Facts You Should Know About Special Education

Special education classes help a child learn who may have a learning disability or other problems that make it difficult to learn. Classrooms are set up to help the child learn and the class size is usually much smaller so the teacher can work with each child equally. Special education is important when a child cannot learn or has difficulty learning but still deserves the time and efforts it takes to learn.

Special education is a class taught to suit the needs of the individual. If a child has autism there may be an individual who is assigned to assist that child throughout the school day to meet all their physical needs. This allows the teacher the freedom to teach the child while someone works at another aspect of the disability. An assistant can also help the teacher in the classroom so she or he can get the lesson done more quickly.
Some schools offer a wide range in special education services. Some teachers will go to the child’s home in order to teach them so they can still receive their education under special circumstances.

A person who wants to teach or assist in special education should know that it take compassion and the ability to deal with children in a frequently stressful environment. Every child in class will act and react differently so you never know what you are going to encounter and what is considered a normal day for your class. You may have a class that requires minimal special attention. Others may require a lot of attention and even though you may have an assistant your job is still going to be stressful.

Get more help outside of the classroom. if you have volunteers at your school then you need to be able to utilize them in order to help you. When things do not seem like they are working in your classroom you need to do something immediately and not waste time. A volunteer may be the one person who can make a difference for a child in your classroom.

Special education is important in our society and it will determine how well a child succeeds as an adult if they have a disability. If a child is never taught how to deal with their disability then they will always consider it a burden however if a child is taught from the beginning how to deal with it, they can guess when they are going to have an attack, whether they are feeling negative, whether they need to change their routine, and more. If a child finds that accepting his disability at an early age can help them then they can use this help to succeed instead of constantly focusing on what they cannot do or will not be able to do because of their limitation.

Teaching special education is vital to our society today. Not only will you teach your students things but your students will probably teach you a lot as well.

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Analyzing Issues of Overidentification in Special Education

Overidentification in special education has two potential meanings. First, it can mean that there are too many students being identified as needing special education in a school or district. Estimates of students in need of special education services have ranged from 3% to 8% of total students. Central office staff typically attempt to stay within the 10% range however, it sometimes reaches highs of 13% or more. Second, it may mean that a certain group of students is over represented in the special education population in comparison to their make up in the general population of students. Ideally, the proportion of the subgroup of students in the special education population should be identical to that of the general population.

Overidentification of students in need of special education services results in a number of negative outcomes for the students, the school district, and to a larger extent society. Students identified as needing special education services often don’t receive the same rigorous curriculum as those not receiving services. Therefore, they are not as prepared for the demands of the next grade level as unidentified students. They frequently have lowered expectations placed upon them, may be socially stigmatized, may display greater behavioral problems requiring disciplinary action, and are more likely to not complete school or they complete school with less skills than other students.

Overidentified students place an unnecessary burden on already limited school resources and take away existing resources from those students who are really in need of them. Staff time is taken up in extra preparation for their daily needs, to go to extra meetings, and to complete evaluations. If discipline becomes an issue, then administrator time gets taken away from other duties.

In regard to potential impacts on society, overidentification’s reduced demands, watered-down curriculum, and potential social stigmatization leaves students unprepared to continue with their education or lacking the skills necessary to take a productive role in the workplace and support themselves. When these students are unable to become productive members of society after school then their educational institution has failed them.

Some of the reasons for overidentification include:

Poverty and income inequality
Inequity in schools funding
Inability to access early interventions
Lack of training in regard to appropriate referrals to and placements in special education
Lack of understanding of diverse populations
Research has found that students from impoverished backgrounds are more likely to be unprepared for the rigors of education and lack the background knowledge and experiences of their more affluent peers. The Head Start Program was developed in 1965 to meet this need, and to provide comprehensive services to low income families during the preschool years. However, while gains have been made, a gap still exists, and many families are unable to access these services for a variety of reasons.

Schools are not always funded appropriately with many schools requiring students to bring in their own work materials, lack resources for paraprofessional support, or lack the funds to have full day kindergarten or hire enough teachers to have smaller classes. When schools are funded appropriately, the district often determines where and when the money is spent, which may not always be on the biggest needs or those that will make the biggest difference in the long-term.

Unfortunately, some schools don’t always make appropriate referrals or placement decisions. Sometimes they wait too long before making a referral and sometimes they make one too soon. The advent of Response to Intervention (RTI) may help in this area as schools should have data about how students respond to interventions before making a referral.

Lack of understanding about different cultures and the way children learn may also lead to students being over identified, especially for behavior concerns. Not every child is able to sit in a chair for six hours a day learning. There are many ways to learn and students need to be exposed to as many of them as possible before being identified with a disability.

Parents and educators need to be aware that over identification of students for special educational services has short and long-term consequences. These consequences affect the student, the school, and, potentially, society. It is the school’s responsibility to keep an open mind, look at individual differences and all possibilities prior to identifying a student as in need of special education services.

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An Overview of Supplemental Educational Services

Supplemental Educational Services (SES) refers to free academic assistance that is provided to qualified students who need help in subjects like Math or English. This additional educational instruction is designed to increase the academic achievement of students in schools that have not met the state’s targets for increasing student achievement. This is known as their Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP. Extra academic help consists of free tutoring outside of regular school hours. Students can receive assistance before or after school, on weekends, or over the summer. Online tutoring companies, community agencies, and private schools are some of the organizations that can gain state approval to offer Supplemental Educational Services.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, low income families receiving free or reduced-price lunch can enroll their children in Supplemental Educational Services if their school has been designated by the state to be in need of improvement for at least three years. No Child Left Behind was enacted to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice. SES provides many students with the opportunity they need to reach their potential and achieve academic success.

Organizations that are qualified to provide Supplemental Educational Services are identified by each State Department of Education. States consult with teachers, parents, and school districts to identify a wide variety of SES provider options for students. School districts must make a list of state-approved providers of Supplemental Educational Services in their area available to parents of eligible students. Parents can choose the provider that best meets the educational needs of their child.

Supplemental Educational Services providers must meet the comprehensive criteria established by the state to be included on the list of eligible providers. These organizations are monitored by the State Department of Education, and they are evaluated on the quality of services they offer. Providers of SES must demonstrate a record of effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement, and they must give information on students’ progress to their parents and schools. These organizations must provide services that are consistent with the instructional program of their school districts, and with state academic standards. Supplemental Educational Services must be high-quality, research based, and specifically designed to increase student academic achievement.

Steven Jorgensenn is an author for High Points Learning, a subsidiary of Datamatics Consultants, Inc. HighPoints Learning (HPL) is a leader in Web-based math education and instruction. HPL offers an online math tutoring program that helps raise participants’ math scores an average of 15 points in pre and post testing. HighPoints Learning services the 3-12 grade market with products and services that include AchieveMath, Achieve HighPoints, and HighPoints Math.

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Balancing General and Special Education Services

Historically, special education services delivery was on a pull-out model. This means that the child was removed from the general education classroom for separate instruction. It may be the child was in a self-contained classroom (all day placement) or in a resource classroom (maximum of half-day placement).

As a result of lawsuits, most districts have shifted from pull-out to inclusion models for everything except speech and language, occupational and/or physical therapy, and specialized assistance for the hearing or visually impaired students. These remain pull-out because the instruction is individualized and intense for short lengths of time, usually 1-3 times per week for 15-30 minutes a session.

In the inclusion model, students receive the same instruction as their general education peers. Sometimes the special education teacher or assistant is in the classroom with the child to assist instruction and/or task completion. Most of the time, the student remains in the general education classroom and is expected to behavior and work as all other students.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Both models of special education services delivery will succeed and fail for different reasons. Some children need the full-day pull-out model because they cannot handle the changes and demands of a general education classroom. They may be able to handle the instructional demands, but their behaviors may be out of control and/or hazardous to them and/or others in the room. They may lack the foundations in reading, writing and/or mathematics to do any work in the general classroom; instructional content is often limited to low-level instruction and work assignments, because the available materials simplify the content.

The partial day pull-out model allows more intensive instruction in targeted subject areas where children need extra assistance or instruction. Since it is only partial day, students mingle the rest of the day with their peers. Unfortunately, their social interactions may be affected, because others often do not understand what special education services are and will tease the students who leave. The ridicule of thoughtless peers affect many who give up hope of ever being in the general education classroom.

Inclusion allows students to receive instruction, especially in upper elementary grades where children learn about science and social studies. While having the advantage of more socially-appropriate interactions among students, inclusion has some drawbacks for instruction. Many children are slower to develop than their peers. They may have language deficiencies or cognitive delays that affect their ability to understand the instruction and do their assignments. Even with adult assistance, the instruction usually is not modified in any way so they understand what they are learning. An example is that, in some states, all students must take physics or chemistry to graduate; these are not appropriate classes for children with mild to severe disabilities.

Inclusion instruction keeps going, no matter whether or not a child is ready for the next level of instruction. Many children end up doing assignments that mean nothing simply to get them out of their face so they can move on. They are not being educated but being housed for the convenience of administrators who make the decisions.

Considerations for Services Delivery

The IEP team, including parents, need to consider many factors when they design the implementation plan: time of day, content instructional periods, services providers’ schedules and availability, the child’s ability to perform in a group setting (behavior and/or mastery of prerequisite content), level of supports needed for the child to perform, medication schedules, equipment/technology availability, and so on.

In the pull-out model, it is possible for children to receive too many services. They become dependent upon the adults for structuring their world and providing motivation to complete tasks; learning becomes optional. In the inclusion model, it is possible for children to receive too little services. Their ability to understand the content and processes may be limited and there is no “going back” to prerequisite skills that were missed or incompletely mastered. Adult time, room capacity, and schedules impact instruction and work behavior. In either model, the adults’ expectations for the students may be low and limit the child’s own goals and expectations.

Finding the Right Balance

The goal for receiving special education services should be for the child to develop the skills that will enable him/her to perform in the regular classroom. Keeping a child in a special education setting too long can be just as damaging as removing them from services too early. Just because the child may be eligible does not mean it is in the child’s best interest to continue protecting the child. The child must develop an internal awareness of being able to be like others, to receive instruction and complete tasks like others do. The child must develop a work ethic and pride in accomplishment; these are attitudes and skill necessary for him/her to be a productive employee as an adult. Ensuring success is just as damaging as setting a child up for failure.

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Financial Education Services Review

Financial Education Services also known as FES is headquarter in Farmington Hills, MI and has approximately 200 plus employees worldwide. The majority of the services offered by FES are proprietary products developed by FES. There are as well some partnerships most notably, LifeLock the number 1 provider of identity theft protection.

The founders of this company, Mike Toloff and Parimal Naik come from a very successful background relating to the financial services industry and over the last 9 plus years have taken what was once an operation ran from a small back room in a shopping mall to a state of the art facility with representation across the country

Financial Education Services Products

Today’s market place demands products that will not only help consumers reenter the market place but as well help to educate them on important factors related to financial literacy that were never taught during formal educational years.

It is this combination of products, service and education that has helped FES to become a powerhouse in the market place today and what separates them from there competition. When you educate your customer base you have a potential for not only referral business but as well retention of existing clients.

Financial Education Services products consist of Credit Restoration, Positive Credit Building, Pre-Paid MasterCard, Wills and Trusts and the inclusive FES Protection Plan Membership that includes previous mentioned services along with DebtZero (Debt Pay-off System) and My Financial Lockbox.

Financial Education Services Business Model

The business model or distribution of these financial services is delivered through a network of independent distributors or what FES refers to as “Agents”. Agents are compensated for the sale of these products and also have the ability to build teams of agents and receive overrides and bonuses based on their team production.

The business model is a form of MLM or as more commonly referred to as Network Marketing. The unique thing about the FES model as that agent’s can opt to simply sell the products and not participate in the team building aspect of the business although to maximizes the compensation plan you will want to participate in both sales of products as well as team building.

Is Financial Education Services Right for You

Well let’s examine the facts; it is estimated that over 50 million Americans have less than a 599 credit score (Sub-Prime Credit), 90% of the population does not have a will and trust combination, the average consumer household debt is approximately 20K with no plan in place to pay it off and identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. With that being said, it’s almost a certainty that most people know someone that can use the services that Financial Education Services provides.

The most likely candidates for the FES business opportunity are professionals in the financial services industry such as mortgage brokers and Real Estate professionals. There has also been a recent surge in interest from the insurance industry.

This opportunity just like any other home based business is great for anybody looking to enter the network marketing industry. There are no license requirements for the agents since FES is licensed and bonded in all 50 states including Puerto Rico.

The bottom line is if you’re the type of persons that needs the services offered by FES, will to sharing products that can benefit others or enjoy working from home than the Financial Education Services opportunity could be right for you.

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Teacher Education and Teacher Quality

1.0 INTRODUCTION

One of the sectors which fosters national development is education by ensuring the development of a functional human resource. The institution of strong educational structures leads to a society populated by enlightened people, who can cause positive economic progress and social transformation. A Positive social transformation and its associated economic growth are achieved as the people apply the skills they learned while they were in school. The acquisition of these skills is facilitated by one individual we all ‘teacher’. For this reason, nations seeking economic and social developments need not ignore teachers and their role in national development.

Teachers are the major factor that drives students’ achievements in learning. The performance of teachers generally determines, not only, the quality of education, but the general performance of the students they train. The teachers themselves therefore ought to get the best of education, so they can in turn help train students in the best of ways. It is known, that the quality of teachers and quality teaching are some of the most important factors that shape the learning and social and academic growth of students. Quality training will ensure, to a large extent, teachers are of very high quality, so as to be able to properly manage classrooms and facilitate learning. That is why teacher quality is still a matter of concern, even, in countries where students consistently obtain high scores in international exams, such as Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). In such countries, teacher education of prime importance because of the potential it has to cause positive students’ achievements.

The structure of teacher education keeps changing in almost all countries in response to the quest of producing teachers who understand the current needs of students or just the demand for teachers. The changes are attempts to ensure that quality teachers are produced and sometimes just to ensure that classrooms are not free of teachers. In the U.S.A, how to promote high quality teachers has been an issue of contention and, for the past decade or so, has been motivated, basically, through the methods prescribed by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished California Teachers, 2015). Even in Japan and other Eastern countries where there are more teachers than needed, and structures have been instituted to ensure high quality teachers are produced and employed, issues relating to the teacher and teaching quality are still of concern (Ogawa, Fujii & Ikuo, 2013). Teacher education is therefore no joke anywhere. This article is in two parts. It first discusses Ghana’s teacher education system and in the second part looks at some determinants of quality teaching.

2.0 TEACHER EDUCATION

Ghana has been making deliberate attempts to produce quality teachers for her basic school classrooms. As Benneh (2006) indicated, Ghana’s aim of teacher education is to provide a complete teacher education program through the provision of initial teacher training and in-service training programs, that will produce competent teachers, who will help improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning that goes on in schools. The Initial teacher education program for Ghana’s basic school teachers was offered in Colleges of Education (CoE) only, until quite recently when, University of Education, University of Cape Coast, Central University College and other tertiary institutions joined in. The most striking difference between the programs offered by the other tertiary institution is that while the Universities teach, examine and award certificates to their students, the Colleges of Education offer tuition while the University of Cape Coast, through the Institute of Education, examines and award certificates. The training programs offered by these institutions are attempts at providing many qualified teachers to teach in the schools. The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher training programs in order to ensure quality.

The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher education programs based on the structure and content of the courses proposed by the institution. Hence, the courses run by various institutions differ in content and structure. For example, the course content for the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast is slightly different from the course structure and content of the Center for Continue Education, University of Cape Coast and none of these two programs matches that of the CoEs, though they all award Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after three years of training. The DBE and the Four-year Untrained Teacher’s Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programs run by the CoEs are only similar, but not the same. The same can be said of the Two-year Post-Diploma in Basic Education, Four-year Bachelor’s degree programs run by the University of Cape Coast, the University of Education, Winneba and the other Universities and University Colleges. In effect even though, same products attract same clients, the preparation of the products are done in different ways.

It is through these many programs that teachers are prepared for the basic schools – from nursery to senior high schools. Alternative pathways, or programs through which teachers are prepared are seen to be good in situations where there are shortages of teachers and more teachers ought to be trained within a very short time. A typical example is the UTDBE program, mentioned above, which design to equip non-professional teachers with professional skills. But this attempt to produce more teachers, because of shortage of teachers, has the tendency of comprising quality.

As noted by Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) the factors that contribute to the problems of teacher education and teacher retention are varied and complex, but one factor that teacher educators are concerned about is the alternative pathways through which teacher education occur. The prime aim of many of the pathways is to fast track teachers into the teaching profession. This short-changed the necessary teacher preparation that prospective teachers need before becoming classroom teachers. Those who favor alternative routes, like Teach for America (TFA), according to Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) have defended their alternative pathways by saying that even though the students are engaged in a short-period of pre-service training, the students are academically brilliant and so have the capacity to learn a lot in a short period. Others argue that in subjects like English, Science and mathematics where there are usually shortages of teachers, there must be a deliberate opening up of alternative pathways to good candidates who had done English, Mathematics and Science courses at the undergraduate level. None of these arguments in support of alternative pathways, hold for the alternative teacher education programs in Ghana, where the academically brilliant students shun teaching due to reasons I shall come to.

When the target is just to fill vacant classrooms, issues of quality teacher preparation is relegated to the background, somehow. Right at the selection stage, the alternative pathways ease the requirement for gaining entry into teacher education programs. When, for example, the second batch of UTDBE students were admitted, I can say with confidence that entry requirements into the CoEs were not adhered to. What was emphasized was that, the applicant must be a non-professional basic school teacher who has been engaged by the Ghana Education Service, and that the applicant holds a certificate above Basic Education Certificate Examination. The grades obtained did not matter. If this pathway had not been created, the CoEs would not have trained students who initially did not qualify to enroll in the regular DBE program. However, it leaves in its trail the debilitating effect compromised quality.

Even with regular DBE programs, I have realized, just recently I must say, that CoEs in, particular, are not attracting the candidates with very high grades. This as I have learnt now has a huge influence on both teacher quality and teacher effectiveness. The fact is, teacher education programs in Ghana are not regarded as prestigious programs and so applicants with high grades do not opt for education programs. And so the majority of applicants who apply for teacher education programs have, relatively, lower grades. When the entry requirement for CoEs’ DBE program for 2016/2017 academic year was published, I noticed the minimum entry grades had been dropped from C6 to D8 for West African Senior Secondary School Examination candidates. This drop in standard could only be attributed to CoEs’ attempt to attract more applicants. The universities too, lower their cut off point for education programs so as attract more candidates. The universities as alleged by Levine (2006) see their teacher education programs, so to say, as cash cows. Their desire to make money, force them to lower admission standards, like the CoEs have done, in order to increase their enrollments. The fact that, admission standards are internationally lowered in order to achieve a goal of increasing numbers. This weak recruitment practice or lowering of standards introduce a serious challenge to teacher education.

The Japanese have been able to make teacher education and teaching prestigious and therefor attract students with high grades. One may argue that in Japan, the supply of teachers far exceeds the demand and so authorities are not under any pressure to hire teachers. Their system won’t suffer if they do all they can to select higher grade student into teacher education programs. To them, the issues relating to the selection of teachers are more important that the issues relating to recruitment. However, in western and African countries the issues relating to recruitment are prime. It is so because the demand for teachers far outweighs that of supply. Western and African countries have difficulties recruiting teachers because teachers and the teaching profession is not held in high esteem. Teacher education programs therefore do not attract students who have very good grades. It is worth noting that, it is not the recruiting procedure only that determines whether or not teacher education will be prestigious, however recruiting candidates with high grades, ensures that after training, teachers will exhibit the two characteristics essential to effective teaching – quality and effectiveness. Teacher education can be effective if the teaching profession is held in high esteem and therefore able to attract the best of applicants. Otherwise, irrespective of incentives put into place to attract applicants and irrespective of the measures that will be put in place to strengthen teacher education, teacher education programs cannot fully achieve its purpose.

In order to strengthen teacher preparation, there is the need for teacher preparation programs to provide good training during the initial teacher training stage, and provide and sustain support during the first few years after the teachers have been employed. That is why Lumpe (2007) supports the idea that pre-service teacher education programs should ensure teachers have gained a good understanding of effective teaching strategies. Methodology classes therefore should center on effective teaching strategies. Irrespective of the pathway the training program takes, the program must be structured such that trainees gain knowledge about pedagogy, besides the knowledge of subject matter. They should also get enough exposure to practical classroom experience like the on-campus and off-campus teaching practice. Whether or not there is the need to fill vacancies in the classroom due to the high teacher attrition, many countries face, teacher preparation programs should aim at producing quality and effective teacher and not just filling vacancies.

3.0 DETERMINANTS OF TEACHER QUALITY

Teacher quality has such enormous influence on students’ learning. Anyone who has been in the teaching business will agree that teacher quality is central to education reform efforts. Priagula, Agam & Solmon (2007) described teacher quality as an important in-school factor that impact significantly on students’ learning. Quality teachers have positive impact on the success of students. Where the students have quality and effective teachers the students make learning gains while those with ineffective teachers show declines. With respect to the classroom teacher, teacher quality is a continuous process of doing self-assessment so as to have professional development and a self-renewal, in order to enhance teaching. For the teacher educator, an effective or quality teacher is one who has a good subject-matter and pedagogy knowledge, which the he/she can build upon.

Outstanding teachers possess and exhibit many exemplary qualities. They have the skills, subject matter, and pedagogy to reach every child. They help equip their students with the knowledge and breadth of awareness to make sound and independent judgments. Three determinants of teacher quality will be considered here. They are; pedagogical knowledge, subject-matter content knowledge and experience.

3.1 PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE

Trainees of every profession receive some sort of education that will give them insight into and prepare them for the task ahead. That of the teacher is called Pedagogical Content Knowledge or Pedagogical Knowledge. Pedagogical Content Knowledge can be described as, knowledge the teachers use in organizing classrooms, delivering the content the students must show mastery over and for managing the students entrusted into their care. Generally speaking, pedagogical knowledge is knowledge the teacher uses to facilitate students’ learning. Pedagogical Content Knowledge is in two major forms – teachers’ knowledge of the students’ pre-conceptions and teachers’ knowledge of teaching methodologies. Students come to class with a host of pre-conceptions relating to the things they are learning. The pre-conceptions may or may not be consistent with the actual subject-matter that is delivered. Teachers must have a good idea of both kinds of preconception, in order to help students, replace the inconsistent pre-conceptions or build upon the consistent pre-conceptions to bring about meaningful learning. Teachers must have a repertoire of teaching methodologies for facilitating students’ learning. When the methodologies are applied wrongly little or no learning occurs in students. In effect when either of the two is weak, the teacher becomes a bad one because that teacher will not be able to execute his/her responsibility in the vocation he/she has chosen. Due to this during teacher preparation, Pedagogical Content Knowledge is emphasized.

Teachers gain Pedagogical Content Knowledge from various sources. Friedrichsen, Abell, Pareja, Brown, Lankford and Volkmann (2009) distinguished three potential sources of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. They listed the sources as professional development programs, teaching experiences and lastly teachers’ own learning experiences. During their days as students in teacher education programs, teachers are assisted in variety ways to gain Pedagogical Content Knowledge. For examples, during practice, they learn how to put the pedagogical skills they learnt. Teacher education programs and other professional development programs create avenues for teachers to gain pedagogical content knowledge through workshops, lectures, working together with colleagues, and in teaching practice. Then their experiences in their classrooms as they teach students lead them to gain insight into which methodologies work under best under specific situations. That last source is usually ignored. It indicates that the professional knowledge of the teacher begins to develop long before the teacher becomes a candidate entering into teacher education. This means, the way teachers teach influences to a large extent the prospective teachers’ professional knowledge and beliefs. This type of learning is, generally, overlooked by teachers at all levels because unintentional and informal, it is.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge can be gained through formal and informal means. Learning opportunities for pedagogical content knowledge, formally, designed by institutions, based on learning objectives which generally are prerequisite for certification, constitutes the formal means. In formal learning, students have clear ideas about the objective of acquiring pedagogical skills. Informal learning, on the other hand, is not organized intentionally. It takes place incidentally and so can be considered as ‘side effect’. As Kleickmann et al (2012) described it, it has no goal with respect to learning outcomes, and it is contextualized to a large extent. This is often called learning by experience. Informal, but deliberative, learning situations exists. This occurs in situations such as learning in groups, mentoring, and intentional practicing of some skills or tools. Werquin (2010) described informal, but deliberative, learning as non-formal learning. Unlike formal learning, non-formal learning does not occur in educational institutions and does not attract certification. Whether pedagogical content knowledge

Pedagogical Content Knowledge is used to bridges the gap between content knowledge and actual teaching. By bridging the gap, it ensures that discussions of content are relevant to teaching and that discussions themselves are focused on the content. As such, Pedagogical Content Knowledge is something teachers must pay attention to. Teachers who possess and use good Pedagogical content knowledge have good control over classroom management and assessment, knowledge about learning processes, teaching methods, and individual characteristics (Harr, Eichler, & Renkl, 2014). Such teachers are able to create an atmosphere that facilitates learning and are also able to present or facilitate the learning of concepts by even lazy students. They are able to make learning easier by students hence teacher with high pedagogical content knowledge can be classified as quality teachers. It is worth noting that it is not pedagogical content knowledge only that makes good teachers. A teacher will not be good if he/she is master of pedagogical knowledge but lacks subject matter content knowledge.

3.2 SUBJECT-MATTER KNOWLEDGE

The goal of teaching is to help learners develop intellectual resources that will enable them participate fully in the main domains of human taught and enquiry. The degree to which the teacher can assist students to learn depends on the subject-matter the teacher possesses. That is to say, teachers’ knowledge of subject-matter has influence on their efforts to assist students to learn that subject-matter. If a teacher is ignorant or not well informed he/she cannot do students any good, he/she will rather much harm them. When the teacher conceives knowledge in such a way that it is narrow, or do not have accurate information relating to a particular subject-matter, he/she will pass on these same shallow or inaccurate information to students. This kind of teacher will hardly recognize the consistent pre-conceptions and challenge the misconceptions of students. Such a teacher can introduce misconceptions as he/she uses texts uncritically or inappropriately alter them. It is the teacher’s conception of knowledge that shapes the kind of questions he/she asks and the ideas he/she reinforces as well as the sorts of tasks the teacher designs.

Teachers’ subject-matter matter content knowledge must go beyond the specific topics of their curriculum. This is because the teacher does not only define concepts for students. Teachers explain to students why a particular concept or definition is acceptable, why learners must know it and how it relates to other concepts or definitions. This can be done properly if the teacher possesses a good understanding of the subject-matter. This type of understanding includes an understanding of the intellectual context and value of the subject-matter. The understanding of subject matter generally reinforces the teacher’s confidence in delivering lessons, thereby making him/her a good teacher.

3.3 EXPERIENCE

Experience is one of the factors that account for variations in teacher salary, the world over (Hanushek and Rivkin, 2006). The fact that salary differences are based on the number of years the teacher has served, suggests that employers believe the teachers experience makes him/her a better teacher and such a teacher must be motivated to remain in the service. Though some studies like that Hanushek (2011) have suggested that the experience positively influences teacher quality only in the first few years, and that beyond five years, experience ceases to have positive impact on teacher efficacy, common sense tells us the one who has been doing something for a long time does better and with ease. Experience will therefore continue to pay, since, more experienced teachers have the propensity to know more about the subject-matter they teach, and think and behave appropriately in the classroom, and have much more positive attitudes toward their students.

Teachers who have spent more years of teaching, usually, feel self-assured in their skill to use instructional and assessment tools. These teachers are able to reach even the most difficult-to-reach students in their classrooms. They also have greater confidence in their capability to control the class and prevent incidence that might make the teaching and learning process difficult. Their experience makes them much more patient and tolerant than their counterpart with few years of experience (Wolters & Daugherty, 2007). Novice teachers progressively gain and develop teaching and classroom management skills needed to make them effective teachers. They spend time learning themselves – trying to understand fully the job they have entered. The teachers who have spent more years teaching have gained a rich store of knowledge the less experience teachers will be trying to build. Teachers’ sense of effectiveness is generally associated with good attitudes, behaviors and interactions with their students. This is something the experienced teacher has already acquired. These explain why more experienced teachers are usually more effective teachers than the novices.

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Top 7 Ways to Promote a New Website on the Internet

So you have a new website. What do you do now? It’s time to start marketing. The most beautiful site in the world is worthless if you don’t market it. Marketing is the key to getting the traffic and sales you are looking for. If you own a business, then it’s crucial to your success. Follow these tips and start driving traffic to your website.

1. Create a sitemap.

A sitemap allows you to get all of the pages in your website indexed by the search engines. The two most important search engines are Google and Bing, so make sure you generate a sitemap and submit here. If your site doesn’t have some type of plugin to automatically do this, you’ll find plenty of free tools available on the internet to do this for you. Generate the sitemap, upload it to your hosting account, and submit.

2. Send out a press release.

A press release is news about your business so you want to make your press release as newsworthy as possible. Give readers a reason why they should read your press release. Submit multiple press releases to the top press release sites and consider paying for distribution as this will save you a lot of time in getting your news distributed and driving traffic to your site.

3. Write articles.

Articles will help you build long term traffic. They also allow you to brand yourself as an expert and add value to your offerings. You may also build backlinks this way, so this is an excellent strategy for your overall search engine optimization plan.

4. Bookmark your site.

Bookmarks will allow you to build backlinks to your website. It’s also a way to distribute your content as mini news stories, so use these sites to help you distribute the content within your inner pages and contribute to your overall page rank.

5. Post a free classified.

Although free classified ad sites aren’t as effective as they once were, there is one free classified ad site that can get you a lot of traffic: craigslist. craigslist is one of the top 50 most visited websites on the internet. It’s a great place to find things, get a job, and promote your business. Write an ad that drives traffic to a squeeze page and use it to build your list.

6. Build a list and recycle your traffic.

Only about two percent of those who visit your website will return. If you don’t implement a strategy to make the most of your traffic, it’s wasted. Building a list will allow you to reconnect and build a relationship with those who visit your website. Building a relationship lends credibility to your offerings and increases your chance of making the sale. Remember, your subscribers may need to be exposed to your offer at least seven times, so share your offer multiple times.

7. Recycle your articles into other forms of content.

The more ways you present your content, the more opportunities you have to connect with potential customers. This also opens up additional distribution channels for your business. Formats to recycle your content into are: videos, PDF documents, slide presentations, podcasts, photos, and whatever your imagination can dream up.

It doesn’t matter if you have a new site or an old one, marketing is the only thing that will get you traffic. Implement these strategies into your marketing plan and use them to create passive marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your site for years to come.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Successful Web Marketing

Thriving and making your brand big on the internet requires a carefully planned online marketing strategy. For most products and services present on the market that are struggling to get the top spot on search engines, there are thousands of competing websites. Without a well thought-out web marketing strategy, you will only squander your resources and get unsatisfactory results.

Determine Your Objective

Before you start creating an action plan on how to achieve success in marketing your website it is important that you clearly identify the aim of your web marketing strategy. Having a clear and definite objective allows you devise an effective online marketing plan. Know whether you merely want to raise your brand awareness, create leads you can convert into customers or sell your products and services.

Have Definite Measure Of Web Marketing Success

Settle on how you will gauge the success of your online marketing strategy. Aside from looking at the sales volume, you should also observe the amount of traffic your website gets and the amount of traffic required to obtain the action you want visitors to do on your website. In order to do this, you may install web site traffic-analysis software such as Google Analytics that can be used for free.

Domain

If you do not have yet a website, choose a domain to host your web page. One of the primary domain strategies to acquire a significant traffic to your site is to choose a keyword or keyword phrase in their domain name as it pulls more traffic towards your site. In addition, it is essential that you select a shorter domain name so people could easily remember your company or brand.

Have An Effective Web Design

Create a website design that embodies the image you wish to project to your target audience. Bear in mind that internet users have a very short attention span. Hence, you need a website design that will capture his interest within five seconds. Ensure that your website is designed in line with your objective. Make certain that it is easy to use and effectively communicate the brand message you want to relay to your target audience.

Generate Significant Traffic

Traffic generation is essential in a website. Without online traffic, you will not get the online visibility that you want to obtain for your company. You acquire a great influx of web traffic by posting relevant articles to article sites and launching an intensive social media campaign. Publishing informative videos about your company and industry can also improve your online presence.

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A Step-By-Step Process To Online Marketing Success

Marketing a company or a product online is such a tedious job for some people. While traditional marketing techniques such as hanging posters in a crowded place still work for some businesses, other enterprises take advantages the influence of internet. Before starting your online marketing campaign, it is necessary that you develop first a marketing plan that will lead your efforts to the right direction. Create a strategy that will improve the online presence and attract more audience to your website. Below is a step-by-step online marketing process:

Conduct A Thorough Research

Any business should conduct an intensive market research before starting a marketing campaign on different online portals. Learning the new technologies and methodologies is also necessary to get ahead of the tight competition in the online market. The market research usually concentrates on direct competitors and examines the competitor’s marketing strategy. List down the names of your competitors in your chosen industry and take a close look on how they promote their companies and brands on the web. Take note of the affiliate marketing programs they are using, including the advertising schemes or any online offers they are bidding to consumers. Observe whether your competitors are implementing social media marketing and take the full advantage of YouTube, MySpace, Facebook or Twitter in promoting their company.

Create Your Website

Build a website that you can utilize for marketing and promoting your company and your brand. Before constructing a website that would represent your company to the web, it is essential that you pay heed to the effective strategies of your competitors. However, do not copy the web design of your competitors as it will not help differentiate yourself in the market. Keep in mind that uniqueness is important in creating a sound brand on the web. Pay close attention to the attributes of websites that you like. Moreover, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor’s website. Consider adopting their strengths of their web design and resolve the weak points of their design to come up with an outstanding website.

Develop A Marketing Strategy

Evaluate your list of strengths and weaknesses that you have identified in other websites. From this list, develop a marketing strategy that will promote your company or products. Let your target market know who you are, what you can offer to them and how will they benefit from your company. Consider implementing web marketing options such as building traffic, linking in forums and online communities, using keywords on your website, providing informative articles, creating online tutorials in video format or publishing a blog, where you can easily reach out and interact with your target clients. Employ the marketing strategy you know best suits your business needs.

Monitor and Analyze Progress

It is not enough that you plan and execute your marketing strategy. It is crucial that you monitor and analyze the progress of the implementation of your online marketing strategy to see whether it is really working for your business. Know where your website traffic originates and know whether this traffic comes from the links you have created across the web. The more quality traffic your website gets, the higher the chance your website will appear on the first page of search engines.

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Getting Started With Cryptocurrencies

Investing in the cryptocurrency market space is often complex especially for the traditional investors. This is because investing directly in Cryptocurrency requires the use of new technologies, tools and adopting some new concepts.
If you decide to dip your toes in the CryptoCurrency world, you will need to have a clear picture of what to do and what to expect.

Be it Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or any of the 1300 tokens, buying and selling cryptocurrencies require you to choose an Exchange that deals in the products you want.

Being the most famous decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin leads the crypto space so dominantly that the terms crypto and bitcoin are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the matter of fact is that there are other cryptocurrencies as well that can be relied upon for making crypto-investments.

Litecoin

Litecoin, also referred to as ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’ is an open-source decentralized payment network that functions without involving an intermediary.

How does Litecoin vary from Bitcoin? Well, both are similar in many ways, however the block generation of Litecoin is much faster than that of Bitcoin. This is making the investors around the world open to accept Litecoin.

Charlie Lee, a former engineer at Google founded Litecoin in 2011. Though Litecoin does not have the anonymity technology of Bitcoin, recent reports have shown that Litecoin is preferred after bitcoin because of its persistence. Another factor that favours Litecoin is the Bitcoin SegWit technology that means secure peer-to-peer trading of currencies without involving exchange participation.

Ethereum

Launched in the year 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables distributed applications and smart contracts to function without third party interference. The currency is the ether that is like an accelerator within the ethereum platform. In the leading cryptocurrencies space, Ethereum. is the second most preferred choice after Bitcoin.

Zcash

Zcash gained attention in the latter part of 2016 and focuses on solving the problem of anonymous transactions. To understand the currency, let’s take it as “if bitcoin is like HTTP for money, Zcash is HTTPS”.

The currency offers the choice of the shielded transaction to maintain the transparency, privacy and security of transactions. This means the investors can transfer data in the form of encrypted code.

Dash

Originally known as darkcoin, Dash is a more selective version of bitcoin. It was launched in January 2014 by Evan Duffield with the name Xcoin. It is also known as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization or simply DAO. The coin was meant to eradicate all the prevailing limitations of Bitcoin. Currently, Bitcoin has earned a substantial position in the space of cryptocurrencies.

The alternative to virtual currency that promises secured and anonymous transactions through peer-to-peer networking is cryptocurrency. The key to making a lot of money is to make the right investment at the right moment. In comparison to making the everyday money, cryptocurrency models function without involving any middle man as a decentralized digital mechanism. In this distributed cryptocurrency mechanism, the continuous activity is issued, managed and endorsed by the community peer network. The cryptocurrency is known for its speedy transactions over any other mode such as digital wallets and other mediums.

In addition to the above discussed, other top cryptocurrencies include Monero (XMR), Bitcoin Cash (BCH). EOS and Ripple (XRP).

Although bitcoin is the trend setter and is leading the race, other currencies have also made their significant position and are growing in preference each day. Considering the trend, the other cryptos will have a long way to stay and might soon give Bitcoin a real tough time to maintain its position.

If you have decided to make a speculative investment in this disruptive technology, and want to have all current and future recommendations, connect with “The Top Coins”.

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