Principles of Teaching

A principle, then, is a guide which keeps instructional activities pointed in the right direction. Persons hired for this purpose must know the

Meaning of Principle

Learning of many skills, acts and ideas goes on during living without the guidance and direction of a specific person known as teacher; but, because society does not believe that its children can learn enough in this manner, it has made provision to employ trained individuals to facilitate the educational growth of its offspring. The society expects that through such arrangement the learning and growth of their offsprings would be faster and more desirable than that if improvement were left to itself.

Principles of Teaching

A principle, then, is a guide which keeps instructional activities pointed in the right direction. Persons hired for this purpose must know the principles involved in their work as instructors. Effective teaching is the utilization of basic principles of directing the learning of others.

General Principles of Teaching

1. Principle of Learning by Doing:- After the selection of objectives there arises the problem of directing the learning activities. How to achieve aims and objectives, what methods or strategies should be adopted, pupils best learn through self-activity. Everything that enters into pupils education enters in but one way; through the activity of the pupils.

A teacher should first learn through personal experience what is self-activity. He should rehearse himself learning through self-activity. Self-activity is composed of many specific operations. A pupil generally employs a number of operations. His total operations are grasped under the term "self-activity". We learn by reacting. Learning takes place only during activity. While learning a pupil performs so many activities. At one time a pupil looks; at another time he listens; he makes a drawing; he closes his eyes and visualizes; he recalls something, he goes to the dictionary and looks up a word; he uses the word in his discourse; he makes a guess.

2. Principle of Worthwhile Objective:- This principle of goals and objectives is the most important principle of teaching, because objective give direction to our teaching. An objective states the purpose of teaching. It tells what the learner will be able to do after this teaching act or acts. An objective should be formulated in such a way that the behaviour which a learner will show is clearly visible in it. A worthwhile instructional objective should be have the following characteristics:

  1. It should identify a learning outcome;
  2. It should be consistent with the curriculum aim;
  3. It should be precise;
  4. It should be functional;
  5. It should be significant; and,
  6. It should be appropriate.

A teacher should construct instructional objectives and should convey these objectives to the students. This step can save a lot of time and energy of the students; because they will be knowing before they are going.

3. Principle of Release of Energy:- This principle is based upon a psychological principle of motivation. Pupils are stock holders in the learning enterprise. Pupils are full of energy, the job of the teacher is to get the energy released and then directing of it into profitable ways of learning the most worthwhile objectives.

To answer the question how teachers can help pupils to release energy or how energy can be released, no rule of thumb technique is possible. The forces as within pupils cause the releases; an outside. facilitation of that release can succeed only when it pulls in the same direction as the forces within. In order to know the direction of the forces working within the individual, the teacher must study his motives, mental and emotional leanings, natural and acquired inclinations and their equipment for ding and reacting.

In order to implement this principle, teacher should study the psychology of the learner and then he should facilitate the release of energy by providing situations which motivate the learner to learn more and increase his efforts to sustain original effort.

4. Principle of Relevance:- Self-activity should be psychologically sound is a fundamental principle which should guide the selection of learning activities. The above principle implies that learning activities should be in fullest agreement with the type and types of learning involved in attaining the objectives. This agreement can be attained through the process of analysis of learning objectives into the types of learning, and types of learned capabilities required for learning.

Teacher should first analyze himself the type of learning he aims at producing among his pupils. Different types of activities are required for sensory experience type of learning, conceptual type of learning, memory type of learning. motor type of learning, problem solving type of learning, or learning to reasoning. So, according to the type of learning desired to attain the objectives, learning activities should be selected by the learner.

5. Principle of Unitary Learning:- Unitary learning implies that what is to be learned is larger and more involved than a few scattered fragments. This type of learning necessities the use of interrelationship and interlocking ideas before a final and highly significant understanding or insights developed. Burton differentiated unitary learning from fragmentary learning. A child is able to add, subtract, multiply or divide when told to do so, but when left to herself was just likely to subtract numbers intended, to be multiplied or divided. Because the child can perform the computation skill when told to do, the teacher will say that the pupil has learned the computation skills but his learning a fragmentary because he cannot perform these operations of his own. In unitary learning the child will be able to perform these operations without telling what to do with what numbers.

Learning is not unitary if it drops off before application is reached. In such a situation pupil will be unable to use and apply the facts and information in meeting life situations. The learner himself is not conscious of the needed completeness and finality of learning, unless he is confronted with a situation which demand application of the facts and knowledge learnt. Teacher should create such learning activities and situations so that child's learning is complete and unitary.

6. Principle of Providing Ideal Learning Environment:- This principle is based on the premise ideal learning can take place only in ideal environment. A classroom should provide ideal environment in order to realize the purpose for which the room was established. The physical and. social environment of the classroom should be such so as to promote better learning. Some people say that physical environment does not affect quality of learning.

7. Principle of Individual Differences:- In secondary schools, individual differences can be noticed in every phase of learning. Individual differ in many ways. They differ in their abilities, aptitudes, attitudes, habits, interests and achievements. The factors giving rise to differences are many but among the most important are heredity, home training, educational opportunities, health, nourishment and environmental factors.

8. Principle of Diagnostic and Remedial Teaching:- This principle of teaching requires that teachers should find out the strengths and weakneses of each student in the course, topics or even in a lesson. On the basis of this diagnosis, they should arrange of remedial instruction within the school hours or after the school hours. The diagnosis may be carried out through the use of diagnostic tests or by other means. The remedial instruction may be in the form of assignments programmed materials, exercises, extra practice sessions in case of skills.

Psychological Principle of Teaching

In addition to general principles, a teacher may follow some psychological principles to improve teaching-learning process. Some of these principles are discussed below:

1. Principle of Readiness:- A pupil is ready to learn something when he has achieved sufficient paychological maturation and experi mental background that he not only can but wants to learn it. While formulating instructional objectives, teacher should keep in mind these factors Piaget has given relationship between-psychological growth and mental growth. Accordingly a child of two months will not learn walking as he is not physically mature enough to perform the act. Principle of readiness warns the teachers to take up only those tasks for teaching which are suitable for learners according to their psychological maturation.

2. The Law of Effect:- This means a sense of success and satisfaction must accompany the learning process. Psychologists have discovered through experimentation that children learn best when satisfaction and a feeling of being successful accompanies their work, and if they feel dissatisfied or are possessed of a sense of failure, then the learning process is retarded. But most of us do not use this principle in our classes. On the other hand, teachers believes that it is better or if the child's satisfaction and feeling of success are disregarded. In order to implement the law of effect, the teachers must make the child feel satisfied with and happy in what he is learning.

3. Principle of Attention:- Fatigue and Rest. The teacher in order to be successful in his job has to study the interests of his students because attention depends on interest. The teacher should try to assess the interests of students. He should use the skill of stimulus variation to arrest the attention of his class. He should organise appropriate classroom climate for the development of voluntary attention.

Lack of interest is not always the only reason for distraction of attention from a lesson. Sometimes, due to fatigue, children find. themselves unable to pay attention to the lesson. It may be mental or physical or both. So, a teacher should sequence and plan his teaching in such a way so as to avoid fatigue during the lesson. Mental activities should follow physical activities or vice-versa. Wherever teacher finds students in his class showing symptoms of fatigue, he should immediately switch over to some easier and more interesting topic.

4. Principle of Motivation:- This principle requires that the teacher should motivate the child, i.e., make the child interested in attaining the objectives of teaching, if a child is mentally prepared to learn, the task of the teacher will become very easy. A motivated child requires half of the efforts to learn than an unmotivated child. The purpose of motivation is to produce a stage of eagerness or willingness to learn. Instead of saying that today we will study about electrical instruments, he should create a situation in which students, actually handle electrical instruments like electric bell, batteries, bulbs and others.

5. Principle of Exercise:- We learn what we practice and we do not. learn what we do not, practice, but most of the teachers do not apply it in the classrooms. They do not devote any time for arranging practice exercises for the students. Students memorise the rules, laws, facts without applying them to real situations. The best way of teaching rules of health and hygiene is to make children practice the health rules in real life.

This rule is an essential requirement in stimulus response type learning. The response get fixed in the minds of the pupils through repetition and exercise. Teacher should apply this principle in their classes by providing practice sessions.

6. Principle of Self-Learning:- In order to inculcate self confidence, positive self concept and field-independent cognitive style among pupils, teachers should use self-instructional techniques. The use of programmed learning material or arranging learning activities through learning packages will encourage self-learning.

The principle of self-learning, if employed by teachers, will enable them to individualize instructions in group situations. The problem of different rates of learning by different pupils will be solved. Because in self-learning material, every individual will learn at his or her own speed. The learning rate of one pupil will not effect another pupil's learning.

7. Principle of Group Dynamics:- Teacher should not follow single method of teaching, rather he should prepare a strategy of teaching in which methods, media and materials are integrated in such a way so as to provide group as well as individual learning situations. Teacher should know group dynamics. Project method is a suitable method for inculcating desirable group behaviour among pupils. In order to produce democratic climate in the classroom, teacher should see that students participate in various learning activities.

8. Principle of Fostering Creativity and Self-Expression:- Most of our school as well as college learning train only left hemisphere of our pupils. All our methods of teaching encourage convergent thinking. In order to develop other hemisphere, teacher must provide occasions which call for divergent thinking. Creativity and self-expression are necessary to prepare pupils to produce new creations in tile field of arts and other spheres.

9. Principle of Involving more than one sense in teaching learning process:- In perceptual learning, pupils learn through senses. Researches have shown that learning is more permanent if learning material is exposed through more than one medium. This means that a teacher should use various teaching aids in the classroom. Audio-visual aids such as TV, motion pictures are more effective modes of instruction, than lectures or print materials because lectures involve only sense of hearing and print-material involve sense of light, but TV involves both these senses. So, teacher should select teaching activities and other learning materials which involve the use of more than one sense.

10. Principle of Tolerance, Cooperation and Praise:- In order to create good socio-emotional climate in the class a teacher must use this principle of cooperation and praise. He should appreciate the feelings and ideas of the students. He should be tolerant towards the students' responses. Suppose the response of a particular student is incorrect, teacher should not condemn the student and should not label him as dull, stupid etc., but he should treat the child sympathetically. He should praise his efforts and should encourage the pupil to make another attempt to solve the problem or to search for correct response.

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