Teaching Strategies In A Multicultural Setting Unisa Assignment

1748 words - 7 pages

Student number: 46365265
Name: Nabeela Paruk
Assignment 1: 639504
Question 1: Teaching strategies and
the way in which it is used in a
multicultural setting
Table of Contents
Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 3
Teaching Strategies ........................................................................................................................... 4
Direct Whole Class Instruction ....................................................................................................... 4
Problem Based Tasks and Projects ................................................................................................. 4
Multicultural Setting .......................................................................................................................... 6
Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 7
References ........................................................................................................................................ 8
This assignment will focus on two different teaching strategies and their importance in
educating learners. It is also critical to evaluate how it will be used in a multicultural setting
and how it will be performed. In order to explain the different strategies, we must first
differentiate between teaching method and teaching strategy as these are thought to be
Teaching strategy is an overall approach to teaching content. It’s the overall structure and
system that you provide for your instruction. I will be explaining some teaching strategies in
detail. Strategies can include various teaching methods. This is because teaching methods
are the actual activities that you do to teach your students. Teaching methods are chosen to
match the teaching strategy. It’s something students will perform or do.
I can see why people usually confuse these terms. I feel that it’s important to establish and
remember the difference of these two words and how they are treated in professional
educational discussions.
Teaching Strategies
Direct Whole Class Instruction
Direct instruction is a teaching strategy used to present very specific information or to
demonstrate a certain skill to the whole class. This strategy is used when teachers want to
convey background information, demonstrating an activity or telling a story. It is especially
used in conveying large amounts of information about new material. Frequent eye contact
should be made to see whose paying attention and who’s not. The level of language should
also be appropriate. The educator controls the way in which a subject is taught. An example
of this is the procedure of solving for Pythagoras in mathematics or explaining a chemical
process such as decomposition. This is done by taking the form of a short lecture together
with questions and activities, a direct explanation and demonstration. Aids such as
overhead projectors, videos and chalkboards can be used. This is often referred to as active
teaching. Direct instruction is teacher centred and in the form of one-way communication. If
used correctly, it can be very effective. However, it can be less effective if learners are
behind and teachers are under the impression that they understand. It can also be used
with other strategies such as group work to allow learners to become involved.
There are different phases that should be used with this approach. The first phase involves
giving a rationale on why it is important. Background information can also be provided in
this stage. Step-by-step information should be provided in the second phase. This will help
to provide a method of completion. And the third phase should involve questions and
practice to see if the learners understand what was taught. In the fourth phase, the
educator should walk around the classroom and provide feedback to the learners. The
educator must ensure the transfer of information to real life contexts. This could be done by
giving the students homework. This strategy is effective, depending on the subject being
Problem Based Tasks and Projects
When teaching is based on problem-based tasks and projects, a number of teaching
strategies can be used such as inquiry learning, problem solving and various projects. The
inquiry method is used to encourage learners to question, explore, discover and distinguish
between facts and opinions. It is a form of guided discovery. Personally, I would prefer
problem-solving as the solution for the problem is required. It is a type of discovery learning
that needs more planning than others. It creates a gap between what the learners should
know and what they already know. The reason for using problem solving would be to help
learners realise that their existing knowledge could be applied in new situations to solve
problems and by solving the problem could lead to new information. It is also found in their
daily lives such as newspapers, radio and TV shows. It makes learners inquisitive and
challenges them to learn. According to Nieman (2006:115), problem solving allows learners
to identify with the problem itself and thus to be in touch with the solution. It is also used to
generate new knowledge. When a learner finds out something, it “sticks” to his mind and he
discovers his own meaning from it. It is done by the educator showing the learners how to
solve the problem. The educator has to guide the learners to minimize the chance of them
discovering irrelevant information. This involves the five steps of problem solving which is:
⦁ Becoming aware of the problem and defining it
⦁ Collecting information and evidence that may help solve a problem
⦁ Finding a solution
⦁ Developing a plan of action
The educator should structure the problem solving process. He should intervene through
statements, comments or suggestions. The educator should, however, not suggest solutions
or help to collect information. Help should be given to the students when choosing a
structured problem solving model or a less structured process.
According to Nieman (2006:117), Hacket and Martin (1993: 35) and Schwartz (1994: 158–
159) advise educators to intervene as follows during problem solving:
• Encourage the learners to find a solution.
• Make sure each learner understands the problem-solving steps.
• Check continually to see that all group members are busy with the same step in the
problem-solving process at any given time. Problem solving is more successful when
all group members focus on the same step at the same time.
• Make sure that the learners follow the problem-solving steps in the correct
sequence. Discourage learners from taking short cuts.
• Intervene immediately if you notice that learners are making decisions without
having valid information.
• Intervene immediately if you find certain group members concealing their
observations and assumptions from other members, or that some members are
ignoring one of their group. Ensure that each group member’s ideas are heard,
evaluated and taken into consideration.
• Ensure that the group reaches consensus after each step. The results of each step
could be recorded.
Learners should also be guided to think of solutions before choosing an approach. Learners
should be encouraged to ask questions and assist each other. Crossword puzzles or fill in the
blanks are good examples of problem solving.
Multicultural Setting
For a lesson to be effective, a teacher must match a lesson plan to a particular teaching
strategy. According to Nieman (2005:92) problem solving in a farm school in a rural area
with limited facilities will be mediated completely differently from problem solving in a
wealthy, urban school. The multicultural nature of schools, disadvantaged learners and the
fact that the majority of learners are not taught in their home language demand that the
correct teaching strategy be used. The teaching strategy needs to be adapted to the
situation presented in class. Teachers must be aware of strategies that might be
discriminatory/offensive to learners. Aspects such as language and disability can exclude
certain learners if not managed correctly. Where possible, teachers should use the mother
tongue of learners when explaining difficult parts of a lesson, especially when group work is
implied. Often learners whose home language is not English and who struggles with it, might
withdraw from being actively involved in class discussion. Other methods such as
presentation, role-playing and discussion might also be hindered by language barriers. In
some instances, learners may concentrate on fluency at the expense of facts and logic (just
to fit in). Teachers must be aware of such possible barriers to learning and in such cases
choose teaching strategies that make all learners feel comfortable.
This can be done by:
⚪ Ensuring readiness to assimilate and apply new knowledge.
• Learners will only be ready to assimilate (take in and understand) and apply new
knowledge once they’ve reached a certain age and level of learning.
• It’s important that the lesson content is appropriate to learners’ level of thinking and
• In a lesson plan, the chosen teaching strategies should correspond and be
proportionate to the learners’ abilities.
• E.g. before being a professional sportsman, you are an amateur and work your way
up to improvement. Training and instruction at amateur level is different from
professional level.
⚪ Determining learner differences and usage of a variety of teaching strategies
• To accommodate different learners in learning one needs to determine learners’
different interests, learning styles, existing knowledge, level of development and
how each learner learns best.
• By varying teaching strategies different learning styles are accommodated.
• E.g. one can mediate learning by varying direct teaching with inquiry-based learning
• By using various teaching strategies it is ensured that learners occasionally learn in a
way that is in line with their own learning style.
• Learners become acquainted with learning strategies differing from their own, but
which can be used in learning other activities.
⚪ Adapting content
• One can adapt and vary necessary content for learning to suit different learners’
• E.g. grouping together learners from the same culture group and provide them with
a topic that is of particular interest to them.
⚪ Varying tasks
• Tasks can be set at different levels of complexity to accommodate the different
levels of development of learners.
• E.g. give learners a visual representation, essay, or model to show what they have
• One should use different teaching strategies to accommodate learner differences
and needs.
• It is important to never assume learners are the same or on the same developmental
levels because they are in the same class.
We explored some teaching strategies and the way in which they can be used in a
classroom. We agree that they must be adaptable to a classroom setting and be used
interchangeably in a multicultural environment. More than one teaching strategy can be
used during a lesson, as well as different teaching methods to support each strategy.
Lessons will be effective if learners needs are suited and development in learners are
1. Nieman MM and Monyai RB. 2006. The Educator as Mediator of Learning. Pretoria: Van
2. Nieman MM, Fraser JDC, Tsharane JM and Pienaar GE. 2005. The Educator as Mediator of
Learning. Pretoria: University of South Africa


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