ERIC Number: ED073117
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Basic Teaching Skill: Decision Making.
Shavelson, Richard J.
Any teaching act is the result of a decision, either conscious or unconscious. Previous research on basic teaching skills examined alternative teaching acts, such as explaining, questioning, reinforcing, without examining how teachers choose between one or another act. This paper argues that the basic teaching skill is decision making. This decision making process is examined using decision theory. Viewed from the decision theory perspective, a teacher has a choice of alternative acts. The choice may depend upon the teacher's subjective estimation of a student's understanding of the material and the usefulness of various alternatives in increasing that understanding. Research on teaching skills is reviewed, showing the application of current methodology to the study of teachers decision making. This conceptualization of the teacher as a decision maker incorporates previous research on basic teaching skills. Skills such as questioning and explaining represent the teacher's repertoire of alternative acts, while the skills of listening and hypothesis generation influence the quality of information from which the teacher estimates the student's understanding and the utility of alternative acts. One implication is that teacher training should include a decision making component that integrates the other basic skills. (Four figures and two tables of statistical data are included along with three pages of references.) (Author/BRB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching.