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Ensure sufficient opportunities to learn

“Students learn most effectively when they understand what they are learning, why they are learning it, and how they will be able to use their new learning.”

The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 34

The teacher builds sufficient opportunities to learn into a carefully sequenced programme.

This includes providing time for students to access, practice, and transfer new learning in a variety of activities and contexts.

Learning new concepts and skills requires repeated exposure to important information.

In an effective teaching programme, the key concepts, including the big ideas in accounting and accounting practices, will be constantly revisited and built upon.

There is tension for teachers between covering the curriculum while ensuring that all students understand the learning.

In accounting, there will be times when a key idea needs to be taught in greater depth, possibly taking more time than allocated.

This could happen when the students’ prior knowledge is at odds with an accounting concept, for example, when you have a debit balance in your bank ledger account, your bank statement will show a credit balance.

Teachers can promote learning by always clarifying learning intentions and ensuring that students understand how the tasks and activities link to the learning.

Ensuring sufficient opportunity to learn may mean focusing on deep learning by:

Construct activities with differentiated entry and exit points, including extension and enrichment options. Doing so will reinforce to students that they need to select activities according to their own very different needs.

Give constructive feedback on the developing work with the expectation that the students will action any suggestions. This may mean allocating time for students to make changes to their work and/or develop personal learning goals.

Develop tasks that require different levels of cognitive understanding, for example, Bloom’s taxonomy for the cognitive domain:

  • knowledge recall, or being able to list all the steps in preparing an income statement for a sole proprietor
  • comprehension, or being able to state the differences between income statements that have been provided from a trading business and a service business
  • application, or being able to prepare an income statement for the last three months for 'Headquarters Hair Salon'
  • analysis, or being able to explain and correct the inaccuracies in income statements provided (this could involve giving feedback on a classmate’s work).

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Last updated October 3, 2012