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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The British Classroom

It is typical to feel somewhat lost as a student teacher only attending your school once a week. Teachers and students may be in the middle of projects or assignments and it often feels like there is a lot of catching up to do. I have attended my school 6 times now and I haven't seen much instruction. I see the students do independent work often. I see them review topics they have already covered. But it is rare for me to actually see the students learning something that is completely new. I think it is extremely important for students to have a full grasp of concepts rather than just a brief recollection of something they did. A teacher was telling me that they have finished all of their math topics for the year now that it is March and from now until the end of the school year they are just reviewing all of the topics they have learned so far. She was telling me the reason they do this - as the students go off into secondary school it is important for them to have full understandings of math concepts, which revision helps with. By reviewing the year's topics, the students have to constantly remember information that they have previously learned. It is supposed to help their long-term memory. I think this is a good method as long as students are constantly being engaged and learning new things. This may make some students bored because they have already learned a mastered these topics. Therefore, it is important for British teachers to bring new things into these previously learned topics, which I have yet to see.

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