Principles of Teaching and Learning
Online guidance is an interesting recent experience for me. Prior to this I have had varied experience of teaching diverse subjects like, ‘Enhancing Personal Effectiveness’, precision shooting skills, Boxing and Tennis, apart from military and academic subjects. Some of my students also teach. Whatever be the subject being taught, observation of certain principles helps in the teaching/learning process. In this blog I have discussed some of the principles which have helped obtain good performance from students.
A teacher must genuinely like teaching. If the teacher does not like his job it will be very difficult to have the required motivation, patience and perseverance which the job requires.
The student must be motivated to learn. He must genuinely feel that he needs the knowledge of whatever is being taught. This is the most important prerequisite for learning. No amount of time spent in clarifying the importance of knowledge being imparted should be considered as time wasted because once a student is motivated to learn he will find innovative means of acquiring the knowledge.
Encourage Active Learning
Learning is an active process. Students are not able to learn much by only sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and churning out answers. Students must be able to relate to the learning in practical ways by talking about it, writing about it, relating it to past experiences, and applying it to their daily lives. Learning then becomes an interesting experience. No more mugging up is required, comprehension and retention of subject is greatly improved.
Respect Diversity and Develop Rapport
There are many different ways to learn and people respond to different ways. Students should be made partners in the learning process. Their ideas must be incorporated in the learning process. Teacher should know the students well. If you ask me: “How well I should know my students?” My answer will be: “Better than their mothers!”
Communicate High Expectations
Expect more and you will get it. The poorly prepared, those unwilling to exert themselves, and the bright and motivated all need high expectations. Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when teachers demand high standards and they make extra efforts to improve and that is what we want!
Prompt and Detailed Feedback
Prompt and detailed feedback, clarifies to a student as to what he should do in future and why. Clarity of purpose makes the job easier for a student and rate of progress is accelerated.
No Spoon Feeding
For success in life students should become independent and confident. Providing quick and easy answers may save the time of the teacher but will be against the long term interests of the students. Hence teachers should exercise patience and never spoon feed and allow the students to find answers to the problems which they should become capable of resolving.
Conclusion: Principles of Teaching and Learning
These are some ideas which I have used to teach my students and continue to do. I hope that they may be of some help to young teachers.