Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Methodolgy: Case Study "Mrs Mona"

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

In the follow ing section, a classroom situation will be described. Please read it carefully and imagine that 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.
The teaching situation
Sahel Degwa is a small, rural (ريفي)community. The population is very limited and highly conservative (محافظ). El-Shaheed        Ahmad Hamdy prep school is a small school, which consists of seven classrooms. The headmaster, Mr Mohammad, was a very active and firm character. Parents and students in Sahel Degwa respect Mr Mohammad and consider him as fair and firm.

On one occasion, which involved one student changing his scores in one of his teacher’s grade book, Mr Mohammed sent a letter to the student’s parents and arranged a meeting together. In the meeting, the headmaster assured the student and his parents that any recurrence |j|p§ of the problem would result in the student’s public apology in front of the students of the whole classes and that a note of dishonest behaviour would be sent to the educational administration to which school belongs. Then, the educational authorities might not allow the student to complete his academic year. Consequently, he will lose the whole year.

Mrs Mona, an English teacher, had previously taught in one of Benha’s urban schools. She moved to Sahel Degwa few months ago because she had married and is now living with her husband there.

For Mrs Mona’s classes, the first Saturday of each month is considered the day of the monthly test. At the beginning of each test period, Mrs Mona introduced a little humor atmosphere to reduce the anxiety. It is clearly understood that once the test is underway, there is to be no foolishness. Moreover, Mrs Mona was unlike some other teachers who used the test period to score papers, fill out monthly grades or chat with the neighboring teachers. She never left her class during the test period. Instead she gave her full attention to monitoring (مراقبة) the students.

Saturday was typical in that once the test was underway, a silence fell across the class. Mrs Mona sat in front of the room staring directly at the students of first-year class as they worked through the test. All of a sudden, Mrs Mona was surprised to see one of her students, Naglaa, looking carefully and directly at her classmate’s paper, which was not covered because her classmate, Sanaa, was busy working attentively on her test. Mrs Mona gave more attention to Naglaa who continued to look at her classmate’s paper. Naglaa did not look forward to see whether she was being watched. So as not to embarrass Naglaa or her classmate, Mrs Mona announced the illegality (عدم مشروعية) of copying out of other student’s paper or even helping other students to copy.

Both Sanaa and Naglaa had a good reputation of being honest and trustworthy. Sanaa was a very serious student who would not allow anybody to copy out of her paper. She was not the type of student who would help a classmate to cheat. Believing in Naglaa’s academic level, as well as her honesty in all past exams, Mrs Mona was uncertain about Naglaa’s behaviour. But, she was certain that it was not usual for Naglaa, especially during a test time. Mrs Mona, while she did not take her eyes off Naglaa, was perplexed (احتارت) what she should do.

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 Mrs Mona should consider when dealing with it?
  2. Identify the problem(s) that faced Mrs Mona 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 Mrs Mona? Justify your answer.
  4. In your opinion, what are the causes of this problem?
  5. If you were Mrs Mona, how would you deal with this situation? Identify the possible solution (s) 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?
Thank you for your cooperation