Monday, 16 September 2013



You know that the economic prosperity and good quality of any nation depends upon the development of human resources of that nation. The significant fact in the development of manpower resource refers to the competencies and the level on which these competencies are imparted. You also know that it largely depends on those who develop these competencies. Therefore, for this purpose we need highly competent teachers for imparting these competencies. It is essential that teachers imparting these competencies should have the capability to perform their task efficiently. For this, they need to acquire requisite competencies themselves.

After going through this Unit you will be able to :
·                     understand the teaching skill.
·                     understand the concept of Micro-teaching.
·                     understand the principles underlying Micro-teaching
·                     analyse the complex process of teaching into essential Micro-teaching skills.
·                     understand the procedure of Micro-teaching for developing teaching skills.

Teaching is a term used by many people in different ways in different situations.
You might have defined teaching as one of the following:
·                     Teaching as the transfer of knowledge from teacher to pupils.
·                     Teaching as the facilitation of the pupils by the teacher in the art of learning.
·                     Teaching as a social act of influencing pupils by the teacher.
·                     Teaching as doing anything that might lead to learning.
Teaching is the arrangement of contingencies of reinforcement under which students learn. They learn without teaching in their natural environment, but teachers arrange special contingencies which expedite learning and hastening the appearance of behavior which would otherwise be acquired slowly or making scene of the appearance of behavior which might otherwise never occur.
                                                                                                               (B.F. Skinner. 1968)
Teaching as an act of interpersonal influence aimed at changing the ways in which other persons can or will behave.

Ø  Definition of Micro teaching
"A system of controlled practice that makes it possible to concentrate on specific teaching behavior and to practice teaching under controlled condition".  Allen and Eve (1968).

General observations about teaching and teacher training based on the findings of researches conducted in India and abroad before the introduction of Micro-teaching  practice were :
·                     No consensus on the procedures followed in various aspects of teaching in training colleges.
·                     No specific training objectives to guide student teaching
·                     Haphazard and Undiscriminating supervision of practice teaching – ill planned, ill supervised and ill assessed.
·                     Subjective feed back with respect to teacher training performance.

Micro-teaching is a teacher training technique which helps the teacher trainee to master the teaching skills. It requires the teacher trainee
1.                  to teach a single concept of content
2.                  using a specified teaching skill
3.                  for a short time
4.                  to a very small member of pupils
In this way the teacher trainee practices the teaching skill in terms of definable, observable, measurable and controllable form with repeated cycles till he attains mastery in the use of skill.

Ø  Steps of Micro-teaching
The Micro-teaching programmed involves the following steps :
Step I              Particular skill to be practiced is explained to the teacher trainees in terms of the purpose and components of the skill with suitable examples.

Step II             The teacher trainer gives the demonstration of the skill in Micro-teaching in simulated conditions to the teacher trainees.

Step III           The teacher trainee plans a short lesson plan on the basis of the demonstrated skill for his/her practice.

Step IV           The teacher trainee teaches the lesson to a small group of pupils. His lesson is supervised by the supervisor and peers.

Step V             On the basis of the observation of a lesson, the supervisor gives feedback to the teacher trainee. The supervisor reinforces the instances of effective use of the skill and draws attention of the teacher trainee to the points where he could not do well.

Step VI           In the light of the feed-back given by the supervisor, the teacher trainee replans the lesson plan in order to use the skill in more effective manner in the second trial.

Step VII          The revised lesson is taught to another comparable group of pupils.

Step VIII        The supervisor observes the re-teach lesson and gives re-feed back to the teacher trainee with convincing arguments and reasons.

Step IX           The ‘teach – re-teach’ cycle may be repeated several times till adequate mastery level is achieved.

Ø  Micro-teaching Cycle
The six steps generally involved in micro-teaching cycle are Plan              Teach            Feedback
Re-plan            Re-teach              Refeedback. There can be variations as per requirement of the objective of practice session. These steps are diagramatically represented in the following figure:
            Definitions are similar to the following:
Plan:               This involves the selection of the topic and related content of such a nature in which the use of components of the skill under practice may be made easily and conveniently. The topic is analyzed into different activities of the teacher and the pupils. The activities are planned in such a logical sequence where maximum application of the components of a skill is possible.
Teach:             This involves the attempts of the teacher trainee to use the components of the skill in suitable situations coming up in the process of teaching-learning as per his/her planning of activities. If the situation is different and not as visualized in the planning of the activities, the  teacher should modify his/her behavior as per the demand of the situation in the class. He should have the courage and confidence to handle the situation arising in the class effectively.

Feedback:      This term refers to giving information to the teacher trainee about his performance. The information includes the points of strength as well as weakness relating to his/her performance. This helps the teacher trainee to improve upon his/her performance in the desired direction.
Re-plan:         The teacher trainee replans his lesson incorporating the points of strength and removing the points not skillfully handled during teaching in the previous attempt either on the same topic or on another topic suiting to the teacher trainee for improvement.
Re-teach:        This involves teaching to the same group of pupils if the topic is changed or to a different group of pupils if the topic is the same. This is done to remove boredom or monotony of the pupil. The teacher trainee teaches the class with renewed courage and confidence to perform better than the previous attempt.
Re-feedback: This is the most important component of Micro-teaching for behaviour modifiction of teacher trainee in the desired direction in each and every skill practice.

Ø  Rationale of Micro-teaching Procedure
The steps of the Micro-teaching procedure are based on the sequence involved in behavior modification formulated by McDonald. The steps are :

Step I :            This involves stating the behavior in operational terms.

Step II :          This refers to fixing of the criteria for measuring behaviors.

Step III :         In this step the entry behavior of the individual is measured to know the point of initial start.

Step IV :         This involves the actual treatment of behavior modification.

Step V :          The post-treatment measures of changed behavior are obtained. The difference between the measures of pre and post treatments indicates the extent of behavior modification. The cycle is repeated till desired level of behavior is obtained.
In the Micro-teaching cycle, the same steps are involved.
Firstly the teacher trainee knows the behaviors (components of skill) to be practiced.
Secondly he practices such a behavior during teach session.
Thirdly he gets the feedback on the basis of the observation of his performance made by the supervisor. Finally the teacher trainee improves upon his/her behavior (performance) as desired.

Ø  Phases of Micro-teaching
There are three phases of the Micro-teaching procedure which you have studied in the previous section of this Unit. They are :
1.                  Knowledge Acquisition Phase.
2.                  Skill Acquisition Phase.
3.                  Transfer Phase of Micro-teaching.

Let us discuss these phases one by one.
Knowledge Acquisition Phase: 
In this phase the teacher trainee learns about the skill and its components through discussion, illustrations and demonstration of the skill given by the expert. He learns about the purpose of the skill and the condition under which it proves useful in the teaching-learning process. His/her analysis of the skill into components leading to various types of behaviors which is to be practiced. The teacher trainee tries to gain a lot about the skill from the demonstration given by the expert . He discusses and clarifies each and every aspect of the skill.
Skill Acquisition Phase :  
On the basis of the demonstration presented by the expert, the teacher trainee plans a micro-lesson, lesson for practicing the demonstrated skill. He practices the teaching skill through the Micro-teaching cycle and continues his efforts till he attains mastery level. The feed-back component of micro-teaching contributes significantly towards the mastery level acquisition of the skill. On the basis of the performance of teacher trainee in teaching, the feed back is provided for the purpose of change in behavior of the teacher trainee in the desired direction.
Transfer Phase of Micro-teaching:
 After attaining mastery level and command over each of the skills, the teacher trainee integrates all these skills and transfer to actual classroom teaching is done during this transfer phase.

We have discussed that teaching is a complex process. To reduce the complexity of teaching it is analyzed into simple teaching activities performed by the teacher during the teaching-learning process.  The main objective of all these activities is to promote learning among pupils. These activities may be explaining, illustrating with examples, questioning, writing on the black board, drawing figures etc. These verbal and non-verbal activities are called teaching activities. Therefore, these specific teaching activities/arts/behaviors which are observable, definable, measurable, demonstrable and can be developed through training are known as teaching skills. The teacher uses these skills in pre-instructional, instructional and post-instructional stages in order to achieve pre-determined and specified objectives. Therefore teaching consists of a number of interrelated teaching skills, which occur at different stages of teaching.
What is a teaching skill ?
Definition of teaching skill might be one of the following:
·                     A teaching skill is that behavior of the teacher which facilitates pupils’ learning directly or indirectly.
·                     A teaching skill includes all arts and behavior of the teacher which maximizes pupils’ learning.
·                     A teaching skill is that art of the teacher which makes communication between the teacher and pupils sufficiently.

Ø  Identification of Teaching Skills
There are many approaches for identifying teaching skills. The prominent among them are the following :
1.      Observation of Class Room Interaction
2.      Analysis of Teacher Tasks Through Interview and Discussion
3.      Analysis of School Curriculum and Objectives
4.      Conceptualization of a Good Teaching Model
Attempts have been made to list teaching skills. Allen and Ryan listed the following teaching skills at Stanford University in the U.S.A.
1.                  Stimulus Variation
2.                  Set induction
3.                  Closure
4.                  Teacher silence and non-verbal cues
5.                  Reinforcing pupil participation
6.                  Fluency in questioning
7.                  Probing questioning
8.                  Use of higher questions
9.                  Divergent questions
10.              Recognizing and attending behavior
11.              Illustrating and use of examples
12.              Lecturing
13.              Planned repetition
14.              Completeness of communication
B.K. Passi has given the following list of Teaching Skills in his book “Becoming Better Teacher; Micro-teaching Approach” :
1.                  Writing instructional objectives
2.                  Introducing a lesson
3.                  Fluency in questioning
4.                  Probing questioning
5.                  Explaining
6.                  Illustrating with examples
7.                  Stimulus variation
8.                  Silence and non-verbal cues
9.                  Reinforcement
10.              Increasing pupil participation
11.              Using black board
12.              Achieving Closure
13.              Recognizing attending behaviour

You have studied the concept of Micro-teaching technique and its application for developing teaching skills among the trainees in a systematic manner. You have also learnt the identification of teaching skills and different lists of teaching skills identified by different people. On the basis of your understanding and personal experience of class teaching, point out which of the teaching skills are extensively used in daily routine teaching. Attempt to make a list of the most extensively used teaching skills in the space provided for this purpose :
The above list might be coinciding with the list given by the experts. The list is :
1.                  Skill of Probing Questions
2.                  Skill of Explaining
3.                  Skill of Illustrating With Examples
4.                  Skill of Stimulus Variation
5.                  Skill of Reinforcement
6.                  Skill of Classroom Management
7.                  Skill of Using Blackboard
These skills are called Core Skills because of their extensive use in classroom teaching. The specifications of these skills are given Table No.1.

Ø  Teaching Skills and their Specifications

Probing Questions
Prompting, seeking further information, redirection, focusing, increasing critical awareness.
Clarity, continuity, relevance to content using beginning and concluding statements, covering essential points.
Illustrating with
Simple, relevant and interesting examples appropriate media, use of inducts, deductive approach.
Stimulus variation
Body movements, gestures, change in speech pattern, change in interaction style, pausing, focusing, oral-visual switching.
Use of praise words and statements, accepting and using pupils’ idea, repeating and rephrasing, extra vertical cues, use of pleasant and approving gestures and expressions, writing pupils’ answer on the black board.
Classroom Management
Call pupils bynames, Make norms of classroom behavior, attending behavior reinforced, clarity of direction, check non-attending behavior, keep pupils in Eye Span, check inappropriate behavior immediately.
Use of blackboard
Legible, neat and adequate with reference to content covered.

The idea of micro-teaching originated for the first time at Stanford University in USA, when an Experimental Project on the identification of teaching skills was in progress under the guidance and supervision of the faculty members (Bush, Allen, McDonald Acheson and many others). This project was aided by Ford Foundation and Kettering Foundation. The team of experts was assigned the development of testing and evaluation tools to measure the attainment of teaching skills. At this juncture Keath Acheson, a research worker was investigating the utility of video tape recorder in the development of technical teaching skills. This instrument could be used for recording the class interaction and the behaviours of the trainee vividly and accurately. This lead to the development of a systematic and accurate method of giving feedback to the teacher trainee. All the steps of micro-teaching technique :
Teach    Feedback      Replan     Reteach     Refeedback were formulated. Thus the name of micro-teaching was coined for this method of developing teaching skills in 1963.  Since then this technique of teacher training has been widely used in almost all Colleges and Universities of Europe and Asia. In India, it is being used with great emphasis in all the teacher training programmes of developing teaching skills and competencies among teacher trainees.

From the foregoing discussion about the concept of micro-teaching you might have thought of the assumption on which it is based. Let us pinpoint them :
·                     Teaching is a complex process but can be analysed into simple skills.
·                     Teaching skills can be practiced one by one upto mastery level under specific and simplified situation.
·                     Appropriate feed back if systematically given proves very significant for obtaining mastery level in each skill.
·                     When all skills have been mastered taken one by one, they can be integrated for real classroom teaching.
·                     The skill training can be conveniently transferred from simulated teaching situation to actual classroom teaching situation.

You have studied in the foregoing sections that micro-teaching is based on the premise that teaching can be analyzed into various teaching skills which can be practiced and evaluated.
Micro-teaching seems to be based on Skinner’s theory of operant condition. This theory is the very basis of feedback session. Skinner’s theory of shaping a successive approximations can be applied to explain the acquisition of new patterns of behavior in teach feed back reteach pattern in micro-teaching.

1.                  Micro-teaching is a technique used for developing :
(i)                 moral values.
(ii)               teaching skills.
(iii)             concepts of content.
(iv)             skills for preparing teaching aids.
2.                  The attainment of mastery level in a teaching skill :
(i)                 helps the teacher in teaching.
(ii)               helps the learner to learn.
(iii)             help the school to improve its results.
(iv)             includes all the above points.
3.                  List five micro-teaching skills with reasons in order of their importance in teaching.
4.                  Among various steps of micro-teaching which one is most significant and why ?
5.                  What are the phases of micro-teaching procedure ?
6.                  List the principles underlying micro-teaching procedure.
7.                  List your own views about micro-teaching technique.

Ø  Merits of Micro-Teaching
  1. Helps student teachers to acquire hard-to-attain teaching skills by providing a real situation for practicing skills.
  2. Since micro-teaching focuses on a particular skill at a time, student teachers can attain        proficiency in teaching skills in a phased manner.
  3. Provision of immediate feedback makes micro-teaching more interesting and reliable.
  4. Since main role is played by the student teacher, it is regarded as a student centered method.

Ø  Demerits of Micro-Teaching
  1. Time consuming
  2. Produces homogenized standard robots with set smiles and procedures
  3. It is said to be (wrongly) a form of play acting in unnatural surroundings and it is feared that the acquired skills may not be internalized.

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