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Lecturing, recitation, and direct instruction are prominent patterns of class- room instruction, and most teachers view them as models of teaching. But in theory and practice, they are not models at all. Models of teaching have elaborate theoretical statements, and descriptions of patterns of behavior that teachers can be trained to perform. There are discrete teacher-student interac- tions that characterize one model and distinguish it from another. Models are similar to theatrical plays, though not so closely scripted.

If teachers know the model, they can visualize the classroom activity before it occurs, and use that image to monitor and regulate the flow of activity. The content and goals of models are equally distinctive. In one model, the content is derived from an academic discipline, such as mathematics; in another it may draw from recent student experiences for the content. A model will be chosen not only to convey content but to stretch the way students think and learn about learning.

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Models of teaching allow teachers to ask of good teaching, “Good for what?” and to answer out of the things (e.g. logical thinking, inductive reasoning, per- sonal self-organization, cooperation, and group skill) a particular model is de- signed to be good for.



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Some readers will notice that the reference dates for these models of teaching range from the 1950s to the early 1970s. This indeed was a time of innovation in teaching, and many of the models of teaching were researched by scholars and elaborated on by educators interested in classroom instruction. Some educators embedded specific models of teaching in curriculum materials made available during that period. It was a productive time in American education, a time dur- ing which instructional innovations flourished under the leadership of govern- ment sponsored research and university scholarship.

What has happened between then and now? In many ways, the models of teach- ing are fully developed approaches to help students develop their thinking skills, and there are teaching guides with planning materials available to aid teachers and curriculum developers. Joyce, Calhoun, and Hopkins’s Models of Learning (2002) recasts or refocuses these same strategies as models of learning. The au- thors describe their intent to teach thinking skills through curriculum imple- mentation: “As we study the four families of Models of Teaching, we try to build a mental picture of what each model is designed to accomplish. As we consider when and how to use various combinations of models and, therefore, which learning strategies will get priority for particular units and lessons and groups of students, we take into account the types and pace of learning that are likely to be promoted” (p. 36). When teachers apply the models of learning to class- room lesson planning and planning units of study, the models often become fragmented. For example, the Inductive Thinking Model has nine logical steps, but in a lesson a teacher might find only two or three of them. This is important. The original models of teaching or learning are complete packages, but in class- rooms today, only part of the full model may be in use.

Consider a U.S. history teacher who asks her students to enumerate the pos- sible causes of colonists’ discontent prior to the Revolutionary War. Though she might be implementing the Inductive Thinking Model of teaching, which has nine steps, she might be able to implement only enumerating the causes and getting her students to explain them. In a specific lesson, it may not be not pos- sible to implement all the steps in the model, but the fragment nevertheless can contribute to the larger process of inductive thinking and learning.

In the 9th edition of Models of Teaching (2014), Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun included descriptions to approaches to learning that are potent but not fully developed models. They are, nevertheless, additions to our teaching repertoires valuable for any professional. For example, Joel Levin’s Mnemonic Keyword approach to learning the meaning of words is a powerful strategy for blending visuals, mean-



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ing, and memory for new words in any language. The “cross cutting concepts” within the National Academy of Sciences Next Generation Science Standards and the integration of academic disciplines within these standards pushes the boundaries of teaching and learning in healthy and ground-breaking directions.

Few educational researchers understand teaching and learning better than Joyce and his colleagues. In the third edition of Models of Teaching (1986), they write about the different models, the effects on learners of the different approaches to teaching, and the need to adapt teaching to different learners’ styles.

What makes these models attractive to teachers is that teachers can help stu- dents build a repertoire of thinking skills—inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, analogical thinking, inquiry training, concept building, and others. Joyce and colleagues (2002) write, “Debates about educational method have seemed to imply that schools and teachers should choose one approach over another. However, it is far more likely that for optimum opportunity to learn, students need a range of instructional approaches drawn from the information processing, social, personal and behavioral families” (p. 70). Teachers can get excited about students having control over a repertoire of thinking skills as they work their way through elementary and secondary schools.

A second line of inquiry that Joyce and his colleagues pursued became a signifi- cant influence on the school culture literature of the era. This was the evolution of peer coaching, the collegial school, and their work on professional develop- ment. From the very beginning, they used peer coaching to learn specific mod- els of teaching. Learning the teaching models required an understanding of theory and practice, strategies and specific teaching skills, and savvy attention to adult learning. Teachers worked together to study the theory of the teaching models, identified the mini skills that make the models work in the classroom, practiced the models by simulating them in small groups (pairings and triads), and discussed the place of models in the classroom. They worked with thou- sands of teachers over a 25-year period and evolved a peer coaching model that went from informal gatherings to a formal process called peer coaching.

Their model of peer coaching consisted of theory, demonstration, practice, feedback, and application by teaching in the classroom with their students. Joyce and his associates began work on peer coaching in the early 1970s as an effort to help teachers learn different models of teaching and implement them in their classrooms. In the 1980s, their research on peer coaching focused more on small groups of teachers and on student learning and how teachers can cre- ate better learning environments. Joyce and Showers (1986) wrote, “There is no evidence that simply organizing peer coaching or peer study teams will affect



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students’ learning environments. The study of teaching and curriculum must be the focus” (p. 12).

It wasn’t long before the importance of a collegial school environment surfaced as a key condition for in-service professional development. Improving school- ing requires promoting the evolution of the school organization and the re- lationships between the adults to find a model of schooling that fits the 21st century. Current trends include greater accountability, shared power and gov- ernance, and higher expectations for student achievement. All of this activity to rejuvenate the schools requires cooperation among teachers, school leaders, and public officials. Teachers must ask themselves: “Am I prepared to work with formal knowledge of teaching and learning? Am I prepared to work with oth- ers to develop a collegial school and to create a professional environment for lifelong learning? Am I prepared to work toward more democratic schools for the 21st century?”

Like a good case study, models of teaching have evolved from an innovation in teaching and learning to a full-blown theory of schooling and professional de- velopment. The current conventional wisdom about the importance of collabo- ration, professional learning communities, and deprivatizing teaching owes a debt, that should not be forgotten, to the 40-year history of those who devel- oped models of teaching and peer coaching.

So, as we go forward now, the models of teaching are there for our use in im- proving student thinking skills. Peer coaching is there to facilitate the process by which teachers learn new models and transfer that learning to their class- room teaching. We are still educating children by teaching them to read and write, but the school has a much larger purpose. Everyone in the school build- ing has to grow stronger and better, and for that we need a different culture, a more collegial environment, and a school more accountable to itself and the public. The development of models of teaching play a significant role in the his- tory of these growing perceptions.



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Eight Models of Teaching:

1. Advanced Organizer: Designed to increase the efficiency of information processing capacities to absorb and relate bodies of knowledge.

2. Concept Attainment: Designed primarily to develop concepts and how they are formed from attributes.

3. Inductive Thinking: Designed primarily for the development of inductive mental processes and academic reasoning or theory building, but these capacities are useful for personal and social goals as well.

4. Inquiry Training: Designed primarily for the development of problem-solving, data gather- ing, and hypothesis testing.

5. Awareness Training: Awareness training seeks to bridge the individual’s own experiences with experiences of other people.

6. Synectics: Personal development of creativity and creative problem-solving by connecting the familiar with the strange.

7. Nondirective Teaching: Emphasis on building capacity for self-instruction and through this, personal development in terms of self-understanding, self-discovery, and self-concept.

8. Group Investigation: Development of skills for participation in democratic social processes through combined emphasis on interpersonal and social (group) skills and aca- demic inquiry.

To check your knowledge about Models of Teaching, see the exercises on The Skillful Teacher website at www.RBTeach.com/TST7.



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