TLLM information on bluesky
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Teach Less Learn More: Let's share some strategies on how to teach less and yet motivate our pupils to learn more. Do check the archives to see previously posted strategies. Feel free to email me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your ideas with us.
Check out this website for more information on TLLM:
The following website has links to Cooperative Learning ideas.
ACTIVE AND COOPERATIVE LEARNING
In the traditional approach to college teaching, most class time is spent with the professor lecturing and the students watching and listening. The students work individually on assignments, and cooperation is discouraged.
Such teacher-centered instructional methods have repeatedly been found inferior to instruction that involves active learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class, and cooperative learning, in which students work in teams on problems and projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability. This conclusion applies whether the assessment measure is short-term mastery, long-term retention, or depth of understanding of course material, acquisition of critical thinking or creative problem-solving skills, formation of positive attitudes toward the subject being taught, or level of confidence in knowledge or skills.
The lecturers at NIE have used some of the following TLLM strategies to engage us and help us in our learning:
Thought provoking questions
Writing of reflections
Learning journeys via school visits and work attachments
Movies and movie clips
Organizing events like forums
Co-operative Learning e.g. ‘Jigsaw’
Discussions of case studies
Group projects and presentations
Teach Less, Learn More (TLLM)
ST(Straits Times) and ZB(Zhao Bao) profiled Rulang Primary, which had reworked its curriculum to encompass the essence of TLLM. They highlighted the following:
§ Rulang Pri had incorporated robots into its Mother Tongue and EL lessons (ST, ZB). Ms Janice Beh, Head of Niche and Innovation/Rulang Primary, noted that this had added an element of excitement among children, and helped them to learn better (ST).
§ Almost all subjects from Pri 1 to 5 had been redesigned and infused with a hands-on experience on robotics (ST).
§ Rulang Pri had also integrated speech and drama into the curriculum (ZB).
ZB also highlighted Yishun Town Sec and Swiss Cottage Sec, and noted the following:
§ Yishun Town Sec had given more emphasis on the teaching of skills and developing students’ interest in History and Geography. Open book exams were also used to test students’ ability to analyse case studies so as to encourage them to apply what they had learnt.
§ Swiss Cottage Sec had gradually adjusted their teaching from this year with collaborations among different departments.
In his book, ‘The Learning School’, Dr Ng Pak Tee, an Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Education shares his thoughts on TLLM. If you refer to pages 252-253 of his book, you will find the following:
‘Teach Less, Learn More
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s call to “teach less and learn more” is now a talking point in town.
We’ve got to teach less to our students so that they will learn more. Grades are important, don’t forget to pass your exams but grades are not the only thing in life and there are other things in life which we want to learn in school. (Lee, 2004)
I think this is an exciting opportunity to rethink our understanding and approach to education. The opening move has been made. Can we build on the momentum? Content reduction, as a structural change, is relatively easy to accomplish. The challenge is to resist the temptation to rush in to fill the time with more drilling so as to get better results. This will not be acting in the spirit of the Prime Minister’s call.
I think we have added too much onto our plate over the years. We have to examine our plate and get rid of things that are no longer relevant to us. We have to create space for new and important things on our plate. Reflect deeply upon the things we are doing in school. Ask, “Why are we doing what we are doing? Are these things essential?” I think the way forward is to do less but concentrate on the more important things. We will end up achieving more.
I would like to share another perspective to this exciting call to “teach less and learn more”. I think this call goes beyond merely cutting the syllabus. We have concentrated a lot on the teaching process. We try to teach clearer. We try to provide more material. But by spoon-feeding students, we may be developing passive learners. Instead, we should let our students take greater charge of their learning, and be independent and self-directed in their learning. Therefore, we should emphasise more the students’ learning process, rather than the teachers’ teaching process, not that this is unimportant. The students should be proactive learners, instead of passive receivers. Less on the teaching; more on the learning.’
Do introduce pupils to http://www.artwebsvps.blogspot.com to teach them how to use the internet to learn how to draw cartoons. Pupils who love to draw will soon be using the internet links to learn cartoon drawing at their own pace and in their own time.
Music lessons with Apple's GarageBand software aids teachers in teaching less and the students learning more. With a simple and easily learnt interface, pupils with little or no formal music training are able to put together various musical compositions with the help of high-quality, pre-recorded musical loops. A class of Primary 3s and 4s demonstrated its possibility when they attempted a video of their class IPW/MI project, complete with an original musical composition as accompaniment with their form teacher, Mr Andre Yeo.
To effectively carry out TLLM, teachers as well as pupils require more time. These are strategies adopted by some schools in Cluster W2:
-Some units in English and Mother Tongue are removed from the syllabus.
-Health Education periods are used for teaching Science. Health Education topics that are important are taught during Science lessons.
-Pupils do not have to purchase or do Health Education or Social Studies Workbooks. Worksheets of important topics are provided instead.
-Social Studies is incorporated into English lessons so that TLLM activities which require more time can be effectively carried out.
-In one particular school, instead of 6 common tests and 2 examinations a year, pupils do only 1 continual assessment in semester 1 and 2 examinations a year. Pupils are assessed on project work done in semester 2 instead of sitting for tests. This strategy has also helped to free up more time for pupils as well as teachers.
In Unity Primary School, PE teachers adopted the Games Concept Approach in teaching PE. Pupils play modified games where they are encouraged to explore and experience different game situations. Teachers act as facilitators as they allow pupils to reflect on their experiences. Teachers do not teach the skills per se, but relate it to the needs of the game. This allows the pupils to better conceptualized the game and the need to learn the specific skills of the game. The teacher has to make conscious effort to set time for pupils to ask questions to hone their reflective thinking. Through reflective thinking, pupils learn game concepts.
Posted by Mrs Angeline Goh
In Unity Primary, learning journey is tied to PW. Pupils go into the field and are able to experience first hand, the subject matter. Pupils expand their learning when they relate what they have learnt in books to real life situations. It is truly an experiential learning process as pupils get to do research work, gather in groups to discuss ideas and findings, and also to interview parties concerned. Pupils generate questions and decide on what are good questions. They get a feel of how to ask the right questions. They also get to present information/findings using IT software. Teachers facilitate pupils learning and remain at the sidelines, guiding and encouraging.
Posted by Mrs Angeline Goh of Unity Primary
Two more TLLM strategies contributed by the Science Department of South View Primary School:
The thrust of TLLM is to switch learning from teachers to students so that students perceive learning as their choice and gain knowledge through various thinking skills. TLLM should build up the students’ capacity to generate new knowledge and in the process of weaving in knowledge , students learn more from less. Students learn to apply knowledge into the real world.
·Teach students the way they learn. The switch to better learning is to create opportunities to help students discover their intelligences and participate in the learning process their way. A topic on forces could include a series of concept lessons to cater to students who prefer to learn by doing, watching, thinking or feeling. The essence of the lessons is to develop and enhance students’ abilities and capabilities through the multiple intelligence approach. The activities could be in the form of role play, debate, drama or group discussions.
·Infuse thinking skills into the classroom teaching so that students learn to make comparison and contrast , make decisions and predictions or find causes through the problem solving process. Questions requiring Higher Order Thinking could be used to develop students’ thinking skills and enhance their problem solving abilities.
The Chinese Department of South View Primary has contributed 2 more TLLM strategies:
-Get students to interact with one another in class instead of teachers doing the talking.
-Use comics as a teaching tool. Students are generally interested in comics and they can come up with a composition based on the comics instead of the traditional picture composition. They can even draw their own comics and write an essay about it. In addition, they can use comics to express the meaning of Chinese idioms which makes learning more interesting.
The Mathematics Department of South View Primary has contributed 3 more TLLM strategies:
-Pay more attention to the weaker pupils by letting them sit in front during lessons. We can coach them in class while letting the higher-ability pupils try out the more challenging questions on their own (teacher-prepared materials - collaborative work from level committee members)
-Give enrichment worksheets which train pupils on the different heuristics. We can give pupils fewer questions but each worksheet comprising 2 or 3 questions can be used to train pupils on the different heuristics in problem solving.
-Use manipulatives to allow pupils to discover certain math concepts