- The process through which learning takes place are the methods used. Ideally, these should be called teaching-learning methods. This stems from the fact that, there are teachers and pupils in the interaction and that each of the two groups engage in some type of activity or the other. So, in the interaction, there is an interplay of teacher activity and pupil activity. The domination of either of these two methods determines whether the lesson is learner-centered or teacher-centered. There are distinct methods that fit into each category of methods mentioned earlier (learner-centered and teacher-centered).
Looking at how important teaching methods can be to a teacher and how when used effectively, makes teaching and learning easy and enhances understanding of concepts among students, themintupdates.com presents some important teaching methods that a modern day teacher needs to know and use in his/her lesson presentations.
This presentation from themintupdates.com will however focus on the learner-centered methods of teaching and guidelines to follow to achieve success in using them.
The learner-centered methods of teaching.
These methods are also known as the learner-oriented methods of teaching. They place interest in the students’ ability, experiences and aptitude. It involves the teacher selecting methods based on the emotional and physical characteristics of the students. Let’s consider some of these learner-oriented methods.
- Role-play method: The basic idea is that a few pupils are asked to play the part of other people in a specified situation. For example, one pupil may be asked to be a village health worker, another will be a mother with a malnourished baby, a third will be the baby’s grandmother. The situation could be the health worker visiting a family to explain how the mother could better feed the baby. As a teacher, it is your duty to provide details of the situation pupils’ are to act on. Too many details will make it very difficult for the pupils playing the roles to follow the instructions. Few details may also leave the pupils too uncertain of what they should do.
The teacher should explain each of the roles and describe the whole situation to the class, then ask the role players to start. Role playing is not only a powerful tool for adult education but also an effective method in the classroom. It is a highly motivating activity because pupils can learn from experience and apply their learning in relevant situations. Role play goes a long way to promote pupil-pupil interaction, encourage empathy and develop social skills. To effectively use role play to bring out desired outcomes, there’s need to follow some guidelines.
Guidelines for using role play effectively
- Define the people and the exact situation they are to play about in adequate detail. Too many details will make it very difficult for the pupils playing the roles to follow all the instructions. Too few details may leave the pupils uncertain about what they should do.
- Give the actors some time to get their thoughts together.
- Ask other class members (the observers) to take notes and instruct them on what to look for.
- Evaluate pupils’ performance upon completion of the activity.
- Improve on certain portions with re-enactment.
- Simulation method: Under this method, the task of the teacher is to prepare a learning situation under which some selected students will assume a false appearance of someone or an object. The purpose of this method is for children to learn through play. For example, an infuriated dog resolves to catch the rat which has deceived it. The method lends itself for use in language aspects like story telling, conversation or oral composition.
- Demonstration method: It consists of showing the pupils how a new skill should be performed. This showing is done by the teacher while the pupils observe. The showing is accompanied by explanation of how the skill is demonstrated. This method is based on the assumption that by seeing exactly what takes place, the pupils will learn more effectively.
Guidelines for using demonstration method effectively
- Arrange the class or group so that all can hear and see clearly.
- Have all needed materials and equipment at hand properly arranged.
- State objectives to motivate the pupils.
- Explain thoroughly each step in the operation as it is being performed.
- Emphasize each key step in the operation.
- Speak directly to the pupils, not to the equipment or wall.
- Give opportunity to pupils to ask questions on steps or certain operations they do not understand.
- Assign pupils to work stations.
- Follow up and check individual performances.
- Summarize the demonstration.
Advantages of demonstration method
- Permits first hand experience in the operation in the operation of equipment being used.
- Watching and being briefed on the use of an equipment takes advantage of realism in the learning situation.
- Allows for immediate knowledge of results and correction of errors.
- Uses both sight and touch, which are key senses through which pupils learn.
Disadvantages of demonstration method
- It requires large and costly outlay of physical equipment.
2. It does not develop concepts and ideas.
3. In demonstration method, “know how” is stressed than “know why”.
- Field trips (Excursions): Theseare trips specially planned for their possible contributions to the objectives of a course of study or a lesson. They are journeys or trips organized for learning purposes. They can be short trips to nearby sites in the area or school environment or long journeys to factories and other educational objects or events outside pupils’ usual residence.
Field trips help to link the real world to the classroom and show how studies can be applied, bridge the gap between classroom and community and provide an integrated experience. Appropriate field trips can be planned for any subject. Science classes can conduct observations of nature and collect specimens that can be used in practical works. They can also engage in local community investigations and interview members in order to understand certain health problems and conditions in the community.
Preparations to make before a field trip.
- Before even considering the field trip, become familiar with the legal implication, that is, the teacher liability involved.
Make sure the field trip is of educational value in that it relates directly to what is being taught in the classroom.
- Plan the field trip by visiting the site and talking with the people before actually making the decision to undertake the trip. During the visit, plan what pupils will see.
- Obtain permission from school authorities.
- Make all transportation arrangements.
- Prepare the class by relating the trip to what is being studied and what they might observe.
- Establish safety, dress and behavior standards.
During the trip
- At the site, provide for adequate supervision
- Be sure all pupils are where they are supposed to be
After the field trip, the teacher has another responsibility of making follow-up activities both in the classroom and the field trip site. The teacher must engage in the following activities to complete the field trip method.
- Upon return to the classroom, review and summarize what was learned on the field trip.
- Let pupils write essays, reports, draw charts and pictures of what they saw on the trip. Review the exercise with discussion.
- Send “thank you” message to the hosts of the field trip.
- Inductive and deductive method: This method can also be used conveniently by the teacher to make teaching effective. This method leads pupils to formulate a rule, formula, a law or principle and then apply the rule or formula discovered to particular cases.
In the inductive aspect of this method, the teacher leads the pupils to examine a number of cases which eventually lead to the establishment of a rule or formula. And so in this, pupils proceed from the particular/specific to the general.
In the deductive phase, the pupils apply the rule or formula discovered or established to particular cases not used in the inductive step. And so in this, the pupils proceed from the general to the particular/specific.
- Group discussion method: In this method, the teacher divides the pupils into small groups for the purpose of reviewing information or problem solving. Each group is given or chooses a leader.
For a group discussion to be successful, the leaders must be taught how to lead a discussion. Also, the teacher must be certain that the topic is one that can be carried to a satisfactory conclusion within the given time for the discussion. The teacher must summarize the results of the discussion and present them to the groups after all are satisfied with the conclusions that have been reached.
Advantages of using the group discussion method
- Pupils become active rather than passive learners.
- It helps pupils learn how to express themselves confidently.
- Pupils are allowed to evaluate group participants’ ideas and learn from each other.
- Pupils develop a sense of belongingness.
- Group discussions give training to pupils in the democratic process.
- Discovery instruction: In the discovery of instruction, pupils find things out for themselves rather than being told everything by the teacher.
A distinction is made between complete and guided discovery. Complete discovery implies letting pupils solve a problem on their own without teacher mediation. In guided discovery, the pupils are frequently given guidance while in the process of discovering.
Also, a distinction is made between discovery and inquiry learning. In discovery learning, pupils are provided with data and are expected to discover the particular principle or abstraction identified in the goal of the lesson. In inquiry learning, the goal is for the pupils to develop strategies to manipulate and process information.
- Project method: The project method is described as a teaching method in which pupils individually or in groups, accept an assignment together and integrate data relative to some problems and are then free to fulfil the requirements independently of the teacher, who furnishes help only when necessary. The project method may be referred to as self-directed study.
The decision as to the nature of the project can be assigned by the teacher or it can evolve from class discussions.
Projects are often done by individuals and frequently take the form of a model or presentation as the final product. If a project involves in-depth work, it becomes a research. Well known examples of projects are seen at science fairs. In geography, students may make globes or papier-mache relief maps. In Mathematics, puzzles, models or games may be created. Sometimes projects are creative but often they are duplicates of something already done.
Projects give students the opportunity to work independently and gain in-depth knowledge of a specific area. Group projects sometimes take the form of a large-scale city map, play production , jury trials etc. The advantages of the group projects are that pupils must agree on division of labour, learn to lead or follow, and give-and-take criticism among themselves, as well as learn together about specific subject matter.
Guidelines for using project method
- Be certain that sufficient resources and/or materials are available before undertaking projects.
- Be sure the project is specifically defined and understood by the pupils involved. Establish objectives for each project at the onset.
- Provide enough supervision to ensure maximum progress, but not so much as to rob students of meaningful learning experiences,
- Let pupils evaluate their projects prior to any teacher evaluation.
- Evaluate according to set objectives of the lesson or project.