Micro-Teaching is one of the most recent innovations in teacher education programmes which aim to modify teacher's behaviour according to the specified objectives.
Educationists in our country have recently recognized the importance of Micro-Teaching in preparing efficient class-room teachers.
A beginning has been made at some centers in the country, in the direction of conducting researches on Micro-Teaching to replace traditional methods of class-room teaching in teachers' training institutions.
It is assumed that if a person is trained to acquire the sub-skills of teaching one by one, and then if all these sub-skills are integrated together he becomes an efficient teacher. The systematic training that a would-be-teacher or a practicing teacher, receives for each sub-skill of teaching is called micro-teaching.
Micro-Teaching was developed by Professor Dwight Allen and Robert Bush in the teacher preparation programme at Stanford University between 1960-1967 it can be used for pre-service and in- service teacher training programmes.
It is a laboratory technique of teacher training in which the complexities of normal class-room teaching are simplified. It is based on Skinner's operant conditioning. It is not a teaching technique.
It is a training technique. It is described as a 'Scaled down teaching encounter in class size and class time (Allen and Ryan 1969). The student-teacher teaches a class of 5 to 10 pupils for 5 to 10 minutes. It is also scaled down with respect to teaching complexity.
Teaching is considered to be made up of skills and each teaching skill is a set of related teaching behaviour which tends to facilitate Pupils' learning. Such skills can be defined, practiced, controlled, observed and evaluated. A particular lesson may involve any number of skills.
A teacher should be trained in all these skills for developing the ability to teaching. These skills are developed by Micro-Teaching. According to Allen and Eve (1968), "Micro-Teaching is a system of controlled practice that makes it possible to concentrate on specific teaching behaviour and to practice teaching under controlled conditions."
According to N.K. Jangira and Ajit Singh, "Micro-Teaching is a training setting for the student teacher where complexities of the normal class-room teaching are reduced by:
1. Practicing one component of skill at a time.
2. Limiting the content to a single concept.
3. Reducing the size to 5 to 10 pupils, and
4. Reducing the duration of the lesson to 5 to 10 minutes.
According to L.C. Singh (1977). "Micro-Teaching is a 'scaled down teaching encounter' in which a teacher teaches a small unit to a group of 5 pupils for a small period of 5 to 20 minutes. Such a situation offers a helpful setting for an experienced or inexperienced teacher to acquire new teaching skills and to refine old ones".
Micro-Teaching in India
Micro-Teaching was introduced in India in 1967, with the humble attempt made by D.D. Tiwari of Government Central Pedagogical Institute, Allahabad.
In 1970, G.B. Shaw experimented with Micro-Teaching at M.S. University, Baroda. Then the Technical Teachers Training Institute, Madras introduced Micro-Teaching to train the technical teachers.
In 1947, Dr. N.L. Dosajh used Micro-Teaching as a teaching device in Teachers Training Institute, Chandigarh. He also wrote a book namely: Modification of Teacher Behaviour through Micro- Teaching'. NCERT, SCERT, in the different states have been propagation this concept.
A Few Definitions of Micro-Teaching
D. W. Allen (1966), "Micro-Teaching is a scaled down teaching encounter in class size and time."
Buch (1968), "Micro-Teaching is a teacher education technique which allows teachers to apply clearly defined Caching skills to carefully prepared lessons in a planned series of five to ten minutes encounters with a small group of real students, often with an opportunity to observe the result on video tape."
Allen and Eve (1968), "Micro-Teaching is defined as a system of controlled practice that makes it possible to concentrate on specific teaching behaviour and to practice teaching under controlled conditions."
David B. Young defined Micro-Teaching as "a device which provides the novice and experienced teacher alike, new opportunities to improve teaching."
Clift and Others (1976), "Micro-Teaching is a teacher training procedure which reduces the teaching situation ot simpler and more controlled encounter achieved by limiting the practice teaching to a specific skill and reducing teaching time and class size."
MC Alleese and Unwin (1970), "The term Micro-Teaching is most often applied to the use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to give immediate feedback of a trainee teacher's performance in a simplified environment."
Passi, B.K. (1976) says, "It is a training technique which requires pupil-teachers to teach a single concept using specified teaching skills to a small number of pupils in a short duration of time."
According to the Encyclopedia of Education (Ed. DeigHton), "Micro-Teaching is a real, constructed, scaled down teaching encounter which is used for teacher training, curriculum development and research."
Characteristics of Micro-Teaching
A few characteristics of Micro-Teaching are as under:
1. It is a teacher training technique and not a method of classroom instruction.
2. It is micro in the sense that if scales down the complexities of real teaching.
(a) Out of contents, a single concept is taken up at a time.
(b) Only one skill at a time is practiced.
(c) Size of the class is reduced and thus the number of students is just 5 to 7.
(d) Duration of each micro lesson is 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Feedback is provided immediately after the completion of the lesson.
4. The use of Video Tape and Closed Circuit Television makes the observation very objective.
5. It is highly individualized training device.
6. There is a high degree of control in practicing a skill when this technique is used.
7. Micro-Teaching is an analytic approach to training.
Micro-Teaching involves actually teaching a real lesson to real pupils with none of the role-playing of earlier modeled teaching situations.
Components of Micro-Teaching
The components of Micro-Teaching are:
(i) A teacher,
(ii) The pupils (usually 4 or 5),
(iii) A brief lesson,
(iv) The objectives of the specific Micro-Teaching occasion,
(v) Feedback by the supervisor, or by using audio tape recordings, video tape recordings and closed circuit television.
Assumptions of Micro-Teaching
The assumptions on which Micro-Teaching is based areas under:
1. Teaching behaviour of a teacher can be observed in classroom situations.
2. Drawbacks in the teaching competency can be traced out and then they can be improved upon.
3. Complexities of normal class-room situation can be reduced. The size of the class, the duration of teaching, teaching contents etc., can be reduced for giving training to the beginner teachers.
4. Training of specific skills can be given very well by taking up one skill at a time.
5. Practice of teaching can be controlled by providing regular feedback.
6. Teacher training programme can be highly individualised.
7. In-service teachers can also be better trained through Micro- Teaching technique.
8. Observation of teaching can be done objectively by using video-tape and Closed Circuit Television.
9. Feedback to the teacher trainee can be possible immediately. The earlier the feedback to the teacher trainee, the better is his learning the different skills of teaching.
The following steps are used for conducting a micro lesson successfully:
1. There is general discussion about Micro-Teaching. Theory of Micro-Teaching with all details is discussed. The teacher under training reads related literature and through discussions, clarifications are sought.
2. Different skills involved in teaching are explained to the pupil-teachers.
3. Out of the various skills, one skill for mastery purpose is selected. Full details of that skill are given to the pupil- teachers.
4. An expert the subject gives a demonstration lesson on that particular skill.
5. The demonstration lesson is followed by discussions in which the learner teachers discuss things and seek all type of clarifications.
6. The pupil-teacher writes the micro lesson plan on the skill already selected. He does this in consultation with the supervisor.
7. The pupil-teacher teaches the lesson to a small group of students (i.e., 5 to 10 students). The lesson is observed by the supervisor (the teacher) or by the peers or video tape.
8. Immediately after the lesson, feedback is proved. All type of suggestions is given for the improvement of the lesson.
9. In the light of discussion and suggestions, the pupil-teacher preplans the lesson. It is done again under the guidance of the supervisor.
10. The lesson preplanned, is ret ought to the small group of students.
11. After the lesson is over, again feedback is given and thus improvement in teaching is made.
Thus, we find that through Micro-Teaching, the pupil-teacher is able acquire 5 R's i.e. Recording, Reviewing, Responding, Refining and Redoing.
Phases of Micro Teaching Procedures
According to Cliff and Others (1976), Micro-Teaching procedure has the following three phases:
1. Knowledge Acquisition Phase:
At this stage, the student teacher tries to get knowledge of the skill to be practised. He reads relevant literature concerning that skill. He is also made to observe a demonstration lesson in which that skill figures prominently.
The person who demonstrates the skill is an expert of the subject and the skill. By observing that lesson, the teacher under training gets theoretical as well as practical knowledge of that skill.
2. Transfer Phase:
At this stage, teacher integrates the different skills. Instead of artificial situation he teaches in the real class-room where the number of students full class. His lesson is of 30 to 35 minutes duration and there he tries to integrate all the skills for which he made efforts in Phase Nos. I and II.
3. Skill Acquisition Phase:
The student teacher acquires the skill in hand through a lot of practice. He prepares the micro-lesson, teaches it to have practice and then through feedback the evaluates his performance.
Then he preplans the lesson with modifications and improvement and then retouches that lesson.
Again there is re-feedback in order to enable him to have mastery of the teaching skill. In this way, different skills are learnt by the student teacher one by one.
Micro-Teaching is based on a few sound principles which are briefly explained below:
1. Principle of One Skill at a Time:
In Micro-Teaching, training of one skill is given till the person has acquired mastery over it. Then the second skill is taken up and so on. Thus, we find that Micro-Teaching is based on the principle of giving training of one skill at a time.
2. Principle of Limited Contents:
Micro-Teaching, limited contents are taken up and the teacher is required to use those contents only. It helps the beginner teacher teach that limited material easily and confidently.
3. Principle of Practice:
Micro-Teaching is based on the sound principle of practice. Here lot of practice is given by taking up on is skill at a time. Practice makes a man perfect. It helps the pupil- teacher in becoming better and better.
4. Principle of Experimentation:
A lot of Experimentation is involved in Micro-Teaching. The experiment consists of objective observation of actions perfumed under controlled conditions.
The pupil-teacher and the supervisor conduct experiment on teaching skills under controlled conditions. Variables like time duration of the lesson, contents of the lesson to be taught, number of students sitting in the class etc., can be easily controlled.
5. Principle of Immediate Feedback:
The micro lesson lasts for four or five minutes only. Thereafter, feedback is provided to the pupil-teacher. It helps the pupil-teacher to know his drawbacks and improve them effectively without any delay.
6. Principle of Evaluation:
In Micro-Teaching, there is continuous assessment of the performance of the pupil-teacher. Evaluation helps the learner know his drawback and then he is able to improve it.
In Micro-Teaching, each micro lesson is supervised by the supervisor or the peers. Drawbacks in teaching are pointed out and suggestion for improvement is given. Self-evaluation is also possible. Thus, evaluation ensures good learning by the pupil-teacher.
7. Principle of Continuity:
Learning of different skills of teaching is a continuous process in Micro-Teaching programme. The pupil-teacher is learning one skill at a time and learning continues till he has mastered the skill. For each skill, the principle of continuity is implied. It makes the teacher good and effective.
8. Principle of Individualised Training:
In Micro-Teaching, each trainee is given training very thoroughly. There is individual attention by the supervisor. The drawbacks in teaching are pointed out, suggestions given one by one and thus improvement is brought about.
Micro-Teaching Procedures/Steps of Micro-Teaching
A Micro-Teaching programme is organised to expose the trainees to an organised curriculum of miniature teaching encounters, moving from the less complex to the more complex.
At each step along the way, a teaching strategy is discussed until it can be incorporated into a short teaching lesson of approximately 5 minutes duration. The trainee then teaches this lesson with a small group of four to six pupils in front of a video camera (if it is available), a supervisor, and often some trainee peers.
The pupils are sent out after filling a short rating font, and the video recording is replayed and criticized by the supervisor and trainee peers. Then the trainee is given time to think about this criticism and to make modifications in his teaching strategy.
Micro-Teaching process includes the following steps:
In this step teacher provides orientation i.e., lectures on Micro-Teaching, its process, aspects, merits and limitations, to the pupil-teachers.
Discussion of Teaching Skill:
Under this step the pupil-teachers should be introduced with various teaching skills. Teacher discusses and explains the psychological rationale behind a particular skill under use.
Presentation of Micro-Teaching Model:
The teacher educator gives a model Micro-Teaching (5 to 10 minutes) for the particular skill. His model-exemplifies the use of the particular skill and its components.
The pupil-teachers should be provided the 'Observation Schedule' for the observation of the specific skill. Each skill has different observation schedule. The observation and criticism of the model lesson provide feedback to the demonstrator.
Preparation of Micro-lesson-Plan:
Under this step pupil- teachers are required to prepare micro-lesson-plan related to the specifically selected teaching skill. The pupil-teacher should preferably select one unit concept for micro-lesson.
The teacher teaches a group of four or five pupils (or his own peers). The teacher educator or a peer can observe the micro lesson by the trainee and note down the observations in a specially developed preformed. The micro lesson may be videotaped or at least recorded using cassette recorder.
Under this step, immediate feedback is provided to the trainee for his micro lesson. This feedback is provided by playing the video or audio-tape. The trainee observes his own lesson and analyses it with the teacher educator and his peers.
If video and audio tape recorders are not available, the observation schedule maintained by the teacher educator and the peers can serve as a good basis of the feedback. This feedback session helps the trainee to know what acts of his teaching are to be consolidated and what acts are eliminated.
In the light of the feedback and the educator's comments the trainee re-plans the micro lesson. Duration of this session is 12 minutes.
The trainee re-teaches the micro lesson to a different but comparable group of pupils. This time also the micro lesson is video or audio-taped and the observations are noted in the preformed. Feedback is again provided on the re-teach lesson.
After re-teach, re-feedback is provided to the pupil-teacher. The duration of re-feedback is 6 minutes.
Repetition of the Micro-Teaching Cycle:
The Micro-Teaching cycle is repeated till the pupil-teacher acquires the mastery in the teaching skill. The Micro-Teaching cycle consists of planning, teaching, feedback, re-planning, re-teaching and re-feedback.
Creation of Micro-Teaching Setting:
Under this step, consideration is made for creating proper conditions and providing appropriate facilities for the practice of a teaching skill. In the Indian model of Micro-Teaching developed by NCERT the standard setting for a micro class as below:
(a) Number of pupils: 5-10
(b) Type of pupils: Real pupils or preferably peers.
(c) Type of supervisor: Teacher educators and peers.
(d) Time duration of a micro lesson: 6 minutes.
(e) Time duration of a Micro-Teaching cycle: 36 minutes.
Merits of Micro-Teaching
Micro-Teaching is an innovation which has sound basis of principles of learning and application of technology. The advantages of Micro-Teaching are as follows:-
1. It is an effective feedback device for the modification of teacher's behaviour.
2. It is highly individualized type to teacher training.
3. It is useful for developing teaching efficiency in pre-service and in-service teacher training programme.
4. It helps in systematic and objective observation by providing specific observation schedule.
5. It helps in acquiring various types of skills which ultimately form the basis of successful teaching.
6. It reduces the complexities of normal class-room teaching such as size of class, time and problem of discipline.
7. It is a training device for improving teaching practice and to prepare effective teachers.
8. Teaching is a complicated type of activity. Micro-Teaching simplifies it so as to make it suitable for the beginner teachers.
9. It develops the feeling of confidence among the teachers.
10. It provides economy in mastering the teaching skills. The use of video-tape enables the trainee to analyse his own teaching performance.
11. It can be done either in real class-room conditions or simulated conditions.
12. It focuses on training for the accomplishment of special tasks such as practice of instructional skills, mastery of certain curricular materials and practice of techniques of teaching.
13It permits increased control and regulates teaching practice.
14. It enables the trainee to make progress in developing teaching skills at his own rating depending upon ability.
15. Trainees get satisfaction when they hear and see themselves through audio-video-tapes.
Demerits of Micro-Teaching
The drawbacks of Micro-Teaching are as follows:
1. Through Micro-Teaching one trainee is trained at a time.
2. It is more time consuming as a trainee will take 35 minutes to practice one skill only.
3. It presents fragmented view of teaching.
4. It may enable a trainee to seek mastery over the isolated teaching skills but hardly trains him to meet the needs of the real teaching encounter.
5. The immediate feedback which is a must may not be feasible in all conditions.
6. Due to short lesson of 6 minutes, a trainee cannot get training in evaluation, diagnostic and remedial skills.
7. It cannot fit in Indian conditions and situations due to its short practice period which may create academic and administrative problems in the schools.
8. It depresses the creativity of teachers. During teaching a teacher evolves something new but he has to stop as the micro lesson ends.
9. Micro-Teaching can be carried on successfully only in controlled environment but generally it is found classroom situations are flexible.
10. It wastes a lot of time of students. Each micro lesson goes on for 5 to 10 minutes where the main emphasis is on teaching technique, learning by students is almost ignored.
11. Micro-Teaching alone may not be sufficient. There is need of integrating it with other teaching techniques.
Micro-Teaching and Traditional Teaching a Comparison
Micro-Teaching is a new idea in the field of teacher education. People who have traditional outlook don't want to change their ideologies. They face problems in accepting the innovation of Micro- Teaching.
This type of situation always arises whenever new things will come up. The old nations need be converted into the modern ones because the modern ones are undoubtedly unique.
The comparison of the two techniques-brings home clearly the view point that Micro-Teaching is an in proved technique in every way and is better as compared to the traditional teaching:
2. It does not pose a big threat or fear to the teacher.
3. It usually encourages the beginner teacher for better job performance in future.
4. Here the objective is given in behavioural terms.
5. The number of students in a class is less. It is rather a small group of 5 to 10 students.
6. There is provision of immediate feedback. That helps the teacher to know his drawbacks and improve upon them.
7. Teaching is carried on under fully controlled situations. The supervisor is there who is determined to improve teaching.