in order to inculcate good habits among the children by enacting certain characters.
Educators have an important role to play as a facilitator in all levels of teaching. The role of facilitation is important for educators. According to Vrieling et al., (2018), it is the job of the educators to create and enhance opportunities for children by pointing out particular lessons that can be learned through the day to day activities. It is bridging the gap of theoretical education with that of the practical one. It is also offering support and help to the student whenever necessary (Vrieling et al., 2018). Effective facilitation can be done by establishing trust. For example, while doing a task, the teacher must provide guidance and help to the child if he is unable to do it alone. It can be useful in a play-way method where children attempt to do creative things with the help of a teacher (Arthur et al., 2016).
The mediating ways through which efficient teaching can be done is Supporting, Scaffolding, Reflecting, and critique. These strategies are used to interpret the actions and mindset of the children followed by assisting them accordingly (Arthur et al., 2016)
Supporting educators can provide support to children in physical or verbal ways. The support is the external help that can be provided emotional;y or physically in order to make the child achieve whatever he wants in the learning environment. The educators can also provide support by giving clear and legible feedback to the children. It can help them in knowing that the work that has been done is appreciable. In order to provide support, educators must be keen observers and must have sensitivity towards children. The phrases like, “Good boy” or “well done” can be useful in this regard.
Scaffolding is giving assistance to help the children complete their tasks. The term was initially used by Vygotsky according to which a more knowledgeable person helps the child in the ZPD in order to achieve their goals. According to Van de Pol and his colleagues in a journal, the communication has a vital role in scaffolding. Through interactions, the difficulties faced by the child can be discovered and it can be solved by providing additional help. In the early childhood stage, scaffolding can help the children provide help to each other in the group as well (van de Pol et al., 2015). For example, offering the children to think on their own about a certain task. Scaffolding can be conversational as well. It can be used by the educators while the children are performing the tasks in a group. It is found to be beneficial in early childhood learning as it provides that help to the children by which they can get the work done (Arthur et al., 2019).
Reflecting practices in teaching helps the teacher to record and analyze everything that happens in class. It is a kind or self-assessing practice and encourages student-centered learning. Reflective practices in teaching can be achieved if the educator records and assesses his work (Arthur et al., 2019). For example, the classes can be recorded and the teacher after completing the session with the students can go through the recordings and can have an analysis of what must be improved and what teaching procedure can be changed. This benefits the children as well while the teaching-learning process is going on (Moghaddam et al., 2019).
Critique is the strategy by which the teachers can assess and find the flaws that can occur while teaching and learning. The teacher can review and critique his own techniques of teaching. Children who follow the instruction of the teachers can be critiqued by the teacher only in order to analyze how much they have learned or what are the gaps that are required to be filled by the teachers through teaching methods. According to McKinney, 2016, teachers must make sure that the right amount of information has been passed to the children in order to gain the maximum outcome. For example, the regular assessment must be taken by the teacher for measuring how much efficient the children are in grasping lessons and to calculate how much more they need to grasp (McKegney, 2016).
Explicit teaching is the assumption that is regulated in the classroom. They are in the form of open instructions where the children are guided by the educators for achieving the goal specified outcome in the teaching-learning process (Hughes et al., 2018).
The demonstration of the techniques and the process of teaching is helpful in giving the proper directions. The directing of the instruction in a proper way also establishes a proper teaching outcome. According to Hranchuk et al., (2018) it is the most active end in the continuum where the educator provides clear demonstration to children when they are about to present something new in front of the children. This may include the displaying of certain strokes on the paper when art classes are going on. The particular technique of drawing that can help in achieving the desired results (Hranchuk et al., 2018).
Directing is the bare instructions provided to the children in a new situation. They can be planned objectives in which the directions can be used to achieve the learning outcomes by the children. For some time, the directing is some by the educators to control the established environment. When the children get accustomed to the environment, the direction is handed to the children. According to Bøe & Hognestad, (2015), this strategy has been efficient in controlling the play environment in early childhood teaching. When a certain environment has been created with directions, the desired results have been obtained in the teaching-learning process(Bøe & Hognestad, 2015). For example, for establishing the concept of weight and height, the play area is furnished with blocks and children take over their own directions to accomplish the tasks.
The continuum of teaching can be described as the ways by which teaching is continued by applying different strategies as mentioned above. The strategies adopted can be used effectively in imparting knowledge to the children. The ways discussed elaborately can be efficiently used and has a large amount of effectiveness in providing education and using it while teaching.
Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Death, E., Dockett, S., & Farmer, S. (2018). Programming and planning in early childhood settings(7th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia. (pp. 336 - 340
Bøe, M., & Hognestad, K. (2015). Directing and facilitating distributed pedagogical leadership: best practices in early childhood education. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 20(2), 133–148. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2015.1059488
Darling-Hammond, L., Flook, L., Cook-Harvey, C., Barron, B., & Osher, D. (2019). Implications for the educational practice of the science of learning and development. Applied Developmental Science, 24(2), 1–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2018.1537791
Hranchuk, K., Douglas Greer, R., & Longano, J. (2018). Instructional Demonstrations are More Efficient Than Consequences Alone for Children with Naming. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 35(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40616-018-0095-0
Hughes, C. A., Riccomini, P. J., & Morris, J. R. (2018). Use Explicit Instruction. High Leverage Practices for Inclusive Classrooms, 215–236. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315176093-20
Lindmeier, A., Seemann, S., Kuratli-Geeler, S., Wullschleger, A., Dunekacke, S., Leuchter, M., Vogt, F., Opitz, E. M., & Heinze, A. (2020). Modeling early childhood teachers’ mathematics-specific professional competence and its differential growth through professional development – an aspect of structural validity. Research in Mathematics Education, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/14794802.2019.1710558
McKegney, K. (2016). Storytelling as pedagogy: A creative approach to curriculum implementation. Practical Literacy: The Early & Primary Years, 21(1), 36-43.
Moghaddam, R. G., Davoudi, M., Adel, S. M. R., & Amirian, S. M. R. (2019). Reflective Teaching Through Journal Writing: a Study on EFL Teachers’ Reflection-for-Action, Reflection-in-Action, and Reflection-on-Action. English Teaching & Learning. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42321-019-00041-2
van de Pol, J., Volman, M., Oort, F., & Beishuizen, J. (2015). The effects of scaffolding in the classroom: support contingency and student independent working time in relation to student achievement, task effort, and appreciation of support. Instructional Science, 43(5), 615–641. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-015-9351-z
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