In this blog, we share the top Level of teaching – Memory, Understanding & Reflective Level in 2022
Teaching and learning are two intertwined words that exist as a single concept. The profession of imparting knowledge might seem simple, but it is definitely not. Teachers play a crucial role in students’ lives; they help them learn, get insights on new topics, discover their inner abilities, etc.
Teaching jobs require unique strategies and methods to achieve students’ desired level of learning. Teachers should be dedicated and passionate about easily helping students learn even the most challenging concepts.
In 1967, Morris L. Biggie, along with his pupils, classified the learning process into three levels-
- Memory level
- Understanding level
- Reflective level
Each of these levels of teaching represents a unique learning strategy in which students can capture the most information and achieve their educational objectives.
The memory level lies at the bottom level of teaching since it’s the least thoughtful, and the reflective level is the most thoughtful, which requires higher cognitive abilities. The understanding level falls between these three categories, depending upon its thoughtful abilities and cognitive skills.
Levels of teaching – Memory, Understanding & Reflective Level
Memory level of teaching (MLT)
Memory level is the most thoughtless level of teaching; it’s only concerned with sharpening memory or the mental ability to grasp information. Here, the teacher presents the learner with the information, and they try to mug up the facts.
The memory level of teaching needs the least involvement since it only requires grasping information rather than understanding its meaning and application.
Features of Memory level of teaching:
- Memory level of teaching is useful for students in the lower classes since their intellect is under development.
- It’s usually the first level of learning factual information.
- Memory learning trains memory to retain maximum information and quickly recall when required.
- Memory learning is a prerequisite for the understanding level of teaching.
- Teachers mostly focus on the presentation of the subject matter and not on how students respond to it.
- We can also find a lack of communication at this level of teaching.
- Oral and written tests are used to test the memory of the student.
Merits of memory level of teaching
- Useful only for children at the lower level, since their intellect is under development
- The role of the teacher is quite important here; they make the learning process easier for the students.
- The knowledge acquired here will form the basis of intellectual learning required in the future.
- Memory level of teaching is best for slow learners, and they can take their sweet time understanding the topics.
Demerits of memory level of teaching
- Not suitable for higher class students
- The interaction between students and teachers is quite low in the memory level of teaching.
- The learner has no role besides mugging up the answers. They desire what they ask to memorize.
- Students who just memorize the information before really understanding it have low retrieving power when asked.
- There is higher dominance of teachers and no room for self-learning from students.
2. Understanding level of teaching (ULT)
In the understanding level of teaching, students must acknowledge the implication of concepts, interpret the relationship between elements, and apply concepts, facts, and principles. It is taken from the Herbartian Theory of apperception, where the learner starts to find the relationship between facts and not just mug up answers.
Morris L. Bigge defines the understanding of teaching in his book “Learning theory of students” as “to acquaint students with the relationships between generalizations and particulars, between principles and solitary facts, and which show- the use to which the principles may be applied.”
In the understanding level of teaching, a teacher is considered an architect that uses intellectual learning to weave concepts in a fun and understandable way of learning. There are six ways of teaching this level of learning:
Features of the Understanding level of teaching
- It’s best for students with higher cognitive ability and memory levels.
- Students at this stage can think, imagine, present things logically, and evaluate the relationship between elements and principles.
- There is an active role of both student and teacher in assimilating facts.
- Teachers use various teaching methods like lectures, discussions, and exemplification to help students understand concepts.
- Understanding the level of teaching sets the stage for students to enter the reflective level of teaching.
- Evaluation at this stage shouldn’t be limited to mugged-up answers. Challenge students with questions that force them to think logically and use high cognitive skills.
Advantages of the Understanding level of teaching
- Development of advanced cognitive skills among students
- Teachers can use flashcards, charts, TV charts, and models to help students visualize the concepts.
- In this level of teaching, teachers play an extremely crucial role in making the the class interesting and engaging for students to continue learning.
- Knowledge acquired at this point remains with the students for a very long period.
Disadvantages of the Understanding level of teaching
- It’s a teacher-centered learning process. The students don’t play a major role in determining how they want to study.
- There is less focus on intrinsic motivation.
- No personalized learning
- Slow learners might find it difficult to understand the concepts.
3. Reflective level of teaching
Reflective teaching is the highest level of teaching. Students don’t merely memorize an answer, nor do they only understand or interpret concepts, but they also ponder upon and pay serious consideration to concepts and principles.
Morris L. Begge defines a “Reflective way of teaching” as a careful, critical examination of an idea or supposed article of knowledge in the light of testing evidence that supports it and the further conclusions towards which it points.
Reflective level of teaching does not focus on memorization and understanding only; here, students use higher mental processes like reasoning, analyzing concepts, imagination, thinking, analyzing concepts, and finding out facts.
Adopting such a high level of learning develops new insights for students to solve problems, explore a new field of knowledge, and retest facts and principles.
Features of Reflective level of teaching
- It is the highest level of learning that includes both MLT and ULT.
- Students go beyond the normal understanding of the concept; they are keen on doing proper research and adopting a problem-centric approach to learning.
- The reflective level of teaching is to encourage students to solve their problems by logic, reasoning, and imagination.
- The students occupy the primary spot, and the teachers come secondary.
- The classroom environment is ‘open and independent,’ and students are self-motivated to adopt this new level of learning.
- To test, teachers should include high-order cognitive skills like reasoning, creativity, problem-thinking, and critical thinking.
Advantages of Reflective level of teaching
- The reflective level of teaching is not subject-centered or teacher-centered; it is learner-based.
- At this level, major emphasis is given to identifying a problem and defining a solution using students’ critical abilities.
- The role of teachers in the reflective level of teaching is quite democratic; it does not force knowledge on the students.
- A reflective level of teaching is highly useful in the practical world, where a problem-centric solution is required.
- It provides maximum flexibility compared to other levels of teaching methods.
Disadvantages of Reflective level of teaching
- Not suitable for smaller students who aren’t intellectually developed.
- Students have to take charge of their studies at this level, which is not a one-fit size solution for everyone.
- It’s a time-consuming process and takes days and years to master.
- Slow learners might find it difficult to understand the concepts.
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