- 11-05-2011, 04:26 AM #1
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Effective Teaching Strategies & Tips
Alot of People on the Internet are searching to smooth the course of teaching and know the perfect tips and strategies to have an effective teaching profession. Some of the tips and strategies that I came to know are discussed herewith.
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1. In the recent history educational psychology has been breaking fresh grounds in the area of research, planning, teaching and learning. The cognitive approaches to the process of teaching and learning have assumed over-riding significance especially in our own times. The rapidly changing educational scenario has brought about revolutionary changes in the teaching techniques and modes of learning. The role of pedagogy holds core importance in todays educational planning and management. Hence the need to exclusively highlight various aspects of cognitive teaching along with learning has increased tremendously.
2. The topic under discussion covers a wide variety of views, theories and practical guidelines about learning environment and teaching methodologies. The growing recognition of the teacher’s pivotal role as a model professional invites an extensive debate. I have contributed my bit towards the field of instructional techniques as I have a mission “To Ensure An Environment of Quality Education And Groom The Staff & Students With Positive Critical Thinking Abilities And Strong Moral Character For Their Definite Application”. Out of many requirements of quality education, the two most important are the “Conducive Learning Environment & Effective Classroom Teaching”. Main aim of writing this article is to highlight some very basic aspects of these requirements.
BASIC CLASSROOM TEACHING/LEARNING PROBLEMS
3. Keeping in view the multiple psychological, physical and social backgrounds of the learners and the teachers four basic problems are faced in the creation of “Conducive Learning Environment and Effective Classroom Teaching”. These problems are:
3.1 Misbehaviour of students in the classroom.
3.2 Students not interested or un-attentive for studies.
3.3 Teachers and students don’t know exactly about the basic objectives of the lesson sand lack in responsibility.
3.4 Teachers don’t know how to change a group of individual students coming from different backgrounds into a class.
MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF LEARNERS NEEDS
4. Many teachers come complaining about the cases of misbehaviour in the classroom and blame the parents and the society for disruptive behaviour of the learners. This is not the right answer to the wrong behaviour of the students. The primary duty of the teacher is to take stock of the situation and deal with it accordingly. While trying to create harmony and conducive learning environment in the classroom, the teacher must analyze the needs o the learners. A renowned psychologist Maslow has sketched a hierarchy of the five basic needs which every human beings seeks to be gratified. The teachers can find much guidance from Maslow’s definition of human needs because these needs are directly related to the student’s day-to-day life. These needs are divided into two groups:
4.1 Needs of Lower Order:
4.1.2 Physical comport
4.1.3 Sense of security
4.2 Needs of Higher Order:
4.2.1 Need of self-esteem
4.2.2 Need of self-expression
5. Educational psychologists believe that the needs of lower order must be met before taking on the needs of higher order. It is proverbial that a hungry man is an angry man. The students will not attend to learning if they are hungry. Instead they will express their worry and anger for not being able to eat. Some students may be worried on account of their physical comfort. The sense of security both in school and outside is another factor, which greatly affects the process of learning.
6. It is for the teacher to understand the above three needs of the students and propose remedial measures accordingly. In the cases of malnourished and scared students, the teacher can contact the parents and give them necessary advice. In the matter of making students comfortable in the classroom, the teacher can adopt an amicable and encouraging attitude. When all the three needs have been duly met, the ground for conducive learning environment will be paved. The two needs of higher order are the need for self-esteem and the need for self-expression. Every student wants to maintain his/her sense of self-esteem while learning. Feeling of being be treated affectionately by the teacher. Similarly students want to express their ideas without any fear, which is very essential for a conducive learning atmosphere.
7. Anti-Learning Practice: Every teacher must know that in the way of conducive learning atmosphere, there are some anti-learning practices also which are required to be taken care of; these practices are:
7.1 Punishment of any type, snubbing, speaking harshly, passing critical remarks and addressing only one or a few students & ignoring the others will erode the self-confidence of the learners.
7.2 Students expect the institution and the instructor to channel their latent abilities in the right direction. They want to learn through self efforts and feel themselves as participants rather than mute listeners in the process of learning. Otherwise they will lose interest & starts showing misbehaviour or un-attentiveness in studies.
8. Effective Strategies For Maintaining Conducive Learning Environment:
The anti-learning practices tend to tend to erode the self confidence of the learners. The teacher must avoid these and to adopt the following effective strategies for maintaining conducive learning environment in the classroom:
8.1 To engage the whole class in the lesson, it is necessary to tell all the students that they are equally good in the eyes of the teacher.
8.2 Keeps telling the students that they are doing well in their class activities and are able to do still better will make them keen to learn.
8.3 The best way to maintain class decorum and a learning friendly environment is to streamline the whole class by dividing the learners into small groups and allocating them different activities/projects. Because students are greatly motivated when invited by the teacher to work in pairs or groups.
8.4 Healthy teacher – Student relationship is seminal in the development of conducive learning environment and facilities the job of teaching and learning. It can be formed when both the teacher and the learner identify their specific roles. The role of the teacher is to give knowledge, guidance and help in the field of learning. The role of the student is to avail the opportunity and maximize their learning abilities.
8.5 The mode of communication both verbal and non-verbal affects a lot to the conducive learning environment. The teacher speaks to the class, makes eye contact with the students & displays his feelings through gesture and facial expressions. For good teaching – learning conditions the vocal and body language of the teacher must indicate that he is very much interested in his students’ studies.
8.6 Feeling of teachers’ presence or the teacher’s awareness of what is going on in the class is another important factor in the process of smooth learning. If the teacher becomes detached leaving the class to itself, the class will begin to lose interest. It is therefore, essential that the teacher makes his presence felt by encouraging the students and checking their work and disruptive behaviour etc. In this way the attention of students will not be diverted and they will participate in the class activities very keenly.
9. Strategies for Effective Teaching: A good learning strategy is cooperative learning in which students engage in activities that promote collaboration and teamwork in the form of a group. Under this strategy, the teacher carries out evaluation gives feedback and monitors the class interaction. The teacher can adopt the following techniques to implement cooperative learning:-
9.1 Formulation of objectives
9.2 Grouping of students heterogeneously
9.3 Ensuring the contribution of all the members of each group.
9.4 Giving the students an opportunity to evaluate their own performance.
9.5 Rewarding the successful groups.
9.6 Rotating group membership.
9.7 Competitive learning (based on healthy competition which does not promote the sense of win or loss)
9.8 individualized learning: This method is applied in teaching the students some specific skills i.e. mathematical principles, handwriting and learning alphabetic letters.
9.9 Peer tutoring: In this method the teacher selects some of the students from the class to tutor their class fellows. This method works well when the weak students feel the need to be guided by their advanced classmates. With the help of this method the teacher can assign the weak students to their peer tutors and monitor the activities of other groups in the class.
9.10 Keeping in view the diversity of class strength and the unexpected interruption, the teacher has to remain on toes to continue different activities and maintain the class discipline. Somebody from outside or some students within the class may interrupt the lesson. The teacher has to ensure that such temporary interference does not disturb the class work.
10. Following suggestions/recommendations are made to help the teacher to enhance the interest of the students in learning:
10.1 Creation of cooperative learning environment: From the very outset, the teacher can set the stage for a cooperative learning environment. The teacher should prepare a forecast of the future class activities at the beginning of school year and plan the tasks accordingly. Effective organization and execution of learning activities is a key to the required learning process.
10.2 Learning planning: Adequately planned and effectively delivered lessons create the due preparation and participation among the students and they remain on their toes when teaching is going on.
10.3 No wastage of time: The teacher should use minimum time in performing the tasks other than teaching just as calling rolls, discussing unnecessary things etc.
10.4 Comfortable classroom environment: The good learning environment demands that the students should be comfortable in the classroom. If the students are studying fear or discomfort, there will be no learning at all. The teacher should keep the classroom environment as much relaxed and comfortable as possible.
10.5 Encouraging students: The students feel embarrassed when criticized or ridiculed by the teacher on the follow students. The teacher should ensure that even under performing students get due encouragement.
10.6 Sense of responsibility: It is also necessary to set the expectations from the students in their conduct. Doing so the teacher will be in a position to create the sense of responsibility among the students and they will not violate the given rules of conduct.
10.7 Tips for creating atmosphere of courtesy and respect:
10.7.1 If the teacher shows respect and courtesy to the students, the students will try to toe his line by following his model.
10.7.2 He can discuss the reasons for being respectful to each other. In this way, he will be able to inculcate the high importance of mutual respect among the students.
10.7.3 The teacher should also write some classroom rules about respect and courtesy and display these written rules at some conspicuous place in the classroom. This will be a good inducement for the students to observe these rules of respect.
10.7.4 The teacher should promote self respect among students. The idea of self respect will enable the students to realize the importance of respecting others.
10.7.5 The teacher can generate a general climate of courtesy and respect in the classroom by rewarding the students for showing these qualities.
10.7.6 Maintaining good atmosphere & cleanliness: urging the students to take responsibility for the cleanliness & good atmosphere in the classroom by holding cleanliness competitions and asking them to contribute in this regard will prove useful. The teacher should make it clear to the students that the classroom is a place shared by all. The teacher should present himself as a participant and not a controller of the classroom.
10.7.7 Sharing of students in making classroom rules: Educational psychologists emphasize on the need of a democratic classroom atmosphere, especially in the framing and implementation of classroom rules. The students should be invited to formulate and practise the classroom rules.
10.7.8 Creating team spirit & cooperation: The element of self-evaluation can help to build confidence among the students. The freedom of making important decisions on the basis of debate and discussion provides the students an opportunity to analyze their own learning and coordinate with their fellows. Democratic approach can be adopted in the classroom activities by making the students work in cooperation and as a team rather than working for competition.
11. Tips for effective Teaching:
11.1 Begin each new lesson with a review
11.2 State the goal of the lesson
11.3 Present new material in small steps
11.4 Give clear instructions and explanations
11.5 Give students much time to practice
11.6 Ask numerous questions
11.7 Guide initial practice
11.8 Provide feedback and corrections
11.9 Provide explicit instructions for seatwork.
11.10 Hold weekly and monthly reviews
12. Teaching is regarded as a public performance, a juggling act and a thought out reasoned set of activities. While teaching the class, teachers keep making moment-by-moment decisions and gather information in their minds to use it in future. The sole yardstick to determine a teacher’s performance is by seeing how well the students have grasped the lesson's objectives. If on one hand the teacher’s own behaviour plays its role in learning, then on the other there are certain things which are to be taken care of by the administration for example comfortable seats and classroom conditions. Teacher’s own behaviour is also responsible for effective or otherwise teaching. An effective teacher not only emphasizes on the learning of skills and maximum academic work but also behaves warmly and shows zeal and zest in the teaching process.
13. At the end, I want to emphasize that a teacher is required to follow a cognitive approach based on conceptual framework to organize knowledge in a meaningful way. Especially a science teacher is required to demonstrate effectively classroom application of theory and practice through practical examples and discussion. The knowledge of educational psychology is extremely important for a teacher because it not only provides essential background for understanding the students’ behaviour but it also focuses on major cognitive processes and describes how recent theories have altered the way psychologists conceptualize the working of the human mind. The application of the valuable knowledge base of educational psychology classroom teaching can go a long way to enhance the specialized expertise of all categories of educators.
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