Teaching strategies refer to those teaching methods that are utilized in presenting instructions to students or learners. The purpose of a teaching strategy is to ensure that one accomplishes one’s performance objectives as set out in a subject or course design. Performance objectives refer to the new behavior that a teacher would like his or her students to adopt after the completion of a learning activity. The paper shall look at four different teaching strategies and how these can be utilized to ensure that teaching is effective.
Discussion of various teaching strategies
Before selecting a particular teaching strategy, it is essential to first know what criteria should be considered to pick the right approach. Teachers must consider the quantity and type of content that their instructions possess, the sequence of that content, and the learning activities needed to teach that content to their students. Usually one must base their teaching strategies on their concept of learning. In Bloom’s taxonomy, learning occurs in three major spheres which include: the affective, psychomotor, and cognitive aspects. There is a need for teachers to first study the learner before the development of one’s teaching instruction since different students learn in different ways.
One useful teaching strategy used in the classroom environment is the lecture. In most tertiary learning institutions, this is the most common teaching strategy as it effectively conveys information in the latter setting. Nonetheless, the method can be customized to fit other learning environments as well. One of the most significant benefits of the lecture method is the fact that it allows teachers to dispense a lot of information in the least bit of time.
In several circumstances, teachers may find that they have a lot of material to teach and yet the time allocated for their courses is inadequate, the lecture method, therefore, allows these individuals time to effectively cover all that they are required to even when this means delivering it through a condensed approach. Also, the lecture strategy allows instructors have full control of their classroom. In other words, teachers can predict how long their classes will last and exactly what will occur within that class. This allows them to plan better and thus ensure that instructional objectives are implemented.
Lastly, the lecture method takes attention away from learners; this means that students who may be afraid of attention can learn quite effectively in such an atmosphere. Also, this lecture environment tends to have less tension than in other areas.
Nonetheless, the lecture method is not without its faults. First of all, this strategy assumes that all children have a high level of comprehension and that their capacity for understanding is the same. It is a known fact that this is not true thus making the lecture method unrealistic in this regard. Besides that, students only play a passive role in learning and this disengages them from the process. Consequently, one finds that most of the material being taught is easily forgotten. In the end, this method may not work very well if not backed up by other approaches.
One way in which instructors can improve the lecture strategy is through focusing their topic of the day since a single lecture cannot deal with all issues related to a certain subject. In line with this, teachers can repeat points so that they stick in learners’ minds. This needs a high level of organization as well as a high degree of enthusiasm from the lecturer.
Another teaching strategy is active learning. Here, students are involved in discussing, reading, writing, and reflecting upon instructional material. Ways in which active learning can be implemented are through problem-solving, informal groups, simulations, and other examples. One major advantage of this strategy is the fact that it enhances learning or remembrance. It stimulates critical awareness and thinking which are all essential elements in other aspects of life. The major problem with this method is that assessment is quite difficult to administer. Besides that, it also takes a lot of time to implement.
Team-based learning is another teaching strategy that was developed by renowned educational expert Larry Michaelsen. In this approach, students are organized in collaborative teams that are usually created at the beginning of a semester or learning period. Here, these teams are usually granted projects that they are supposed to carry out on their own and then report with results during class. Therefore, students’ performance is a combination of their efforts as well as team-related aspects. The major advantages of this method include: it stimulates critical thinking, it prepares students to work with others in the workplace and it also teaches them how to apply the knowledge acquired elsewhere in problem-solving. Its disadvantages include; it can rarely cover all required course elements as it takes a lot of time.
Besides this, the method requires thorough planning to ensure that all students participate as some subservient children may be dominated by other members of their team. Nonetheless, there are several ways in which these instructions can be improved. For example, teams can be made up of diverse members so that different ideas can be generated, teachers can also involve children in the process of determining how they will be assessed. On top of this, teachers can debrief assignments by providing feedback as well as offering sound responses.
Integrating technology is also another strategy that is has become crucial in the current education arena. This is large because it makes the learning process easier by enhancing the teaching as well as the learning experience. For instance, email is often used to facilitate communication between teachers and learners. Also, some instructors have placed online notes to give detailed explanations on topics, offer curriculum guidelines as well as access to reference material.
On other hand, technology also allows the utilization of discipline-based software to handle certain problems such as the use of certain excel-software to create quadratic curves. The major advantage is that this method saves time and expands understanding. Its disadvantage includes the fact that different students have different computer literacy levels thus necessitating a need for basic instructions. Also, this method is dependant on the availability of technological equipment that may be quite expensive for low-budget schools.
Given the fact that all the latter mentioned strategies have their pros and cons, it may be more effective for teachers to adopt a series of strategies when dispensing their instructions. For example, team-based learning can be combined with technology-based learning. Here, team assignments, group discussions, and teacher-to-student communications can be effectively facilitated. On top of the latter, lecture-based teaching may also be combined with active learning. Here, an instructor may start with a lecture but end the session with feedback from students or allocate assignments to students in informal groups that can then be discussed in class.
No single teaching strategy can meet all the needs of one’s students, one must therefore attempt to combine the best of a series of approaches to enhance the learning experience and thus facilitate achievement of performance objectives.
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