THE LEARNERS AND THE CLASSROOM
The history of classroom teaching is filled with different and sometimes conflicting account of factors in the environment believed to influence effective learning and differential students’ performances.
The focus on the learner is to attest the fact that insufficient knowledge of the learner usually leads to inadequate or poorly articulated teaching strategies, which sometimes results in disruptive classroom behaviours.
It is important to note that the environmental approach to teaching and learning comes from the basic understanding that human beings take different patterns of behaviour, life style and patterns of achievement when they find themselves in different locations.
An analysis of the many factors that are involved in the teaching and learning process shows that practically, all important decisions are aimed at creating conditions for the learner to attain specific objectives.
As a result, it is important for the teacher to be aware of the following characteristics of the learner that include intellectual (cognitive) ability, learning styles, and motivation.
Theorists like Piaget have agreed that there are important qualitative changes which accompany the growth and development of the learner from childhood to adulthood.
At the primary school the child learns from concrete objectives and pictures. Teacher groups learners to interact with one another.
The learning styles of the pupils are another factor worth noting. These are distinctive behaviours which serve as indicators of how a person learns from and adapts to his environment . It also gives clues as to how a person’s mind operates.
In other words, student’s learning styles are defined in terms of those educational conditions under which he/she is most likely to learn.
The level of awareness of students and their importance in decision about instruction are the results of efforts by both social and developmental psychologists to characterize and match students according to their preferences and readiness for instruction.
For instance, the Stcreotypic leaner is that learner who accepts the idea of role expectations that all neatly to specific occupations.
In other words, the learner lacks the basis for forming individual or personal opinions regarding career choices.
They opinionated leaner is another level of learners’ awareness which constitute learners that are comfortable with low-level cognitive information recall, knowledge and comprehension. They rarely question assignments, and learn cognitive information willingly and most comfortable when material to be learned is in a text or carefully explained lecture.
The Creative Learner is next level of awareness of learners. At this level, students realize hat life is finite, purposeful and free to make choices.
The learner takes charge of life, generates great deal of independence, and creative. Thus, inductive teaching procedures are best for the creative learners.
Motivation involves teacher’s manipulation of the classroom atmosphere to maximize learning.
In other words, motivation is concerned with the creation, maintenance and distribution of the resources (human and material) that constitute the learning environment.
It also concerns response to the demand for the provisions of schooling.
The teacher personality, classroom management skills and reward of students’ performances can go a long way to sustain motivation.
The understanding of the learner in the classroom is an important aspect of teaching and learning.
If the teacher is to succeed in achieving learning objectives, he/she must consider the cognitive ability learning styles and the motivation of the learner.