Teaching is a complex phenomenon that comprises of various specific teaching skills. Through Micro-Teaching, complexities of class-room teaching are reduced. The different skills are identified and then mastery of each skill is acquired.
Here two important questions crop up which need consideration. The first one is to know what a skill is. The second one is how many skills are involved in the teaching process.
N.L. Gage (1968) says, “Teaching skills are specific instructional activities and procedures that a teacher may use in his class-room. These are related to the various stages of teaching or in the continuous flow of the teacher performance.”
To know how many skills are involved in the teaching process is rather an interesting study. A few research workers have tried to identify several sets of component teaching skills. Some of them are common with a little different terminology.
Allen and Ryan (1969), of Stanford University put forth the view that fourteen skills are involved. Borg and his associates (1970), increased the number to eighteen.
In India, B.K. Passi (1976), on the basis of work done in CASE, Baroda has given a list of twenty one skills. Jangira and his associates (1979), gave a list of twenty.
None of the lists suggested by the researchers are exhaustive and final. We can add or subtract from the lists as per need of the situation. The list of skills given by Allen and Ryan (1969), is as under:
1. Stimulus Variation:
Teaching depends upon the stimulus provided by the teacher during teaching. A good teacher goes on varying the stimulus in order to bring in variety in his teaching.
That way he is able to attract the attention of the students. Thus, the teachers are trained in movements, gestures, focussing, interactional styles etc.
It is related with the finishing up of a stage in teaching. It helps the students to relate the new knowledge with the previous one.
3. Set Induction:
Set induction helps the students to induce maximum. The teacher uses their present knowledge and skills and tries to involve them in the lesson.
4. Silence and Non-Verbal Cues:
During teaching, the teacher provides cues to the students in order to encourage them. Sometimes he puts a thought provoking question. The students speak on it. The discussion goes on and on when the teacher does not give his personal comments. He rather remains silent. It makes many other students to come forward and speak.
5. Higher Order Questions:
In every good lesson, the teacher puts some questions which are of higher order. This type of questions enables the students to form generalizations or to reach some definite principles.
6. Reinforcement of Student Participation:
The pupil-teacher in every way tries to encourage student’s participation in the lesson. As fast as possible, he accepts their responses with a smile. Only positive reinforces are used by him. He makes every effort to avoid the use of negative reinforces which may result into any type of discouragement for the students.
7. Divergent Questions:
Putting divergent questions is another skill which makes the students thinks creatively.
8. Probing Questions:
The teacher puts such questions with the help of which he is able to dig out something from the students.
With the help of probing questions, the teacher is able to lead the students to correct responses.
9. Fluency in Making Questions:
While putting questions to the class, the teacher should have fluency. He tries to have as many questions as possible in the scheduled period of teaching.
10. Recognising Attending Behaviour:
Every good teacher has the ability to judge while teaching how far the students are taking interest in the lesson. The teacher is able to do so through visual cues.
11. Planned Repetition:
Sometimes during teaching the teacher repeats things in a planned manner. He does so in order to focus the attention of the students over some important points.
12. Illustrations and use of Examples:
A good teacher has the skill of clear teaching. For this purpose he is able to give good examples. Through illustrations, he is able to capture the attention of all.
The teacher is able to present the material effectively by using the right type of techniques.
Communication of teaching is two way traffic. Through teaching, the teacher is able to communicate himself fully. He is able to give knowledge, develop attitude and interest of the students.
List of Probable Teaching Skills for Different Stages of a Lesson
Below is given a list of probable teaching skills which are required at different stages of a lesson:
I. Planning Stage
This stage involves the following skills.
1. Writing Instructional Objectives.
2. Selecting the content.
3. Organising content.
4. Selection of Audio Visual Aids material.
II. Introductory Stage
1. Creating set induction.
2. Introducing the lesson.
III. Presentation Stage
The Presentation Stage has four sub-stages. Each sub-stage needs different type of teaching skills which are given below:
(a) Questioning Skills
(i) Structuring Class-room questions.
(ii) Fluency in asking questions.
(iii) Probing questions.
(iv) Question-delivery and distribution.
(v) Higher order questions.
(vi) Divergent questions.
(vii) Responses Management.
(b) Presentation Skills
(i) Packing of the lesson,
(iv) Illustrating with examples,
(c) Aid Using Skills
(i) Using teaching Aids.
(ii) Using blackboard.
(iii) Stimulus variation.
(iv) Silence and Non-verbal cues.
(d) Management Skills
(i) Promoting pupil participation.
(ii) Recognising attending behaviour.
(iii) Management of the class.
Teaching is a very complex activity having at least three levels of teacher behaviours viz., component teaching skills, component teaching behaviours having the component skill and atomistic teaching behaviours. This is primary level of teaching skills.
These component teaching skills can be classified into individual sets of component teaching behaviours at the secondary level. The component teaching skills can be defined as a set of inter-related component teaching behaviours for the realisation of specific instructional objectives.
To help the student teachers at the beginning stage to prepare the lesson, a component teaching skill and its component teaching behaviours are selected as units and not the complex teaching as a whole. Thus, we may say that the Micro-Teaching is an analytic approach to teacher training.
There is a feeling that teaching cannot be broken into pieces in the form of various teaching skills and component behaviours. Teaching is not just a combination of these isolated bits and therefore mastery over the different teaching skills does not make one an effective teacher.
There should be some bridge between training in isolated skills and the real teaching situations. The concept of integration of teaching skills may perform the role of such bridge.
Integration of skills means a process of selection, organistation and utilization of different teaching skills to form an effective pattern for realizing the specified instructional objectives in a given teaching- learning situation.
The major objectives of the integration of teaching skills are as follows:-
1. Helping in the transition from Micro-Teaching situation to real teaching situation.
2. Providing practice in making decision regarding the synthesis of teaching skills in view of the teaching situation and instructional objectives.
Integration in parts and integration as a whole are the strategies for the integration of skills.
Integration in Parts:
First of all decision is made with respect to the number of individually mastered skills required to be integrated. The time duration of the teaching exercise for integration depends upon the number of teaching skills to be integrated.
It is increased four times if there are four skills to the integrated and five times in case of five skills and so on.
All the steps like teach, feedback, re- plan, re-teach, re-feedback are planned and carried out in the controlled setting (as in the case of Micro-Teaching) and this process continues till the student teacher acquires a reasonable level of mastery in the integration of the skills in hand.
After acquiring mastery in the integration of these skills he is required to apply it in a real classroom setting and have sufficient practice in such real teaching.
Integration as Whole:
In this approach, opportunity is provided to integrate all the individual teaching skills by taking them as a whole and not in parts. It is a sort of mini-teaching, bridging the gap between Micro-Teaching and teaching in real situation.
Student teacher should have full knowledge of the content, instructional objectives, teaching learning situations and scope of utilization of the learned individual teaching skill.