Observation 4: Teacher Expectations
You are to watch and observed this teacher video
https://earlymath.erikson.edu/feel-for-shapes/ and write a reflection/observation.
The purpose of this reflection/observation is not to judge the lesson you observe/teach. It is designed to sensitize you to some of the ways children are being motivated to learn and do mathematics.
How teachers express their expectations can substantially influence how their students engage mathematics. The purpose of this reflection/observation is not to judge what you observe/assign. It is designed to sensitize you to subtle evidences of bias that might exist in the classroom and to heighten your awareness of how beliefs about students can directly impact the nature of the discourse within the classroom.
I. Write a brief summary of the lesson you observe:
In order to understand your responses to the observation assignment, I need to know what took place in the classroom during the math activity or lesson. Your summary should include just the highlights of the lesson and be coherent enough to give someone who was not there with you a clear understanding of what took place.
II. One way teachers communicate their expectations is in their response when a student/s are having trouble with a task. For example, teachers who believe their students are capable of doing mathematics may suggest how a problem could be approached, enabling their students to succeed on their own. On the other hand, teachers who believe their students are not capable may perform the task for them, or provide answers and solutions. During a mathematics lesson you are observing or teaching estimate:
a. The number of times the teacher solves a problem for a student or carries out a task or procedure for a student.
b. The number of times the teacher provides scaffolding to support solving a problem.
c. The number of times the teacher encourages students to share ideas for carrying out a task or procedure.
III. A second way teachers may communicate their expectations is in the time they wait for a student to give an appropriate answer. Research shows that a long wait time appears to signal to students that a teacher has the confidence in their ability to answer. During a mathematics lesson you are observing or teaching:
a. How often is the wait time less than 5 seconds?
b. How often is the wait time greater than 5 seconds?
IV. A third way teachers communicate their expectations is in the feedback they give students. If students receive little response to their answers, they have less reason to work hard. Additionally, they have to determine whether the limited feedback is an affirmation or a condemnation. This leaves the students with little understanding of what is expected of them. As a result, these students have been found to learn less and are more likely to drop math as soon as they have the opportunity. During a mathematics lesson you are observing or teaching estimate:
a. The number of times the teacher accepted or praised a students answer.
b. The number of times the teacher corrected or criticized a student answer.
c. The number of times the teacher rejected or ignored a student answer.
V. Identify any patterns of discourse that may have occurred with specific groups of students. Were there differences when considering gender, race/ethnicity, handicapping condition, or language? Then make a conjecture about the teachers beliefs about the abilities of certain groups of students. Justify your ideas and whether you want to take the same or different approach. Make suggestions for improvements.