TODAY -

Good Teaching for better Learning

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *



About 3000 BC, with the advent of writing, education became more conscious or self-reflecting with specialized occupation such as scribe and astronomer requiring particular skills and knowledge. Philosophy in ancient Greece led to questions of educational method entering national discourse.

In the medieval era, COMENIUS in DOHEMIA wanted all children to learn. In his "The World in Pictures" he created an illustrated textbook of things, children would be familiar with in everyday life and used it to teach children. The Prussian education system was a system of mandatory education dating to the early 19th century.

Parts of Prussian education system have served as models for the Education system in a number of other countries including Japan and United states. The Prussian model required classroom management skills to be incorporated into the teaching process. In compulsory education Laws, children are required to attend school at certain age.

There is a saying "No Atom Bomb or long range missile is required to destroy a community/society, simply destroying education is enough to do that". So to establish a good & quality system of Education we need a good teaching - learning process. Then what is teaching method to inculcate good education to our children? A teaching method comprises the principles and methods used by teachers to enable students learning.

These strategies are determined partly on subject matter to be taught and partly by the nature of the learners. For a particular teaching method to be appropriate and efficient, it has to be in relation with the characteristic of the learners and the type of learning it is supposed to bring about.

Suggestions are there to design and selection of teaching methods must take into account not only the nature of the subject matter but also how students learn. In today's school, the trend is that it encourages a lot of creativity. It is a known fact that human advancement comes through reasoning. This reasoning and the original thought enhances creativity.

The approaches for teaching can be broadly classified into "Teacher Centered and Student Centered". In Teacher-Centered-Approach to learning, teachers are the main authority figures. Students are viewed as "Empty Vessel", whose primary role is to passively receive information (via lectures and direct instruction) with an end goal of testing and assessment.

It is the primary role of teachers to pass knowledge and information on to their students. In this model, teaching and assessment are viewed as two separate entities. Students learning is measured through objectively scored tests and assessment. In Students-Centered Approach to learning, also teachers are the authority figures.

In this model, teachers and students play an equally active role in the learning process. The teacher's primary role is to coach and facilitate students learning and overall comprehension of materials. Students learning is measured through both formal and informal forms of assessment, including group projects, students' portfolios and class participation.

Teaching and assessment are connected: students learning is continuously measured during teachers' instruction. Commonly used teaching methods may include class participation, demonstration,recitation, memorization or combinations of these.

Methods of instruction or teaching methods may be; lecturing, demonstration, collaborating (classroom discussion, debriefing and classroom action research). The lecture method is just one of several teaching methods, though in schools it's usually considered the primary one. The lecture method is convenient for the Institution and cost efficient, especially with larger classroom sizes.

This is why, lecturing is the standard for most college courses, when there can be several hundred students in the classroom at once. Lecturing lets Professor address the most people at once, in the most general manner while still conveying the information that they feel is most important according to the lesson plan.

While the lecture method gives the instructor or teacher chances to expose students to unpublished or readily available material, the students plays a passive role which may hinder learning. While this method facilitates large class communication, the lecturer must make constant and conscious effort to become aware of students problems and engage the students to give verbal feedback. It can be used to arouse interest in a subject provided the instructor has effective writing and speaking skills.

In fact a teacher should possess a good artistic character also, in addition to know the subject matter well i.e he/she should be well qualified. At the same time a teacher should be able to act like a hero, a good father, a good brother, a good mother, a good leader, a good comedian etc.

Sometimes, it is said that "A teacher should be qualified person but all qualified persons cannot be a successful teacher". At the same time, he/ she should have the aptitude of teaching.

If he/ she become a teacher just only for salary sake without having teaching aptitude and quality of being a teacher then he/she will become Oja Silla (teacher who bring a piece of written paper and simply copy on the board, in Manipuri sila silage takpa oja) which will help to collapse the education system instead of building quality education.

If I am not mistaken, this is what actually happening in most of the Manipur Government's educational establishments. In case of Private Institutions, most of their students are taking private tuitions and it has become like a culture in Manipur.

The question at this moment is; why students need tuition in all the subjects of respective classes? Does it mean that they are not taught properly in their respective schools?

If this is the case; what is the need of sending our students in these Schools? If this is the trend, then our children can appear the exams without attending the school because the system seems to indicate that students are not in the helms of proper teaching- learning process in these private schools. Rather they will write better in the examination after taking tuition even they don't attend the school, this is what many people opined.

Demonstrating, which is also called the coaching style or lecture cum demonstration method, is the process of teaching through examples or experiments. The framework mixes the instruction strategies of information imparting and showing how. For example, a science teacher may teach an idea by performing an experiment for students.

A demonstration may be used to prove a fact through a combination of visual evidence and associated reasoning. Demonstration are similar to written storytelling and examples in that they allow students to personally relate to the presented information.

Memorization of a list of facts is a detached and impersonal experience, whereas the same information conveyed through demonstration become personally relatable. Demonstration helps to raise student's interest and reinforced memory retention because they provide connections between facts and real world application of those facts.

Lectures on the other hand are often geared more towards factual presentation than connective learning. One of the advantage of the demonstration method involves the capability to include different formats and instruction materials to make the learning process engaging. This leads to the activation of several of the learners senses creating, more opportunities for learning.

This method can be effective in teaching Math, Science and Art but it can prove ineffective in a classroom setting that calls for the accommodation of learners' individual need. Collaboration allows students to actively participate in the learning process by talking with each other opinions.

Collaboration establishes a personal connection between students and topic of study and it helps students think in a less personally biased way. Group projects and discussion are examples of this teaching method. Teachers may employ collaboration to assess student's abilities to work as a team, leadership skills or presentation abilities.

One example of this teaching is classroom discussion. It is also a democratic way of handling a class where each student is given equal opportunity to interact and put forth their views.Debriefing refers to conversational session that revolve around the sharing and examining of information after a specific event has taken place. Depending on the situation, debriefing can serve a variety of purposes.

It takes into consideration the experiences and facilitates reflection and feedback. Debriefing may involve feedback to the students or among the students but this is not the intent. Classroom Action Research is a method of finding out what works best in your classroom so that you can improve student learning.

Newer teaching methods may incorporate television, radio, internet, multimedia and other modern device called smart classroom. Some educators believe that the use of technology, while facilitating learning to some degree is not a substitute for educational method that encourage critical thinking and a desire to learn. Inquiry learning is another modern teaching method.

A popular teaching method that is being used by a vast majority of teachers in hand on activities. Hands on activities are that require movement, talking and listening, it activates multiple area of the brain. "The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information" say Judy Dodge, author of 25 Quick Formative Assessment for a Differentiated Classroom.


* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal
The writer is a Faculty at NIELIT Imphal and can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on June 30 2019.



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