Interaction in the classroom
In the present day set up of the teaching-learning process the teacher talks, instructs, demonstrates and then the students react in response to her. They listen when the teacher speaks, carry out the instructions given to them, observe things when demonstrated and even draw inferences and conclusions when they are told to infer and conclude and are shown how to do it. The teacher is the initiator of all activities. The students respond to her but generally do not initiate an activity, which can invite the teacher to react. This kind of atmosphere hampers the development of healthy groups, which, as has already been said, are an essential part of the development of the child. This one-sided orientation of action reaction or stimulus-response set-up should give way to a healthy interaction, wherein the teacher and the pupils act on each other and the pupils among themselves.
Fostering Interaction in the Classroom
With the understanding of the formation of groups within the class, influences of groups outside the class and the structure of the class group as discussed so far, a teacher can get reasonably acquainted with all her pupils. With this knowledge, added to the psychology of learning and methodology of teaching, it is possible to create a congenial classroom atmosphere, where continuous interaction, which is group-oriented and goal directed, will take place. Early Childhood Education advises teachers to create environment that may be favourable to interaction in the class and they are as follows:
First of all, she should consider each pupil as valuable and appreciable what is best in him. A pupil may not be good at mathematics but he may be a good singer. Another may be poor in art but quite good at languages. Some may be good sportsmen; a few may be versatile while some others may be good organisers. Exploiting these trains for group work will develop the self-concept of a pupil giving him a chance to relate positively to others.
Secondly, a teacher should herself be enthusiastic about the activities she conducts in her class. Enthusiasm being contagious will spread through the class.
Thirdly, she must have extensive information about each pupil in her charge. She should use this information in deciding what to expect from reach child and give him according to his needs. She must also know the interrelationships between the pupils of her class and avoid compulsions in matters such as sitting arrangements, forming terms for work or forming pairs for assignments, forming play groups, etc. She should let the children choose their own partners and co-workers as far as possible. Pupil’s naturally affinity towards each other should be utilised.
The students respond to her but generally do not initiate an activity, which can invite the teacher to react. This kind of atmosphere hampers the development of healthy groups which, as has already been said, are an essential part of the development of the child. According to Pre Primary Teachers Training, this one-sided orientation of action-reaction or stimulus-response set-up should give a way to a healthy interaction wherein the teacher and the pupils act on each other and the pupils among themselves.