12th September 2022
What Is Micro-teaching & How Is It Used?
What is micro-teaching?
Micro-teaching was first developed at Stanford University in the 1950s-1960s by educationist Dwight Allen. The idea is that micro-teaching enables teachers to efficiently learn new teaching skills. It does this by concentrating on teaching under controlled conditions, providing instant feedback on teaching style and skills.
Micro-teaching fortifies teaching skills, but also helps to advance skills such as classroom management and communication. Micro-teaching can be part of your student-teacher training, or you can use micro-teaching as a qualified teacher, to monitor and develop your teaching style.
By using micro-teaching, student teachers in particular will grow in confidence as they practise teaching in a small group. In this way, the training can focus on personal development, correcting any specific weaknesses or mistakes before the student teacher stands in front of a large group.
How can micro-teaching improve your teaching?
There are many ways in which micro-teaching can improve your teaching:
It promotes a positive attitude to criticism. This will help you to develop better results as you take feedback onboard and make a conscious effort to improve.
The small group setup concentrates the learning. You’ll learn more as you can address gaps in your knowledge with the help of others.
It works for a variety of abilities. Whether you’re a trainee teacher or an experienced teacher, micro-teaching will help improve your skills whatever your current ability. The feedback you receive will improve how you teach by rote, teach students to think independently, and, ultimately, teach them how to learn for themselves.
It reinforces the importance of systematic lesson plans. This is key for student teachers.
It provides a confidence booster. The activities involved in micro-teaching are designed to boost your confidence in a setting which doesn’t intimidate. This is particularly important for student teachers.
It promotes psychological well-being. Small group learning is scientifically proven to promote well-being. Well-being improves teachers’ ability to teach ideas, communicate with students and face challenges.
What are the objectives of micro-teaching?
- To allow student teachers to learn and master new teaching skills in controlled conditions.
- To develop core teaching skills such as presentation skills.
- To allow student teachers to gain confidence by scaling down the classroom scene.
- To learn how to use the micro-teaching skills learnt in a normal classroom setting.
- To provide all-important feedback so that teaching skills can be improved.
What are the steps for conducting a micro-teaching session?
- Prepare – firstly, you need to plan your micro-teaching session, outlining the objective and the resources needed. You also need to define the profiles of your students so you have a general idea of what they might need to focus on. And make sure to prepare a plan B: an extra activity or some spare hand-outs.
- Delegate if you need to. Ask the student teachers to help you to set up or hand out resources. This assists you, but also relaxes the students and allows you to get to know them.
- Define the skills that you’re going to teach and ask if anyone has specific experience.
- Demonstrate those skills.
- Plan for student engagement – for qualified teachers and student teachers to learn, you need to engage them, keeping their interest and focus.
- Consider your delivery – you don’t want to lecture your audience; but you also don’t need to be dancing on the table! Think about how you balance the delivery, providing the information, but using entertaining anecdotes.
- Plan the time carefully – emphasise the most useful and stimulating points to hold the interest of your audience. Make sure that you remember to leave time for any questions they might have.