How Do You Ensure Pupils Understand Explanations ?

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Seminar Paper 1

How do you ensure that pupils understand explanations ?

The purpose of this essay is to look at the ways in which a child retains information, how that information is processed and the possible barriers involved. There will be some focus on the theories of learning and the strategies and practices employed in the classroom.
At this juncture it must be stated that ‘ensuring’ may be an ambiguous word, and that ‘enabling’ the understanding may be more precise, as no matter how vociferous the intention to ‘ensure’ there will always be pupils who fall through the net or may even have developed their own strategies to cope with not understanding yet leading the teacher to believe they have.
Surely the answer to this
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A valid statement that is underpinned by most theorists who believe that cognitive understanding relates to developmental stages in age and maturity. Piaget believed that learning was supported by action. That thought is developed by experiencing and active experimenting.
With the knowledge of all the impediments in place let us know consider the classroom strategies available. A tried and tested method is to ask the pupils what they think their course of action will be. For example ‘what do you think I want you to do when you have read through the text?’. (Case, 2010). This in itself for some, may take some coding and decoding and therefore present vast possibilities of misunderstanding (Denby, 2012). Obviously the message has to be first ‘coded’ by the teacher , in other words putting it into a form that can be understood, this may be visual or written. As many theorists claim however, interpretation of the spoken word is not only auditory. Approximately 35% of meaning is in the way it is actually said and a further 55% in body language and facial expression (Mehrabian, 1971). Highlighting as previously mentioned the importance of the positioning of the teacher in the room and the classroom layout. If the pupils cannot see the teacher, they may miss important facets of the instruction that will then mean them having to fill in the gaps by guessing. As Piaget states ‘ learning is a process of active discovery’ (Piaget sited MacNaughton, 2003). As teachers there
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