Taba teaching strategy model

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1 Definition

The Taba teaching strategy model (our name) was defined in the sixties by Hilda Taba and aims to help designing courses down to lessons in areas where students are supposed to learn how to think.

2 Background assumptions

According to Joyce and Weil (2000:131), Taba built her approach around three assumptions:

  1. Thinking can be taught (through engaging students in practice, in particular inductive reasoning).
  2. Thinking is an active transaction between the individual and data. This relies on earlier theories, e.g. Bruner's concept attainment, an important component of concept learning
  3. Processes of thought evolve by a sequence that is "lawful", somewhat in the sense of mastery learning.

Taba identified three inductive thinking skills:

  • concept formation (concept learning)
  • interpretation of data
  • application of principles

3 The model

According to Joyce and Weil (2000), think inductively, Handbook to Elementary Social Studies we made a provisional summary of the model (have to get the original at some point - Daniel K. Schneider).

3.1 Concept Formation

This stage includes three major steps: listing items (exemplars of concepts), group similar items together, label these (with a concept name).

  • Phase 1: Identifying and listing
    • What do you know about .... ?
    • For lessons in your own classroom, you might ask the following: What did you see? What did you hear? What do you know about...?
  • Phase 2: Grouping according to common attributes
    • Do any of these go together? Why?
  • Phase 3: Categorizing (labeling of the categories above)
    • How would you name these groups?

3.2 Interpretation of Data

This stage includes interpreting, inferring, and generalization and leads to concept attainment (i.e. students develop deductive capabilities).

  • Phase 4: Identifying critical relationships (differentiation)
    • What do you notice about the data ? What did you see ?
  • Phase 5: Exploring relationships (cause-effect)
    • Why did this or that happen? What do you think this means?
    • Do you notice any connections within the records or across the data?
  • Phase 6: Making inferences
    • What makes you think about this?
    • What can you conclude?

Note: At some point phases 1/2/3 can be repeated or revised.

3.3 Application of Principles

  • Phase 7: Predicting consequences
    • What if?
  • Phase 8: Explaining and/or supporting predictions
    • Why do you think this or that would happen?
    • Based on the data, would these conditions be logical?
  • Phase 9: Testing and generalization
    • What would it take to make this generally true ?

4 Links

4.1 Summaries

4.2 Examples

5 References

  • Bruner, J. (1966). Toward a Theory of Instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Joyce, B., Weil, M., Calhoun, E. : Models of teaching, 6th edition, Allyn & Bacon, 2000. ISBN 0205389279. (This is on my essential reading list).
  • Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum development; theory and practice. New York,: Harcourt Brace & World.
  • Taba, H. (1967). Teacher's handbook for elementary social studies. Palo Alto, Calif.: Addison-Wesley.