The Malta Independent 19 September 2020, Saturday

‘Teachers need clear idea of art and science of teaching in various educational contexts’ - Bonnici

Monday, 20 July 2020, 12:23 Last update: about 3 months ago

More than ever, teachers require a clear idea of the art and science of teaching and learning in various educational contexts, Minister for Education and Employment Owen Bonnici said.

He was presented with the book L-Esperjenza tat-Tagħlim. The author, Terence Portelli, is a senior lecturer within the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta, with a specialisation in the teaching of Maltese.

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Minister Bonnici said that “this new textbook provides a structured and detailed overview of the teaching cycle: planning, delivery and reflection upon this complex and multifaceted experience. The main thrust of this new textbook is that student’s educational experience can become more positive and effective based on how much artistry teachers demonstrate in weaving together the different components of the teaching/learning cycle along the education journey of their students.”

The book is divided into eight main sections. The first section deals with a definition of teaching and learning. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of teachers’ identity, the teaching context, and students in classrooms.

“Teachers are required to develop or mediate a teaching programme – curriculum, learning outcomes framework, syllabus – that matches various learning abilities, an essential competence explained in the third section,” he said.

The subsequent two sections deal with the success characteristics of lessons, amongst them, traditional resources such as textbooks and more contemporary ones that draw on technological innovations and adaptions.

The sixth section deals with special events, such as school outings, the school concert, the first and last lesson of a teaching programme, exhibitions, and the school or classroom magazine. 

The measure and effectiveness of teaching experience require instances of summative evaluations and an array of formative assessments – both experiences explained with various examples are to be found in the penultimate section.

Finally, student teachers and teachers will find useful the various templates intended to systematically reflect on various dimensions of the teaching experience. 

Each short chapter, 72 in all, focuses on a particular dimension of the teaching and learning experience, by presenting and explaining in simple terms the main terminology at the heart of the profession, exploring the different arguments and perspectives, and suggesting several pedagogical possibilities from which teachers can choose.

The different tables, checklists and templates are intended to guide the critical and creative thinking of teachers in different stages in their professional development, from the novice to the expert.

For the presentation of this textbook to Minister Owen Bonnici, the publishers David Bezzina and MaryAnn Vella were also present on behalf of Horizons.

The book can be found in all leading bookshops.

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