Strategies for Reshaping Practice: The habits of the classroom #16

Choose an approach to suit the new emphasis

Adopting appropriate approaches means that we examine the approach we use and make sure it is right for the new emphasis of the lesson and will help learners engage with it appropriately. Approaches can be very specific to subjects; for example, there are a range of approaches in religious education such as a conceptual approach and an approach that looks at religion as a phenomenon. There are more general approaches, such as storytelling, which might be appropriate if we are emphasising grace in a person’s life (unmerited love and favour). It is important to select an approach with the two criteria in mind: appropriateness to the emphasis of the lesson and to the learners.

  • Teachers can use a storytelling approach in maths to make it more personal, such as the story of Florence Nightingale and how she used a form of pie chart to communicate her findings even though they were not what she expected.
  • Teachers can use a discussion approach in history when looking at the treaty of Versailles, or a co-operative approach in maths where students help each other.

These examples show how choosing approaches can serve both the teacher’s new perspective and the learners'.