A teacher can enhance his or her teaching effectiveness by accurately assessing their students’ developmental state and direct their planning and impel their teaching. The teacher will have to sit down and develop a formal teaching plan but in cases, he will be confronted with a “teachable moment” when the student is ready to learn and is asking pointed questions. Invariably, these moments seem to come at the most unexpected times. It is at this time that the teacher faces a dilemma as whether he needs to teach or not. Having knowledge of basic learning principles will help the teacher to take best advantage of these sudden moments. Here are some principles proven to enhance teaching and learning.
Seize the moment: Teaching becomes more effective when the learner feels the need for it. Teacher should make every effort to teach the student when he or she asks. When the student is ready to learn, it is necessary the teacher satisfies that immediate need for information at the very moment, and augment your teaching with more information later.
Involve students in the planning process: Just presenting information to the student does not ensure learning. For learning to occur, it is necessary that the teacher involves the student in identifying his learning needs and outcomes. The teacher should help the student to develop and attain objectives. Once the teaching process continues the teacher can further engage the students and make them involved by selecting teaching strategies and materials that require the student’s direct involvement, such as role playing and return demonstration. Regardless of the teaching strategy it would be good if the teacher give a chance to the students to test his or her ideas to take risk and be creative will surely promote learning.
Start with what the student knows: The entire process on learning becomes easy when the teacher starts with the very basis thing that the student already knows. With that limited knowledge of the student it is easier for the teacher to build up. Teaching begins by comparing the old, known information or process and the new, unknown one allows the student to grasp new information more quickly.
Start from simple and then move on to the complex: The student will find learning more interesting and rewarding when he is given the opportunity to master simple concepts first and then apply these concepts to more complex ones. It should always be kept in mind that what one student finds simple, another may find complex. A careful assessment takes these differences into account and helps you plan the teaching starting point.
Accommodate the student’s preferred learning style: Students learning style should also be taken into consideration. The quick response of the student to respond to things many depends not only on the student’s intelligence and prior education, but also on the student’s learning style preference. Visual learners gain knowledge best by seeing or reading what you are trying to teach auditory learners, by listening and tactile or psychomotor learners, by doing. So teaching students is not an easy job.
You can improve your chances for teaching success if you assess your student’s preferred learning style, taking that into consideration the teacher needs to plan the teaching activities and use teaching tools appropriate to that style. To assess a student’s learning style, it is necessary to observe the student, administer his or her learning style inventory or by asking the student how her or she can understand the best.
The teacher can also experiment using different teaching tools, such as printed material, illustrations, videotapes, and actual equipment, to assess learning style. Teacher should never assume that his student can understand a subject by plainly reading though.
You can combine your knowledge of the student’s preferred learning style with your knowledge of learning domains. Categorizing what the students need to learn into proper domains helps identify and evaluate the behaviors you expect them to show.
Learning behaviors fall in three major domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. The cognitive domain deals with intellectual abilities. The psychomotor domain includes physical or motor skills. The affective domain involves expression of feeling about attitudes, interests, and values. Most learning involves all three domains.
Make material meaningful by connecting it to real life situations.
Another way to improve the learning process is to relate material to the student’s lifestyle. The more meaningful the material is to a student, the quicker and easier it will be learned.
Allow immediate application of knowledge: Giving an opportunity to the student to apply his or her knowledge and skills reinforces learning and builds confidence in them. This immediate application translates learning to the “real world” and provides an opportunity for problem solving, feedback, and emotional support.
Plan for periodic rests: While you may want the students to push ahead until they have learned everything on the teaching plan, it is necessary on the part of the teacher to remember that periodic plateaus occur normally in learning. Moreover when the instructions are especially complex or lengthy, the students may feel overwhelmed and appear unreceptive to your teaching. Be sure to recognize these signs of mental fatigue and let the students relax. The teacher can use this time to review the teaching plan and make any necessary adjustments with regard to the plan.
Give a feed back: Learning becomes much easier when the students are aware of their progress. Positive feedback can motivate them to greater effort because it makes their goal seem attainable. It is necessary on the part of the teacher to ask the student how they feel and are they comfortable with the teaching style. They probably would want to take part in assessing their own progress towards learning goals, and their input can guide the teacher in assessing the feedback he gets from a student.
Reward desired learning with praise: Praising the students’ successes associates the desired learning goal with a sense of growing and accepted competence. Reassuring them that they have learned the desired material or technique can help them retain and improve on it.
These are some of the ways by which a teacher can enhance the effectiveness of his or her teaching.