27. May, 2016

Is there a lesson in this?

Teaching styles are a red hot issue among teachers. Is there a lesson in this following (ficticious) contrast? 

Teaching integration (based on psychotherapy integration below)

Although theory and research have focused largely on the ‘brand-name’ teaching styles, in everyday practice about twice as many teachers report crossing over ‘party lines’ in their work with their students as those who report staying within one of the three most prevalent orientations: walker learning, century 21, and old school punitive approaches. Teaching integration — the use of theory or technique from multiple teaching perspectives — comes in two forms.

Eclectic teaching

The first is eclectic teaching, in which teachers combine techniques from different approaches, often to fit the particular classroom environment. One recent study, for example, examined the efficacy of an intensive, comprehensive method of teaching grammar that combined a whole heap of specific teaching styles to allow active intervention at the first signs of the student being illiterate. Compared with teaching as normally practised at the school, the method cut illiteracy rates from roughly 40 to 20 percent.

Integrative teaching

The second form of teaching style integration is less about picking and choosing among strategies from different approaches than about developing an approach to teaching students that cut across theoretical lines. This approach to teaching, usually called integrative teaching, is intuitively appealing but difficult in practice, because the assumptions, methods and techniques of the various approaches are so different. How can a clinician integrate principles of teaching based on theories of students being naturally good (and indeed truly human) compromise with others that focus on classical theories that students are really little monsters in disguise?

 

Psychotherapy integration

Although theory and research have focused largely on the ‘brand-name’ psychotherapies described here, in everyday practice about twice as many psychologists report crossing over ‘party lines’ in their work with patients as those who report staying within one of the two most prevalent orientations, psychodynamic and cognitive–behavioural (Norcross, Karg, & Prochaska, 1997). Psychotherapy integration — the use of theory or technique from multiple therapeutic perspectives — comes in two forms (Arkowitz, 1997; Stricker, 1996; Westen, 2000).

Eclectic psychotherapy

The first is eclectic psychotherapy, in which clinicians combine techniques from different approaches, often to fit the particular case. One recent study, for example, examined the efficacy of an intensive, comprehensive treatment for schizophrenia that combined education about the disorder, medication, weekly group therapy, family therapy and close monitoring of symptoms to allow active intervention at the first signs of relapse (Herz et al., 2000; see also Louw & Straker, 2002). Compared with treatment as normally practised in the community, the treatment cut relapse rates 18 months later from roughly 40 to 20 percent.

Integrative psychotherapy

The second form of psychotherapy integration is less about picking and choosing among strategies from different approaches than about developing an approach to treating patients based on theories that cut across theoretical lines. This approach to treatment, usually called integrative psychotherapy, is intuitively appealing but difficult in practice, because the assumptions, methods and techniques of the various approaches are so different (Arkowitz & Messer, 1984; Messer & Winokur, 1980; see also Scaturo, 2001, 2005). How can a clinician integrate principles of therapy based on theories of unconscious conflict and compromise with others that focus on classical and operant conditioning or cognitive distortions?

The above text on psychotherapy integration is a direct quote from page 684, Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalski, R. (2012). Psychology (3rd Australian and New Zealand ed.). Milton: Wiley.