ERIC Identifier: ED291205
Publication Date: 1987-00-00
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and
Gifted Children Reston VA.
Critical Presentation Skills--Research to Practice. ERIC Digest
RESEARCH FINDINGS: Effective teachers use a number of techniques to present a
lesson that can enhance pupil achievement. These teaching practices encompass
five critical skills: eliciting frequent responses, maintaining an appropriate
pace during the lesson, maintaining attention, monitoring student responses and
adjusting the lesson, and ensuring all students an equal chance to learn.
ELICITING FREQUENT RESPONSES: A strong positive correlation has been found
between student achievement and the amount of time spent in question-answering
interactions. Students, continually asked to respond, tend to be more attentive
during instruction. The teacher, continually receiving feedback, is able to
adjust the lesson to provide better instruction.
Responses may be verbal or written. Students may respond in unison or
individually. Unison responses are best used when the response is short and all
students are likely to use the same wording. For example, the teacher may ask
"What word?" "Count by 7's". Individual responses are best requested when the
desired answer is long or the question would probably generate different wording
from different students. For example, a "Why?" question is best answered by an
individual student. Individual responses also can be used to verify individual
Generally a teacher should call on non-volunteers to ensure active
involvement of all students and accurate feedback to the teacher on students'
knowledge. Responses could be elicited by ordered turns or in random order. Each
has advantages and disadvantages. MAINTAINING AN APPROPRIATE PACE: An
appropriate pace helps maintain the attention of the learners and also increases
the amount of content coverage. Effective teachers maintain an appropriate pace
by being well prepared for the lesson, eliciting many responses from students,
and moving quickly to the next question or teacher input.
If pace is too slow, students get off-task and incorrect responses may
actually increase. If the pace is too fast, errors may occur or the lesson may
take on an artificial tone. MAINTAINING STUDENT ATTENTION: Mildly handicapped
students often have more difficulty than other students attending to critical
variables within instructional lessons. However, the teachers can systematically
adjust their teaching practices to increase student attention.
If attention wanes, teachers can elicit more responses from students, move
closer to the students who are not attending, or gain eye contact. MONITORING
STUDENT RESPONSES AND ADJUSTING INSTRUCTION: A high percentage of correct
answers in both guided practice and independent work is positively related to
achievement gains. Various researchers have found critical success rates to be
from 80% to 90%. Rates of less than 75% result in lower achievement. This is
true for low-achieving and special education students as well as
Correct answers given immediately should be acknowledged and then the
teachers should move on quickly to new input. ENSURING ALL STUDENTS AN EQUAL
CHANCE TO LEARN: A number of teaching practices may easily discriminate against
the lower performing student. For example, calling on high performance students
more frequently, giving them more eye contact, and waiting longer for their
responses tends to discourage the participation of the slower learner.
Effective teachers ensure that all students are called upon, not just those
who volunteer; provide good eye contact to all students; and allow an adequate
amount of time for all students to formulate answers.
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