"A young science teacher entered her micro-teaching class carrying a tall live snake. The purpose of her lesson was to identify characteristics common to snakes and not to other animals. As a result of her dramatic entrance, involvement was immediate and sustained throughout the five-minute lesson. At the end of the lesson, no one could doubt that this was real, not laboratory teaching.
The teacher was evaluated and rated by the students and supervisors in accordance with the Stanford Appraisal Guide. Her ratings were generally quite high, with the exception of "pacing the lesson." Immediate feedback indicated that this otherwise effective teacher talked too fast and covered too much information through the lecturing technique. It was suggested that she limit the information to three or four major characteristics which distinguish makes from other types of animals, and refocus in order to provide for student summary and more effective closure.
With immediate information as to suggested improvement, the teacher then re-taught the same lesson dealing with snakes. On subsequent re-teach, the teacher, students, and supervisors felt the lesson indicated definite improvement. All agreed that the material was probed in greater depth, and the material was more lucid in organization.
This teaching situation occurred as part of a seminar series for in- service training of supervisors at the Campbell Union High School District in California . The purpose of .the series was to change teacher perceptions of their own teaching behavior, and to provide training for specific teaching skills. Teachers and supervisors were given only a cursory amount of training and initial application, yet supervisors were able to get differences in teaching behavior. The training seminars demonstrated that micro-teaching can be of real value to experienced personnel.
The micro-teaching structure is a scaled-down teaching encounter in class size and class time which has been developed in the Stanford University Secondary Teacher Education Program. Class size is limited to one to five students and class time from five to twenty minute lessons. Micro-teaching may be used with or without video-tape.
While micro-teaching was first developed for preliminary experience and practice in teaching and as a research vehicle to explore training effects under controlled conditions, the concept can be of service to experienced teachers as a means of gaining new information about their teaching in a relatively short time, and as a means of changing teacher perceptions of their own teaching behavior. Relistic approximations to classroom conditions allow predictions of subsequent classroom teaching to be made with a high degree of accuracy, for the students are reacting and evaluating as real students, not role-playing. This constitutes a real teaching encounter, not one which is simulated; only it is reduced in terms of students and time".
(Dwight W . Allen, Associate Professor, Stanford University)