The lowest level of analyzing texts starts by understanding the text in question as well as internalizing it. By so doing, a student is able to apply the simplest analytical skills. For instance, one is able to identify the specific elements that can be compared, state the essential characteristics on which they are compared and state the extent to which each element possesses each characteristic. A higher level of analytical ability would be to identify the specific elements that can be classified, identify the categories into which they will be classified, and assess the extent to which each element fits into the specific categories. The higher the learning level, the higher the complexity of the analytical skills that a student should possess.
I have witnessed several occasions where teacher and instructors treat their students equally i.e. they do not consider the fact that the analytical skills vary. Students may be in the same grade but possess different levels of analytical skills. This is an aspect that the standard in question has been poorly implemented. Additionally, one cannot possess excellent analytical skills in all the subjects. A student can have very good analytical skills or rather ability in one area but be poor in another. In such cases, the standard seems to be quite hefty for the students-almost unrealistic. To ensure that the students meet the standard in their discipline/subject, a teacher could put much pressure on a student especially if he/she does not love the subject in question. This not only results in a reduction in the enthusiasm of the student to be good at that subject but also lowers his/her self esteem an aspect that can be detrimental to his/her overall academic performance.
The use of technology in the learning is essential. Owing to the fact that the development of proper analytical ability requires one to be able to think critically, technology may lower the ability of the student to think critically. Most of the modern day technological devices seek to simplify several aspects of the learning process. For instance, the use of advanced scientific calculators makes students to get answers without much involvement. Another example is the use of some software that simplifies some of the process that could enable the student to develop more analytical skills. However, a few students have been able to think outside the current technology. They have employed their analytical skills to come up with technologies that are more advanced than the ones most students rely on. Unfortunately, when a student has high levels of analytical ability and is able to use it to come up with a new innovation, they choose to pursue their career (based on their innovation). Such students include Mar Zuckerburg (founder of facebook) and Bill Gates.
There have been cases where students have reported that their teacher does not have the required level of mastery of content for a given subject. In normal circumstances, a student depends on the teacher for knowledge and in all aspects that appertain education. If a teacher lacks proper analytical ability, then it would be unfair to grade the students’ analytical ability since they do not have the right information about it. Therefore, the analytical ability standard should apply both to the students and to teachers. The assessment of the student’s ability should depend on their teacher’s ability.
One of the most effective ways to assess the students is to have a close look at they work through a framework that views errors and difficulties as evidence of ways of thinking rather than simply as reflections of lack of effort and ability. However, most teachers do not use the assessment results, as they should. Teachers can also talk to their students about their thinking, both as they are working with a text and in retrospect. Scholars of teaching and learning advocate for more attentive, critical analysis of students’ work as evidence of their learning, and they offer methods that can help the teachers work with students to gain insight into their thinking. Teachers may never be able to read the minds of their students, but if they take time to pursue critical questions about their learning, they can understand their thinking more fully, thus help them teach effectively. This proves that the ability of a teacher to influence a student’s analytical ability depends on the analytical ability of the teacher as well as their mastery of the content in question.
The scholarship of teaching and learning provides a broad framework and some guidelines to help bot the teachers interpret and evaluate students’ learning effectively. Linkon notes that teachers get nervous about the idea of doing classroom research, which is one of the aspects that help in the development of one’s analytical ability (105). Such teachers are not suitable in helping students develop good analytical skills. The skills include close reading, identification of patterns, considering connections between text and context, and applying theoretical concepts to specific cases.
One of the aspects, which a student uses to demonstrate their analytical ability, is their research project. In most cases, oversimplified expectations about the role of research in reform efforts undermine its potential impact. Unfortunately, even the highest quality research cannot provide simple answers to the complex problems of teaching and learning. The student should be able to establish their academic research project after analyzing several elements not only within the classroom setting but also in the real world (Brown 106).
The major problem many students experience is an inability to apply the declarative procedural knowledge in analyzing any texts. In most effective learning institutions, students receive instruction that helps them extend and refine essential facts, concepts, generalizations, principles, skills and processes. Teachers should design and implement instructional activities and tasks that require student thinking more rigorous than that needed for the initial acquisition and integration of knowledge.
Analytical ability of a student depends of what they receive from the teacher in terms of knowledge and skills. Some teachers directly teach their students a specific thinking skill or operation through modeling and student rehearsal. Additionally, they reinforce students’ ability to articulate the basic components of that skill or operation. In rare cases, they provide a variety of opportunities for students to use that skill or operation. The exercises are important in enabling the student do develop analytical skills. This require the teacher to possess the best analytical skills as well as a high level of mastery of the course content.
The level of analytical ability of a student depends on the teacher’s definition as well as communication of the mental operations needed by students to extend and refine their use of essential declarative and procedural knowledge. Additionally, the methods that the teachers use to help their students develop their knowledge and skills in new and unusual ways that exceed their original understanding are also crucial as far as the development of a high level of analytical ability is concerned.
One of the disciplines that seek to develop the analytical skills or rather ability of students is literature. If teachers want their students to develop literary minds, they must begin by considering the nature of literary knowledge-not only knowledge about literature but also ways of thinking about texts and language. The goal is make students learn how to think well about literature and language not because the teacher expect them to become great literary scholars; few will ultimately pursue that path (Linkon 21). Therefore, while English programs foreground literary history and theory, the work of the teachers is to proclaim the value of the critical thinking and communication skills that students acquire along the way. It is the responsibility of teacher to recognize the value of analytical minds and seek to help students to develop the best qualities.
Brown, John L. Observing Dimensions of Learning Classrooms and Schools. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Schools, 1995. Print.
Linkon, Sherry Lee. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Literary Learning: Teaching the
English Major. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2011. Print.