Advance Organizers Model of Teaching
This model of teaching was propounded by the psychologist David Ausubel who set forth subsumption theory of learning. Subsumption theory of learning is concerned with meaningful reception learning in which the entire content of what is to be learnt is presented to the learner in final form. The learner has to internalize the same so that it may be reproduced when needed. Meaningful reception requires the learner to use a meaningful set.
Material to be learned should also be potentially meaningful. It is different from discovery learning in this that in discovery learning what is to be learned is not given and is identified by the learner himself while in case of subsumption learning the material to be learned is presented before the learner by the teacher; and the learner tries to assimilate that in to his already existing cognitive structure.
In this model teacher plays the role of organizer of subject matter and presents information through lectures, readings and providing tasks to the learner to integrate what has been learned. In this approach, teacher is responsible for organizing and presenting what is to be learned. The learner’s primary role is to master ideas and information. The Advance Organizers provide concepts and principles to the students directly.
According to Ausubel whether the material is meaningful or not depends more on the preparation of the learner and on the organization of the material than it does on the method of presentation.
Ausubel maintains that a person’s existing cognitive structure is the foremost factor governing whether new material will be meaningful and how well it can be acquired and retained.
As per the views of Ausubel there is a parallel between the way subject matter is organized and the way people organize knowledge in their minds (their cognitive structures). In the present study, AOM (Advance Organizers Model) is used as a tool to help the students to attain the concepts of English Grammar with the comprehension of study material of secondary level IX grade students.
Elements of the Model
1. The Focus:- The focus of the model is to enable the learner to acquire knowledge in a meaningful way, to conserve the learned material in the mind in a sequential hierarchical manner so that it may be retained better and reproduced as and when required. The meaningful and efficient learning is the goal of this model of teaching.
2. The Syntax:- The first phase of the activity is the presentation of the organizer which is more general and inclusive as compared to the material that is to follow. It may be a broader concept which covers or implies many more facts, sub concepts and smaller points. The second phase is the presentation of the material itself, which the teacher wants the learner to acquire. The teacher, thus, has to proceed from general to particular. The first organizer and the subsequent material should be hierarchically woven into the fabric of knowledge. The beginning concept may be more abstract and, then, generally, more and more concrete material should be presented.
3. Reactions By the Teacher:- The teacher plays the dominant role He constructs the whole situation of teaching. He presents the organizer and the material to be learned. He puts questions to students to evaluate whether they have understood. He control the total environment. Students are allowed to seek classifications, but only within the context of the material presented. But, teacher's role is important as he is to help the learners to see the relationships between the material presented and the organizer. The whole activity of teaching is controlled by the teacher with planned material. Everything is centered around the teaching material as planned by the teacher. Students role is to acquire and understand the concepts and the material presented.
4. Social System:- Since the purpose of this model of teaching is to acquire knowledge and retain it in a systematic, meaningful way as planned by the teacher the social system is controlled entirely by the teacher. The teacher himself defines roles and prepares norms of behaviour. The students have to act according to the intentions of the teacher. Students' responses are controlled by the teacher. They have to accept the authority of the teacher. Thus, the model prescribes a teacher-dominated social system. But, it should, certainly, not mean that the students are not allowed to reveal their difficulties and seek clarifications freely. There they have freedom. But, freedom to seek clarifications is regulated by the teacher.
5. Support System:- The most important thing needed is a through preparation and planning for teaching. Arranging the whole material in a hierarchical order with major advance organizers and suborganizers requires a lot of thinking and organization. It is also necessary that the students have a cognitive structure already existing which is needed for receiving and integrating new knowledge.
Application of the Model
This model of teaching was basically prepared for teaching verbal material. But, the model is "extremely versatile" in the sense that it can be applied to any kind of material for teaching. The lecture can be made well-structured and well-organized and more meaningful. It can be helpful in the analysis of expository materials which involve abstract ideas. Its greatest value lies in suggesting that in order to make the learning-material meaningful it should be organized and structured in a hierarchical order, proceeding from general to particular and from abstract to concrete.