Whole-Class Instruction vs. Homeschooling

In education, there are as many ways to manage and teach a classroom as there are teachers. In the next few posts, you will find outlined a variety of popular methods of instruction that have proven effective with many educators. Try them out to see what works for you, but by all means, adapt them as needed to suit you. You’ll find that a particular method of instruction not only may suit your style of teaching better, but may also be more suitable to the demands and success of the lesson plan at hand.

Whole-Class Instruction

Many experts agree that teacher-directed lessons should be conducted for the whole class rather than in small groups. Dividing the class into groups decreases the teaching time to which each student is exposed. In addition, substantial amounts of seat work are necessary to keep students who are not meeting with the teacher busy and quiet (but not necessarily instructed). Whole-class instruction, however, assures that all students are exposed to the same curriculum. Students feel equal with one another because they are not separated into groups which are labeled by their abilities.

The teacher must be sure that all lessons and guided discussions have something for all students even though some parts of the lesson may be too easy or difficult for some students. The easy lesson portion gives children of all abilities a boost in self-esteem and a feeling of mastery over concepts, while portions of lessons that are difficult challenge more advanced students. Even students who do not respond at all during a lesson are usually thinking about the topic and learning from the responses of other students. Overall, whole-class instruction challenges students of all abilities and nurtures their higher-level thinking skills.

While whole-class instruction has its benefits and is considered standard in the education field, there may be drawbacks to using this method of instruction. Robert Jackson, in his article “Whole-Class Instruction: Is It Out of Date?” writes that

“Some parents, recognizing the enormous individual differences among students and seeing the harm done by unfavorable comparisons [brought forth by the grading system], have chosen to educate their children at home, where work can be given at students’ learning edge. They have made the decision that individualized instruction is more important than interaction with peers at school.”

Which brings up… homeschooling – another method of instruction. As we know, there are some parents who like to have control over what their child learns and have therefore chosen to adopt this form of education.

If you are a parent who has chosen to homeschool your child, what are some of your reasons for advocating homeschool? How and why did you decide to adopt homeschooling, and how can you tell if it’s right for you and your child?

Here are 10 things to consider if you are deciding whether homeschooling is right for you, courtesy of Beverly Hernandez, from Homeschooling.About.com:

Homeschool Decision – 10 Things to Consider

Next post: Independent Practice

2 thoughts on “Whole-Class Instruction vs. Homeschooling”

  1. Jim Spence

    I was searching for Blogs about guide to the individualized education and found this site. I am interested in your content and appreciate sites like this.

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