which level are you at?

no, this is not a RPG question, nor a rhetoric qn.

was reading and saw reference to John Biggs (1999)’s Levels of Teaching Competence in his other article ‘what the student does? teaching for enhanced learning‘.

so, using RPG-like language, i can probably ask a teacher “which teaching level are you at?”, or “which teacher level are you?” 😛

a quick list of the focus of the 3 levels of teaching competence:

level 1: focus on what the student IS
level 2: focus on what the teacher DOES
level 3: focus on what the STUDENT does

level 1’s focus is on knowledge transmission. teacher’s responsibility is to lecture, and assume students will ‘absorb’. if students do not learn, ‘blame the student’ (in terms of deficit in ability, attitude, study skills, motivation (Samuelowicz, 1987).

level 2’s focus is very much on what the teacher does to transmit knowledge (concepts and understanding) to students. a teacher will aim to work at equipping oneself with ‘an armoury of teaching skills’. PD is focused on ‘HOWTOs’. the deficit now lies with the teacher. ‘blame the teacher’ for being incompetent (teaching is a bag of competencies) if s/he doesnt transmit knowledge well.

level 3’s focus is on students learning. one may argue that this requires level 2’s competencies as a basis. perhaps so. but the focus is on what the student does, and the key qns for consideration is “what it means to understand those concepts and principles in the way we want them to be understood?”, and “what kind of teaching/learning activities are required to reach those kinds of understanding?” (p.63)

level 3 is ‘student-centered’ teaching. 1 & 2 are teacher-centered.

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