Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Methodolgy: Case Study "Mr. Abdel-Shafy"


Dear prospective teacher,

This task has been developed to gather information about how you, as a prospective teacher of English, think about teaching by asking you to projcct yourself into a specific written classroom situation.

In the following section, a classroom situation will be described. Please read it carefully and imagine that, as a prospective teacher of English, you are going to walk into this classroom. You should respond in a professional manner. The more thoroughly you can project yourself into the situation, the more active you will become in learning to think like a teacher.

In the answer sheet, respond to the questions that follow. You need to convey clearly your thinking related to the situation. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.

You are kindly requested to respond to All questions accurately and honestly.

Read the following teaching situation carefully and then, in the answer sheet, answer the following questions as thoroughly as possible.

Mr Abdel-Shafy was one of the distinguished English teachers in Benha Military Secondary School for boys. Being talented and lucky, he got one of the scholarships to study at Massachusetts University, USA, for two years. There, he learnt a lot of new techniques in teaching.

Once he came back to his school after his professional visit to the United States, he was eager to apply some of the techniques he learnt there. In one of his composition classes to his third year secondary school students, he intended to find ways to allow cooperative work to take place in his class. He thought that such techniques would definitely help students to discuss and share problems about their composition writing and develop the spirit of group work in them.

He wanted to teach them that the process of composition writing should be an amusing and creative one. When he started his explanation, his students were very pleased and responsive.

Such a technique of cooperative work was somewhat unfamiliar for those students who used to study in traditional methods, but, they liked it.

After Mr Abdel-Shafy had stated the objective of his composition lesson on (he blackboard: “ to write a coherent paragraph”, he discussed it and then he asked his students to divide themselves in six groups and to start writing a coherent paragraph. As he was observing students in their groups, he found that one of his students, Samy, was sitting alone without a group to work with. Samy was that type of a shy but, an intelligent and hardworking student, and he is a son of a divorced woman in her early 40s, Mrs Nabila, who works as a librarian.

When Mr Abdel-Shafy came close to Samy, he found Samy deeply involved in writing his coherent essay by himself without sharing any of the other groups. Mr Abdel- Shafy whispered in Sarny’s ears, “Where is your group, Sarny?” Samy answered him in a very weak voice: “please, leave me work, alone. I do not like to be in a group or with a group. I always do better by myself.”

When Mr Abdel-Shafy looked at Sarny’s paper while he was writing his coherent paragraph, he found the Sarny was doing an excellent job. But, Mr Abdel-Shafy was in a mess. He asked himself many questions to take a decision concerning Samy who prefers to work alone.

After you have read the previous situation, try to answer the following questions as if you were the teacher in this situation:
  1. What are the components of this teaching situation that Mr Abdel-Shafy should consider when dealing with it?
  2. Identify the problem that faced Mr Abdel-Shafy from different points of view as many as you could think of.
  3. From your own point of view, what is the main problem that faced Mr Abdel-Shafy? Justify your answer.
  4. In your opinion, what are the causes of this problem?
  5. If you were Mr Abdel-Shafy, how would you deal with this situation? Identify the possible solution/solutions to that situation.
  6. What is your rationale(s) for identifying these solutions?
  7. Do you think it is possible to select which solution is the best to follow?
  • If yes, why?
  • If no, why?
  1. What are the possible consequences of following/implementing this selected solution?
  2. Based on your attempt to analyze and solve the problem, identify the nature of the assumptions you have about teaching?