A theoretical framework of teaching preparation called The 5-Step, 5-Cycle Teaching Model was developed as a consequence of assessing the teaching styles (TS) employed, the learning styles (LS) catered to, and the achievement of the students in engineering chemistry course for my Ph.D. dissertation in order to develop an enhanced instructional design.  In the process, this model came about which may  be tried to work for other science courses.
The Five-Step, Five-Cycle Teaching Model

             Following Grossman and Loeb’s (2010) idea that the variation in teacher preparation pathways[Instructional/teaching flows] can propel understanding of how best to prepare teachers. (p.22),  I developed a new theoretical framework of teaching preparation which I call the 5 –Step, 5-Cycle Teaching Model (Fig.1).   The 5 steps and 5 cycles were brought about  by examining the cycles and steps of instructional flows observed.


 The 5-Step 5-Cycle teaching model can be applied for long chemistry topics that cannot be done in one meeting.  In this model, the first classroom session starts with lecture/discussion( with introduction), from there, the actual teaching delivery may happen to turn in five ways creating five cycles within the five steps of classroom teaching,  To make the steps student-centered, the Felder-Silverman’s  learning styles concepts were used.  For details of the these learning styles concepts follow the link below:

http://www.icels-educators-for-learning.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=64

The Five Steps.  The teaching flows observed in the delivery of the topics can be synthesized into five-steps as follows:

The step “Lecture/ discussion with Introduction”.  This step has two (2) components: introduction and lecture proper (with discussion). Here, all the four (4) dimensions of Felder-Silverman’s learning styles are catered, namely: input (verbal/visual), perception (sensing/intuitive), processing (active/reflective), and understanding (sequential/global) dimensions. 

In the introduction, the teacher focuses on the understanding dimension of the learning styles (global/sequential). Here,  the teacher   motivates  the students,  discusses previous topic in relation to the new one, cites practical examples,  and reveals  what activities or topics are expected to be covered.  The information is presented sequentially and globally, where relationships and connections of the topics are given in sequence or  just inferred.  

In the lecture proper,  the teacher focuses on the input (verbal/visual) and perception (sensing/intuitive) dimensions of the learning styles, where the teacher lectures in parts or the entire topic for the day. The teacher in this case presents information visually and verbally, that is,  aside from writing on the board and giving information orally, the teacher shows diagrams, pictures, transparencies, and/or slides as aids in teaching; or does demonstration.  The teacher does not  occupy all the time talking and writing on the chalk board; time gaps are needed for  reflective learners to have the chance to think and process the information given. The learning styles in the perception dimension (sensing/intuitive) are also catered when the teacher balances the presentation of concrete information, facts, real data  with theories, principles, and mathematical models.  During discussion, the teacher focuses on the processing dimension (active/reflective) which may come during or after the lecture. Here, the teacher  asks students questions, opinions or ideas about the topics focusing on the reflective LS. On the active learning style, the teacher Let the students explain their answers to the class.  

The step “Student activity”. In this step, the teacher focuses on the processing (active/reflective), perception (sensing/intuitive), and understanding (sequential/global) dimensions of the learning styles. Here, the teacher may assess, supplement, emphasize the learning of the students by letting them answer teacher-made activity sheets, answer the exercises in the textbook, or  by letting them do group activities. A balance on drills/exercises that simply provide practice on the fundamentals and those that demand analysis and synthesis may be given to cater to the perception, processing, and understanding dimensions of the learning styles.  Students may  be given activities  to be done individually at first ( reflective), and then let students share their answers in groups (active).   

            The step  Presentation”.  This  is where the students present to the class their outputs or answers to the activity given. In the actual teaching delivery of the teachers observed, this was done through board works.  In the point of view of the presenters, this step is more focused on the active LS.  On the point of view of the classmates to whom the presenters present, this step is more focused on all the four dimensions of LS’s (depending on how the presenters present their outputs).

In this step,  the students present their outputs of the activities where the teacher gives consideration on the manner the students present their outputs. In this process, students may reveal their preferred learning styles.  Students may present their answers  through diagrams, pictures, etc.(visual) or may present through written texts or orally (verbal). They may present their answers in concrete details (sensing) or abstractly use theories, principles, and mathematical models (intuitive).  They may present in logical sequence (sequential) or by leaps, introducing gaps of understanding (global).  On the side of the presenters, the presenters learn through the processing dimension of the LS specifically, on active LS. In the process, the presenters may cater to the different LS of their classmates as they present.

The step Feedback is  where the teacher may evaluate and comment on the presented answers/outputs and discusses further when necessary. This step is more focused on the input (visual/verbal), perception (sensing/intuitive) and understanding (sequential/global) dimensions of LS’s.

 The teacher  evaluates the outputs of the students and comments based on a given standard, criteria, or  rubric. The teacher appreciates creative solutions, even if incorrect, to give motivation to intuitive and global learners of the perception and understanding dimensions. In correcting/pointing out errors, the teacher may show concrete and abstract examples(sensing/intuitive),  connections (global/sequential), pictures, diagrams, and explanation (verbal/visual) for emphasis.  Contrary to Gallos’s observations (2002,p.92) "that during feedback, oftentimes the conversation was only between the board worker and teacher",  the teachers that were observed, in this study, addressed their comments and discussed further to the entire class.

The  step “Assignment” is where the teacher gives “learning activities” to be done outside the classroom. Here, "learning activities" is one that provides opportunities for the students to learn. This step is more focused on the perception(sensing/intuitive), processing (active/reflective), and understanding (sequential/global) dimensions of Felder-Silverman’s LS’s.

The assignments are usually written on the board and in other times, orally. Though for college level learners, the giving of instructions orally is acceptable, it is best to write and then read to the class the instructions for the  assigned tasks.  As assignment, the teacher may ask the students to finish an undone activity, or to read the textbook on a new topic, or to answer exercises in the book either about the topic discussed or about a new topic for the next meeting.  The teacher balances the assigned activities on exercises/drills that provide practice on the fundamental methods taught (sensing/active/sequential) and those that demand analysis and synthesis (intuitive/ reflective/global).  In addition, the teacher may give activities that require cooperation with other students (active).

 The Five Cycles.  The cycles of classroom instruction happens in five (5) ways in three to  five steps: Cycle 1 includes lecture/discussion followed by students’ activity, presentation, feedback, and assignment; Cycle 2 includes assignment followed by presentation, feedback, and assignment, and Cycle 3 includes feedback followed by  lecture/discussion, students’ activity, presentation, feedback, assignment; Cycle 4 includes feedback followed by students’ activity, feedback, presentation, then assignment; and Cycle 5 that includes lecture/discussion to students’ activity and proceeds to presentation, feedback, and assignment.   Turns can also happen from feedback of Cycle 1 or Cycle 2 going to Cycle 3 or Cycle 4. The cycles have different starting points and as the need may arise, the teacher may shift from one cycle to the next without completing  the cycle he/she started. The teacher may or may not maximize the use of the five (5) cycles depending on the length of the topic, allotted time, and learning pace of the students.

 In a classroom meeting  or  in a consecutive meetings, one cycle or combination of two, three, four or five cycles may happen. Cycle  1 (Fig. 2) is a cycle that includes from  lecture/discussions with introduction  going to students’ activity, presentation, then feedback. 

Cycle 2 (Fig. 3) happens when the assignment is a learning activity. It goes from assignment to presentation, where the students are asked to write their assignment on the board or present orally.  From here, goes to feedback where students are asked to comment on the answers. Cycle  3 (Fig. 6) happens if the feedback is extensive and further discussion is addressed to the entire class, that is, the cycle  goes from feedback to the lecture-discussion, starting another cycle.  This cycle also happens when connections are made from  feedback to a new topic.IIt is strongly suggested that  presentation be always followed by feedback. The teachers observed never jumped from presentation to assignment without giving feedback first.   If time runs out during the presentation, it may be continued in the next meeting. 

Cycle 3 (Fig.4) proceeds from feedback going to lecture/discussion, assignment, and the cycle is completed the following meeting going to presentation then back to feedback. This cycle, from lecture/discussion to assignment,  happens when time runs out.

Cycle 4 (Fig. 5) includes feedback going to students’ activity, presentation and back to feedback.  This cycle happens specially when the teacher is not satisfied with the results of the activity. That is, after giving feedback, the teacher feels the need for more students’ activity.

Cylce 5 (Fig. 6) includes assignment going to lecture/discussion, students’ activity, presentation and feedback.  Assignment may be used to start a new topic, or as motivation to introduce a new topic in lecture/ discussion. Thus, goes this cycle.

               This  5-Step, 5-Cycle Teaching model can be said to be  an evolution of the Instructional Cycle Model  (Gallos,  p.66)  that was implemented in 2002 for engineering general chemistry course.  There are three phases, in this model, that happen in the delivery of the topics: one phase is plenary/mini-lecture where the teacher introduces the topic for the meeting. This is usually done for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, the second phase is student activity where the teacher assigns activities written on the board, or from textbook and supplementary materials. The teacher goes around, supervises the students, sees to it that students participate in the activity, answers individual queries, guides students, looks for students  who do not have the correct answer. Then the third phase is the feedback or closure.  In this case, the teacher generally gives feedback, or give answers to common problems  the teacher observes as he/she goes around to guide students, or the teacher calls students to answer on the board those whom the teacher observes to have wrong answers. The teacher then gives feedback.

The “5-Step, 5-Cycle” teaching model is unique on two points: One, the model can be used for a week or more preparation; and two, it formally incorporates teaching strategies that cater to the learning styles of the students.

According to Evans(1976) no teacher has the monopoly to effective teaching for effective teaching varies from class to class, year to year, students to students.  With this, the author believes that the effectiveness of the 5-step,5-cycle teaching model is in the hands of the teacher who implements it.  The teacher may modify his/her teaching in order to suit the students’ needs and interests, the classroom setting, school policies, and the set outcomes of education.

A Note to Students

Though it has been proven by research that students' performance improves when the teaching strategies match with the learning styles of the students, we can not compel  all  professors to adjust their teaching. In reality,  you will end up in  situations where the teaching strategies do not match with your learning styles. In this case, you can adjust your ways of studying to conform to your learning styles.  Example, A visual learner learning  a method or  procedure taught in textual form (verbal LS) should use/convert the method in  diagram or flowchart form (visual L.S) while studying.

Acknowledgment

I would like to thank the chemisty teachers who welcomed me with smiles each time I was in their classes to observe.  Thank you Prof. Marilyn Piandong, Ms Jill Quitayin, Mr. Gary Lim, and Mr. Joel Locaylocay.  I am also grateful to the USC Chemistry Department for granting me permission to observe in the chemistry classes/ courses it offers.

References

Evans, E.D. (1976). Translation to Teaching. In:  Aquino G. 1988 Principles and Methods of Effective      Teching. Manila: Natinal Book Store, Inc. p.547

Gallos, Marilou (2002). Reconceptualizing a College Chemistry Course to Improve Teaching and Learning. Unpublished Doctor of Science in Education. Dissertation Curtin University of Technology. pp 66, 92

Felder, Richard ( n.d.).  Matters of Style. ASEE Prism, 6(4), 18-23 (December 1996).Retrieved Feb.28,2009 from  http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/LS-Prism.htm

___________________ Responses on Frequently Asked Questions about the ILS. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from  http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/ILS-faq.htm

Felder&Silverman ( n.d.) Learning Styles Model. Retrieved April 5, 2010 from

            http://chat.carleton.ca/~tblouin/Felder/felder.html

________________(1988). Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education.   Engr. Education Journal 78(7), 674-681(1988) Retrieved May 26,2012 from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/LS-1988.pdf

Felder, R.M &Soloman, B.A.(1994),Index of Learning Styles. Retrieved  Jan. 23, 2009 fromhttp://www.ncsu.edu/felder- public/ILSpage.html

Felder, R.M.&Spurlin, J.E.(2005), "Applications, Reliability, and Validity of the Index of Learning Styles, Intl. J. Engr. Education, 21(1), 103-112. In Richard Felder (n.d.) Responses on Frequently Asked Questions About the ILS. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/ILS-   faq.htm

Tabinas, Camilo(2012). Students’ Learning Styles and Achievement in Chem 4 Departmental Examination for Enhanced Instructional Design. Unpublished Doctor of Philosopy in Education major in Research and Evaluation. Dissertation, University of San Carlos, Cebu City , Philippines.