8 January 2013

Gambia: Sidia Jatta's Review of the Book Entitled 'Quality Assurance' (pedagogic Guide for Effective Teaching and Learning)

Published by Dr Ida Jallow Sallah at its launching along with the book on Monitoring Schools, on Friday 28 December 2012

A knowledge based society is the key to development in the 21st Century. Those who know should therefore come to the aid of those who are waiting to know in order to bridge the knowledge gap between developed and developing countries which is impeded by the brain drain which make people like the author of these two magnificent books, Dr Ida Jallow Sallah to go in search of greener pastures before they could have time to add their quota to the knowledge base of their countries.

I am glad that she has taken a point of departure that I hope many of those who have acquired knowledge would soon decide to take, if they had not done so already, to bridge the knowledge gap.The book Quality Assurance, Pedagogic Guide for effective teaching and learning has filled a vacuum in the long search for professional and books produced by indigenes to guide teachers and school monitors.As a former classroom teacher and curriculum developer, I find it most refreshing to be asked to review this book.This book has shown in plain language that there is no mystery in teaching and learning. We do it every day at home, in our work places and in this very hall.The difficulty comes in being able to conceptualise how teaching and learning are taking place simultaneously and outline the most effective way to learn and teach in a more formal and structured environment aimed at expected national learning outcomes to impact on development. This book reminds us that in order to attain those outcomes we need to have knowledge of the arts and science of the classroom. The book proceeds to give the basic ingredients.The book deals with three fundamental areas of teaching and learning in a formal classroom setting. It deals with guiding principles of teaching and learning and the tools needed, Classroom Management and Classroom instruction.The book examines the different strategies and approaches associated with teaching and learning. It is indisputable that as portrayed by the book the teacher centred approach to teaching and learning is the oldest method. The book indicates very clearly that such an approach projects the teacher as the dispenser of information and the determinant of learning outcomes while the learner is reduced to a passive recipient. It elaborates on the forms of teacher centred approaches such as lecture, explicit Teaching, structured over view and didactic questions. Instead of dismissing the approach the book states and I concur that it could serve the purpose of knowledge transfer if the teacher is knowledgeable, perceptive, engaging and motivating.In contrast, the book highlights that the learner centred approach emerged from the pedo-centric view that the learner is the starting point the centre and the end of the education process. The book examines approaches like brainstorming dialogue journal, role play, rhyming, experimental learning, cooperative learning, project based learning, peer tutoring, discussion, learning communities mind reader, photo search, charades and scrabbles. These make learners explorers of ideas, movers of initiatives, imaginative and critical thinkers and confident and Independent innovators and creators.The book looks at the different strategies of learning such as the cognitive, mega cognitive and socio affective strategies. It examines the learning styles and the development of the different learning competences of the person.It elaborates on the issue of classroom preparation.

It focused on the Moral, intellectual, psychological and physical preparedness of both teacher and learner and reviews the effect of appearance and attendance. It broke down the curriculum and its components, the syllabus, the teachers guide, the scheme of work, lesson plan and lesson notes of the teachers. It reviews the way desks and other materials of the classroom are positioned in relation to the teacher and learner, how behaviour is managed and confidence and acceptance built in the interaction between learner and teacher.The book explores the role of assessment and evaluation and the importance of feedback and reinforcement to promote effective teaching and learning. It drew the curtain by projecting various classroom scenarios to give practical effect to all the analysis made. The author has done justice to the topic and I strongly recommend a copy for anyone who wishes to have command of the subject of effective teaching and learning in schools. Once again I congratulate the author for undertaking and successfully completing this mammoth task.The end

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