ASEI-PDSI Pedagogical Paradigm
ASEI-PDSI is a pedagogical model of SMASSE Project. It is an intervention measure that was constructed to address the myriad of challenges to good classroom practices, as revealed through baseline studies of 1998 conducted by the project.
ASEI is an acronym that stands for Activity, Student, Experiment, and Improvisation. These four pedagogical components are intended to guide the teacher in developing and practicing lessons that enhance learners’ growth in cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills. Here below is a brief explanation for each of the components.
A lesson should have adequate activities to assist the learners in achieving the set objectives. These activities may include experiments, demonstrations, discussions, modelling, exercises, etc. They should be interesting to the learners and should not be unnecessarily long. The activities should be directly related to the lesson objectives. They should also be within ability of the learners. The role of activities in assisting the learners to concretise concepts cannot be over-emphasised. Besides, activities also help to arouse and sustain interest and curiosity in learning. When properly used, a lesson changes to an activity-based lesson other than a chalk-and-talk lesson.
The student (learner) is the most important person in a teaching-learning situation. All efforts should therefore be towards making the learners’ profile higher than that of the teacher. Student-centred teaching enables the learners to construct knowledge based on their prior experiences together with results from activities carried out during the lesson. The teacher assumes the role of a facilitator in the teaching-learning process by encouraging the learners to talk, allowing them to give their own experiences, provoking them to hypothesize/predict and letting them carry out activities and record observations. The learners later discuss how their predictions or observations differ from those of others. Generally, the learners are encouraged to explain their ideas related to content and are granted freedom to ask questions. As a facilitator, the teacher should organize the lesson so as to provide adequate opportunities for the learners to engage in activities that develop the scientific/mathematical process skills. Some of the skills developed are: verifying predictions; recording observations, analysing data; etc. The lesson organisation should also help the learners develop the affective skills: cooperating, patience, cleanliness, work organisation, etc.
Experiments should be small-scale in cases where smaller quantities of reagents still give the same results as standard quantities. This encourages thrift while at the same time reducing time required for preparation. Small-scale experiments are also safer and environment friendly. In many schools, teachers conduct very few experiments. When these are conducted, the common practice is that the teacher gives the experimental procedure, diagrams of the experimental set up and even the observations the learners are suppose to make, before they perform the experiment. The learners’ potential is therefore not properly harnessed. By the time the learners do the activity, it is not meaningful to them, because they already know the results to be expected.
The experiments or activities performed during the lesson need not be those given in the textbooks. They should, however, be well thought out. The equipment and materials for such activities should be locally available and from learners’ real life experiences whenever possible. Planning for such an activity calls for teacher’s innovativeness in:
- Making use of resources available in learners’ immediate environment and real life experiences to enhance teaching and learning
- Designing simple experiments to enhance learner’s participation and learning
- Innovative use of conventional equipment/apparatus
The ideals of ASEI are realized through application of PDSI approach. PDSI is an abbreviation for Plan, Do, See and Improve. In planning, the teacher considers why the content of that lesson should be taught, what objectives are to be achieved, materials to be used (appropriate and adequate for the learners’ use), prerequisite knowledge and skills necessary for the content of the lesson and finally how the lesson will flow. The plan is then actualised by ‘doing’, i.e. delivering the lesson using skills that ensure the learners are actively involved. As the lesson develops, the teacher is expected to ‘see’, that is, to evaluate how the learners are growing in knowledge and skills, and to make necessary instructional adjustments whenever required to do so. Evaluation can be done as the lesson progresses or at the end of the lesson. For evaluation that is done at the end of the lesson, necessary ‘improvements’ are ploughed into subsequent lessons. Evaluation of the lesson can also be accomplished by seeking opinions of the learners and colleague-teachers who have sat through that lesson.