FACTORS FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING 25 Essay Example

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FACTORS FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING 25

Factors for Effective Teaching and Learning

(Student ID Number)

Abstract

Every institution of learning desires to achieve its goals and objectives. Schools strive to promote enthusiastic, successful, and inspirational teaching and learning. This is only possible in an enabling environment, where all stakeholders strive to offer learners an attractive programme of instruction through best practices in line with intellectual, cultural, and social needs of the learners. Institutions of learning ought to offer ideal environments for all learners by motivating and challenging the students’ intellectual, social, physical, vocational, and social development. Such a scenario ensures that the learner grows into an ideal person, and ensures that the learner has a positive attitude towards self and society. Teaching learners with diverse cultural and intellectual abilities is a challenge, and this calls for an examination into factors that could enhance effective learning and retention of content. This research paper reviews literature to establish a range of factors required for improving teacher output, and the students’ reaction. Findings will act as a benchmark for measuring the relevance of collaborative inquiry and the need for self-evaluation in institutions of learning. This literature review should elicit debate on ways of improving teachers’ productivity, and students’ performance. The intention is to come up with a practical framework that can assist in identifying factors that could help in teaching and learning, and to help improve students’ performance. Data collection will be by carrying out interviews and administering questionnaires. The target population includes students, parents, academic researchers, and the teachers.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to identify factors that inhibit effective teaching and learning, and to make recommendations on how to correct the situation. The research aims identify any success factors that schools could employ to achieve their objectives as centres of learning and intellectual development. Such factors could prove critical during self-evaluation and collaborative inquiry.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This paper will review literature related to effective teaching and learning. There are numerous publications on this theme. Despite all these, there is still no consensus on why teaching and learning is not as effective as it ought to be. The paper will thus focus on ways of addressing these concerns. It will also investigate teacher and learner attitudes, and whether these two receive the requisite assistance from other stakeholders in enhancing their objectives.

Originality

This study aims at highlighting two important factors, which may be absent in the present system (self-evaluation and collaborative inquiry system), and then using them to make an important strategy for efficient and effective management of school systems.

Key words

Self-evaluation, effective teaching and learning, collaborative inquiry, exposing fault lines, evidence-informed collaborative inquiry, collegial conversation, quality control, mentoring, coaching, and innovation.

Article classification

Literature Review

Literature Review

Effective teaching and learning requires the formation of beneficial relationships, and should never focus primarily on the teacher. While it is true that the teacher plays a central role in teaching, there is need to focus on other players’ effectiveness in ensuring that learners retain what they learn. Learning ought to assist individuals to strengthen their intellectual abilities, social, and personal resources to enable them become useful members of society. This requires the adoption of broad conceptions of profitable learning outcomes, while taking seriously the need to assist all stakeholders to meet these objectives.

Emerging trends in education present succinct challenges for both teachers and learners. There are several factors that influence how teaching and learning achieve set objectives effectively. Some are within the teacher’s control while many others are not. To a considerable extent, effective teaching deals with the teacher’s skills. Teachers must possess the requisite communication skills to enable them pass the message in a clear and concise manner. Teachers need to carry out an honest evaluation of the methods they use to teach. Many learners are able to understand a concept if the teacher allows them to participate in the lesson, so teachers should consider initiating brainstorming sessions instead of the traditional lectures (Griffiths, 2013). This is especially true where the concept is new and difficult to comprehend. However, the teacher requires an enabling environment to facilitate learning.

Curriculum developers should evaluate whether the workload is appropriate for learners. In some cases, the design of the curriculum is cumbersome and inappropriate. It may be too fast, leaving behind a great number of average or slow learners. This could create desperation in the learners who begin to think they have no chance of catching up. This in turn dents their self-esteem, itself a precursor to poor learning. This means that effective teaching must consider fast as well as slow learners. The teacher must have the class under control for the duration of the entire lesson. Students should not talk out of turn, pass notes to each other, or take advantage of others as such actions are an impediment to effective teaching and learning. Teachers ought to know that students are always evaluating how they teach. This is in line with the findings of Hativa (2013) who asserts that Student Rating of Instruction (SRI) is common in today’s education system. It is prudent for teachers to desist from any form of bias, and to ensure they have absolute control of the classroom at all times.

The mindset of the learners is crucial. In most cases, learners focus on passing examinations with impressive grades. In this regard, some assume that honoring classes, laboratory sessions, and tutorials are meaningless in achieving objectives. On the contrary, they prefer coaching classes, guidebooks, and private tuitions. These approaches all center on passing the examination. They have no place and time for life skills and problem-solving techniques.

Collaborative inquiry is an approach that teachers and learners could benefit from tremendously. It offers a new dimension to the traditional top to down approach to learning because of its approach and outcomes. This is because it alters the learning experience by reframing how to construct and apply professional knowledge (Palmisano, 2013). Collaborative learning presents teachers with the opportunity to turn the classroom into a center for investigation. This allows teachers and learners to engage in meaningful discussions without any barriers. Teachers and learners are free to learn from each other. This is a clear departure from the traditional approach where teachers sought knowledge from outside the classroom and merely lectured to the learners. Such an approach entails careful planning, making concerted efforts to turn the plans into action, and reflecting on how effective the teaching is by evaluating whether it meets set objectives. The departure point for analysis is the problem with student learning.

With collaborative learning, educators are able to learn from within their professional practice by building on their knowledge through reflecting and examining on past experiences, and what impact their actions generate. It also directs teachers towards participatory learning. This goes beyond mere passing of knowledge in a passive way, and focuses on gaining from professional colleagues through deeds and reflection. Collaborative learning is critical in that it plays a supportive role by granting educators to agree or disagree about effective teaching methods. This helps them to uncover implicit knowledge and to come to mutual understanding on the best ways to impart knowledge, and how learners perceive it. Yielding positive results from learners is the primary goal of collaborative learning. This method allows the teacher to perceive each learner’s ability, and this enables positive self-evaluation.

Benefits of collaborative learning are immense, and confirm its viability and effectiveness as an approach to the teacher’s professional knowledge. Some of the benefits are enhanced instructional practice, higher student achievement rates, and better conditions in institutions of learning, which in turn support schools in meeting goals and objectives. Teachers who employ this method also exhibit a greater sense of agency in their professional conduct. The method overcomes the recurring problem of transferring new knowledge into practice. It also helps to create a more coherent, intentional, and evidence based collective action.

Successful collaborative learning should include a concise analysis and vivid interpretation of various school level data and evidence that lead to ascertaining student needs. Barkley, Cross, and Major (2004) agree that it should involve getting to know instructional knowledge and expertise that have a direct relation to what the student’s learning desires. It must also lend support to the institution’s objectives and those of the participating team, and must be conscious of the strengths and weaknesses of each member on the team.

This approach must have the support of a formal leader who can offer opportunities that enable the learning team to meet on a regular basis. Other formal and informal leaders must also be ready to help the teams with the requisite logistics and constant access to current expertise, resources, and data. Other leaders must be willing to offer their time and resources by responding to student needs as the team may identify. In spite of having a leader, collaborative learning is essentially a team affair and everyone on the team should share leadership while participating as co-learners in order to tackle the targeted educator and leaner needs.

Collaborative learning must determine consequent steps for both learners and teachers, basing on students’ results and analysis of how relevant and effective the method is in tackling learning needs (Joiner, Faulkner & Miell, 2000). Another major advantage of this approach, and which could help teaching and learning to be more effective is that it addresses various dissimilar goals for the learner to engage in. It also looks into ways of incorporating such findings in a learning environment by connecting them to a particular goal or objective. This implies that sound leadership and team spirit is fundamental to attaining objectives. The facilitator must work with the team to set up protocols, and utilize strategies and processes that respond to the team’s needs.

All team members must be ready to develop mutual trust to facilitate collective deliberations and inspection of instructional practice, in view of attending to leaner needs by eliciting ideas, reaction, and inquiries from all participating members. Such congenial sharing of strategies and activities, coupled with corresponding anecdotes with minimal scrutiny of the ideal methods should spur honest discussions that bring forth expected solutions.

One of the major faults in the education sector is a violation of Confucius’ principle that if you tell people things, they forget quickly, showing them helps them to remember, while involving them makes them understand (Helfand, 2013). Another major fault in the education system is isolation. The system makes learning such an isolated activity that it ceases to excite learners’ imagination. It achieves this by bringing together a number of learners to form what it christens a “class’’ but does little to ensure there is honest exchange of ideas through integration. In fact, the opposite holds when the system promotes activities meant to isolate the learners. Such a system dissocializes the learning process by severing it from usual human contact. The third fault line is competition, coupled with its correlate, quantitative analysis of education. There is wanton proliferation of standardized tests, with calculations for point-grades. The system assumes that these figures measure learning and a perfect recipe for self evaluation. When a group of learners combines time and intellect to decipher a complex problem, the system calls it cheating. This is in sharp contrast to what happens in the real world, where collaboration is a cherished asset in normal world scenarios.

Evidence-informed collaborative learning is crucial for the betterment of learning and teaching for diverse students. Analysis of engagement with outcomes-linked evidence together with collaborative inquiry confirms that they support and challenge teachers to develop their classroom performance, and has a positive impact on various outcomes for learners (Sinnema, Sewell & Milligan, 2011). This is in line with the findings of Swan (2006) who agrees that students can only learn after they realize their own understanding has inherent inconsistencies, deficiencies, and contradictions. He farther argues that it is through interaction and discussion with other students that learners can overcome these misconceptions. In light of this, the teacher should utilize activities that arouse interest in students, and which enable them to realize their own misconceptions. Discussing the matter with fellow students allows them to come to a shered position.

Teacher collaboration is a four-way process that entails establishing norms, developing protocals, observing, and giving feedback. The group must establish professional responsibilities and norms that govern their relationship. Enhancing professional dialogues also means there must be protocols for all to observe. In view of this, teacher conversations ought to be voluntary and not evaluative. Feedback should be constructive and non-judgemental.

Self-evaluation is often overlooked as a means of unequivocal evaluation. In effect, this should in fact supercede all other forms of evaluating the effectiveness of teaching. The primary goal for educators is to adjust and monitor the instruction method to ensure as many students as possible get the concept under examination. Assiduous teachers should consider and subject their own teaching strategies, styles, and techniques to self-criticism. Teachers with a desire to give their best are keen at self-evaluation. They achieve this fete by sharing critiques and seeking advice from professional colleagues on a constant basis. This in turn improves their effectiveness.

Self-evaluation on teaching ranges from a personal reflection to a more official assessment with the intention of promoting and enhancing the teaching and learning process (Pounce, 2009). It is an important undertaking as it improves the teacher’s experiences for onward transmission to learners, identifies areas where the teacher could improve on to make teaching more rewarding, and prepares the teacher for any perormance review with supervisors as the need may arise. It plays a fundamental role in quality control, which enables the teacher to come up with innovative ways of coaching and mentoring the learners.

Institutions of learning must be concise about the intention of their self-evaluation. Such activities should center on learning and teaching. It is beneficial to narrow on a specific aspect that requires evaluation. Schools have diverse contexts of development, but some critical areas that should be applicable to all of them include evaluating teaching, gauging the teacher’s experiences, and analysing learner outcomes. These three broad areas could prove instrumental for school management and the teaching fraternity in bettering the learning environment. Schools must be innovative enough when deciding areas to focus when self-evaluating. They need to focus on the current evaluation procedures, and then check how effective the practice is, and whether any changes are necessary. This will help them to identify their strong areas while pinpointing areas that call for improvement.

Discussion

There are numerous factors that affect the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Cognitive research shows that regardless of how good a given instruction is learners understand far less than what the teacher fathoms (Smith, 1998). Students can probe an examination question carefully and come up with an appropriate answer, but in essense the understanding is distorted or at best limited. These findings indicate that prudence is indispensable when formulating educational goals. School systems ought to come up with the most crucial skills and concepts that need emphasis, which in turn helps them to focus on the quality of content understanding as opposed to the amount of information learners receive.

Schools must realize that learners will always form their own opinions and conclusions because existing ideas influence what students actually learn. One can only connect new information to what one already believes to be true. Concepts without any connection to what a learner already knows are likely to be forgotten quickly. This means that teachers must deliver these concepts in a manner that allows the student to remember for a long time. Effective learning calls upon students to reorganize their thinking in a radical way. The teacher must come up with a way that encourages learners to look at new ideas in a positive way, and to connect such ideas with a better understanding of the world they live in.

Effective learning also calls upon teachers to understand that learners get information by connecting the concrete to the abstract. Young people learn quickly by connecting tangible things to the abstract. This is why some teachers overestimate the ability of learners to understand abstractions. The misconception comes when teachers mistake correct use of words for absolute comprehension of the concept.

Students learn best when the teacher allows them to participate in the leson. Students will not be able to think in a critical manner or analyze crucial information in a sensible manner unless they get the permission and encouragement from their teachers to practice in novel situations. Other important attributes such as being able to work in a team and making logical arguments and conclusions also requires constant practice.

For learning and teaching to be effective, there must be room for feedback. Intellectual or manual repetition of concepts by students does not improve skills. The teacher must grant students the opportunity to get responses from their peers. That should go beyond giving the right answers, rather it should be analytical, suggestive, and timely. The teacher must also grant learners the opportunity to reflect on the feedback and to make corrections.

Students form a mental block of what they theink they can comrehend, and what they perceive to be incomprehensible. An effective teacher must be able to understand this, and to help the learners to develop positive attitudes and self-esteem. Building confidence among learners helps to create an enabling environment for effective teaching and learning to take place. A good teacher should motivators the learners to have positive expectations about their ability to comprehend new concepts. All stakeholders including parents, principals, counselors, and peers should desist from inculcating negative attitudes in learners.

Conclusion

Effective teaching and learning requires an understanding of the laerning theory. It would be futile to come up with strategies for effective teaching and learning before understanding any of these theories. People learn through observation, but the state of the internal brain is crucial in detreming whether learners retain concepts. In addition, learning does not necessarily result in change of behavior.

Effective teaching and learning ought not be a daunting affair. One sureway of winning the attention of learners is to engage them in an active way. This generates curiousity and enscourages them to pay attention. learners ought to concentrate on the collection and use of evidence, especially when teaching science and mathematics. Learners connect what they know to what they do not know, and so the teacher could provide a historical perspective to a new concept to boost chances of learners understanding what they are taught. Communication is a key element in the teaching and learning process, and so the teacher should insist that students express ideas clearly and logically.

Collaborative learning should play an important role in the school environment. Teachers should use team approach at all times to boost students’ abilities to solve problems together. The teacher should encourage learners to find out new phenomena and concepts rather than simply knowing them. To achieve this, the teacher should discourage memorizing technical terminology. They should also welcome, and reward curiosity to stimulate thinking. In addition, the teacher should create an enabling environment in the school and in the classroom that encourages a culture of positive questioning. Learners who ask seemingly unintelligent questions should not face victimization, rather the teacher should seize the opportunity to assist such a student. In any sense, subjects like science and mathematics have a central tenet that one’s ideas or suggestions must face critical examination. Learners must jave the ability to question any claim, evidence, or logic. The teacher should encourage learners to avoid any form of dogmatism, rather they should have the ability to provide aesthetic responses to any academic inquisition.

A lot of emphasis should go towards group learning as the benefits are phenomenal. A serene environment with plenty of cooperation enhances learning. Teachers ought to realize that teaching should take its time. Learners must get enough time to explore, make observations, refute claims, and come to conclusions. To achieve this they must have a good relationship with the teacher. Interaction between learners and their teachers is one of the most important factors that encourages involvement and motivation to learn. Learners must at all times feel free to respond to the teacher concerning what they think of the teaching and learning experience. Such feedback is crucial as it assists teachers and learners wher improvements are needed. Governments and school managers should embrace the new concept of power sharing and effective participatory approach to managing learning institutions. Governemnts ought to come up with relevant syllabi that address pertinent issues, while school managers should change from the autocratic tendencies that demotivate tecahers and leraners. An open approach of dialogue and consultation is important for all stakeholders in eduaction. When everyone plays his or her role well, teaching and leraning could witness great strides.

References

Barkley, E., Cross, P. & Major, C. (2004).Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Griffiths, C. (2013).The Strategy Factor in Successful Language Learning (Second Language Acquisition). Tonawanda, NY: Multilingual Matters

Hativa, N. (2013). Student Ratings of Instruction: Recognizing Effective Teaching. Seattle, WA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Helfand, D. (2013). Watering the Roots of Knowledge Through Collaborative Learning. Journal of General Education: A Curricular Commons of the Humanities and Sciences , 216-228.

Joiner, R., Faulkner, D. & Miell, D. (2000). Collaborative Learning. London:
Free Association Books

Palmisano, M. (2013).Taking Inquiry to Scale:  An Alternative to Traditional Approaches to Education Reform. New York,NY: NCLE & NCTE.

Pounce, M. (2009). School Self Evaluation and Inspection: A Practical Guide for School Governors. London: Adamson Books

Sinnemaa, C. S. (2011). Evidence-informed collaborative inquiry for improving teaching and learning. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education,
39(3), 247-261.

Smith, F. (1998).The Book of Learning and Forgetting. New York, NY: Teachers College Press

Swan, M. (2006). Collaborative Learning in Mathematics: A Challenge to Our Beliefs and Practices.Leicester, UK:NIACE

APPENDICES

REVIEWER’S REPORT: 1

Please read the assignment and complete the REVIEWER SUMMARY SHEET for the paper. Use the ‘Reviewer Comment Guide’ (following the Summary Sheet) to make additional comments based on your scores in the Summary Sheet.

REVIEWER SUMMARY SHEET FOR THE PAPER

Score each item on a range from 0 to 10. For detailed criteria for evaluating each item, see the COMMENTS section below. If your comments add up to a score of 80% or above and you have no further comments, it is sufficient to complete this page alone.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

SCORE: X/10

1. Significance of Themes

2. Relevance of Themes

3. Clarity of Thematic Focus

4. Relationship to Literature

5. Research Design and Data (if relevant)

6. Data Analysis and Use of Data (where relevant eg case study analysis)

7. Use of Theory

8. Critical Qualities

9. Clarity of Conclusions including the significance for practice

10. Quality of Communication

TOTAL SCORE %

If some categories are not applicable in evaluating this particular paper, mark n.a. (not applicable) and calculate score as % average score across relevant items.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS GUIDE

If you have any detailed comments to make beyond the score on the Summary Sheet above, please write them below.

Guidelines for comment: The scoring table on the previous page has been designed for quick comment. You don’t need to comment in this section unless:

  • you have given a low score in any of the evaluation criteria; or

  • you believe you need to justify having given the paper a high score on any of the evaluation criteria; or

  • you have indicated that a response to any of the evaluation criteria would be ‘not applicable’ because the paper legitimately does not set out to be proficient in that particular area (for instance, pure theory or philosophical argumentation which does not use conventional ‘data’); or

  • You have specific advice or comments you would like to provide the author(s) in relation to any of the evaluation criteria.

If any of the above applies, and particularly if you have recommended rejection or revision, then please elaborate:

1. Significance of Themes

  • Is this a topic that needs addressing? Is the area investigated by the paper: timely? Important? In need of addressing because it has been neglected? Intrinsically interesting? Filling a gap in current knowledge? (The paper does not have to be all of these things to be significant; it is sufficient to measure it against one of these forms of significance.)

  • By addressing these themes, does this paper make a useful contribution? Is it itself significant?

REFEREE COMMENTS: This topic is worth addressing as effective teaching and learning is important, considering that thousands of students go through school without enjoying the experience

2. Relevance of Themes

  • Are these themes relevant to this publication? If not, is there a more appropriate place for publication?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The themes are appropriate for publication as they tackle pertinent issues in contemporary education systems.

3. Clarity of Thematic Focus

  • Are the author’s themes clearly stated?

  • Does the paper follow through by addressing these themes, consistently and cogently?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The themes are clearly stated. The author is very precise when addressing them.

4. Relationship to Literature

  • Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the current literature in the field?

  • Does it connect with the literature in a way which might be useful to the development of our understanding in the area it addresses?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The literature review is up to standard. The author demonstrates sufficient knowledge on already published work.

5. Research Design and Data n/a

  • Has the research, or equivalent intellectual work upon which the paper is based, been well designed?

  • Does the paper demonstrate adequate use of evidence, informational input or other intellectual raw materials in support of its case?

REFEREE COMMENTS:

6. Data Analysis and Use of Data n/a

  • Has the interpretative potential of the data been adequately realised?

  • Has the data been used effectively to advance the themes that the paper sets out to address?

REFEREE COMMENTS:

7. Use of Theory

  • Does the paper use theory in meaningful way?

  • Does it develop or employ theoretical concepts in such a way as to make plausible generalisations?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The author’s use of theory is meaningful; he/she develops theoretical concepts in a prudent manner

8. Critical Qualities

  • Does the paper demonstrate a critical self-awareness of the author’s own perspectives and interests?

  • Does it show awareness of the possibility of alternative or competing perspectives: such as other cultural, social, political, theoretical or intellectual perspectives?

  • Does it show an awareness of the practical implications of the ideas it is advancing?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The author appears to have a passion for the topic under discussion. He/she however does not address cultural, social, political, theoretical or intellectual perspectives in detail. Could do with minor adjustments.

9. Clarity of Conclusions including the significance for practice

  • Are the conclusions of the paper clearly stated?

  • Cohesiveness of paper: do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper (such as theory, data and critical perspectives)?

  • Are the implications and the significance of the paper for practice clearly stated and linked to the paper?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The conclusion is up to standard as it summarizes the main points while offering practical recommendations for the way forward. The author appears to have a clear conclusion in mind, and is cohesive in expressing this. The implications and the significance of the paper have a clear link to the paper.

10. Quality of Communication

  • Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the field and the reading capacities of an academic, tertiary student and professional readership? The quality of communication is admirable. The author has superior command of the English language, and has employed these skills to articulate his ideas cohesively.

  • What is the standard of the writing, including spelling and grammar? If you will be recommending publication with revisions, please make specific suggestions or list errors. The standard of writing is admirable and ideal for publication. There are no typos, while spelling and grammar is of the highest possible standards.

IMPORTANT, PLEASE INDICATE:

[ — ] From an editorial point of view, this paper is of a publishable/presentable standard as is.

[ ] This paper requires minor proofing by a colleague or critical friend of the author.

[ ] This paper requires thorough reworking by a professional editor. (For instance, where the author’s first language is not English.)

REFEREE COMMENTS: — High quality. In general, “accept as is”.

REVIEWER’S REPORT: 2

Please read the assignment and complete the REVIEWER SUMMARY SHEET for the paper. Use the ‘Reviewer Comment Guide’ (following the Summary Sheet) to make additional comments based on your scores in the Summary Sheet.

REVIEWER SUMMARY SHEET FOR THE PAPER

Score each item on a range from 0 to 10. For detailed criteria for evaluating each item, see the COMMENTS section below. If your comments add up to a score of 80% or above and you have no further comments, it is sufficient to complete this page alone.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

SCORE: X/10

1. Significance of Themes

2. Relevance of Themes

3. Clarity of Thematic Focus

4. Relationship to Literature

5. Research Design and Data (if relevant)

6. Data Analysis and Use of Data (where relevant eg case study analysis)

7. Use of Theory

8. Critical Qualities

9. Clarity of Conclusions including the significance for practice

10. Quality of Communication

TOTAL SCORE %

If some categories are not applicable in evaluating this particular paper, mark n.a. (not applicable) and calculate score as % average score across relevant items.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS GUIDE

If you have any detailed comments to make beyond the score on the Summary Sheet above, please write them below.

Guidelines for comment: The scoring table on the previous page has been designed for quick comment. You don’t need to comment in this section unless:

  • you have given a low score in any of the evaluation criteria; or

  • you believe you need to justify having given the paper a high score on any of the evaluation criteria; or

  • you have indicated that a response to any of the evaluation criteria would be ‘not applicable’ because the paper legitimately does not set out to be proficient in that particular area (for instance, pure theory or philosophical argumentation which does not use conventional ‘data’); or

  • You have specific advice or comments you would like to provide the author(s) in relation to any of the evaluation criteria.

If any of the above applies, and particularly if you have recommended rejection or revision, then please elaborate:

1. Significance of Themes

  • Is this a topic that needs addressing? Is the area investigated by the paper: timely? Important? In need of addressing because it has been neglected? Intrinsically interesting? Filling a gap in current knowledge? (The paper does not have to be all of these things to be significant; it is sufficient to measure it against one of these forms of significance.)

  • By addressing these themes, does this paper make a useful contribution? Is it itself significant?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The topic is appropriate and ripe for discussion as it handled pressing education issues.

2. Relevance of Themes

  • Are these themes relevant to this publication? If not, is there a more appropriate place for publication?

REFEREE COMMENTS: Teaching and learning is a very important topic as it transcends all spheres of human life.

3. Clarity of Thematic Focus

  • Are the author’s themes clearly stated?

  • Does the paper follow through by addressing these themes, consistently and cogently?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The author states his/her themes clearly. The author is consistent in thought.

4. Relationship to Literature

  • Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the current literature in the field?

  • Does it connect with the literature in a way which might be useful to the development of our understanding in the area it addresses?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The author has sufficient knowledge of literature on this topic. He/she connects it in an admirable manner.

5. Research Design and Data n/a

  • Has the research, or equivalent intellectual work upon which the paper is based, been well designed?

  • Does the paper demonstrate adequate use of evidence, informational input or other intellectual raw materials in support of its case?

REFEREE COMMENTS:

6. Data Analysis and Use of Data n/a

  • Has the interpretative potential of the data been adequately realised?

  • Has the data been used effectively to advance the themes that the paper sets out to address?

REFEREE COMMENTS:

7. Use of Theory

  • Does the paper use theory in meaningful way?

  • Does it develop or employ theoretical concepts in such a way as to make plausible generalisations?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The author’s use of theory is precise; he/she builds up theoretical ideas in a discreet manner to bring the reader to attention.

8. Critical Qualities

  • Does the paper demonstrate a critical self-awareness of the author’s own perspectives and interests?

  • Does it show awareness of the possibility of alternative or competing perspectives: such as other cultural, social, political, theoretical or intellectual perspectives?

  • Does it show an awareness of the practical implications of the ideas it is advancing?

  • REFEREE COMMENTS: The author is passionate about the topic. Does not address cultural, social, political, theoretical or intellectual perspectives in detail. The author states practical implications prudently.

9. Clarity of Conclusions including the significance for practice

  • Are the conclusions of the paper clearly stated?

  • Cohesiveness of paper: do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper (such as theory, data and critical perspectives)?

  • Are the implications and the significance of the paper for practice clearly stated and linked to the paper?

REFEREE COMMENTS: The paper has a clear conclusion. It is cohesive, and states the implications and significance of the study.

10. Quality of Communication

  • Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the field and the reading capacities of an academic, tertiary student and professional readership? The quality of communication is high. The author has good command of language. His/her ideas are cohesive.

  • What is the standard of the writing, including spelling and grammar? If you will be recommending publication with revisions, please make specific suggestions or list errors. The standard of writing is very good and fit for academic purposes. Spelling and grammar is good.

IMPORTANT, PLEASE INDICATE:

[ — ] From an editorial point of view, this paper is of a publishable/presentable standard as is.

[ ] This paper requires minor proofing by a colleague or critical friend of the author.

[ ] This paper requires thorough reworking by a professional editor. (For instance, where the author’s first language is not English.)

REFEREE COMMENTS: — A very good academic paper.

How I Incorporated the Feedback in the Assignment

All authors yearn for positive reviews of their work. It is heartwarming to get someone to appreciate one’s work, and my case was no exception. The reviewers appreciated how concise and clear the paper is, with respect to the topic under investigation.

The reviewers were of the opinion that the paper does not address cultural, social, political, and intellectual concepts. The author admits that this was an oversight, but is quick to add that matters to do with the effectiveness of teaching and learning transcend these boundaries. It is of little consequence the socio-cultural or political background of the teacher or learner: learning is universal, and the problems a learner from a severely disadvantaged background experiences are similar to those experienced by a learner from a more comfortable background. However, the author is of the opinion that such a topic is ripe for academic research, and recommends farther inquisition.

The reviewers failed to appreciate that the methods of data collection the researcher uses have their own inherent weaknesses. Whereas interviews give more concise data since the interviewer can clarify the question to eliminate ambiguity, questionnaires pose challenges concerning the rate of return, ambiguity, delays in processing the data, and difficulties in collating the data. The researcher took every possible measure to ensure the findings are accurate, and appreciates the positive reviews from colleagues. The researcher also hopes that the findings of this paper will enhance more effective teaching and learning, and that all stakeholders will strive to provide the most conducive environment for the teacher and the learner.