We all had some unique teachers at school! In good ways and bad! Some of them had excellent teaching methods that made us learn fast, and some had terrible ways that made us hate school and that particular subject.
A favor! Remember your best and worst teacher at school! Try to enumerate their good and bad specialties, teachers who taught something to us by playing a game, using a tool and teamwork. On the other hand, teachers who threatened and yelled to manage the class.
Of course, the teaching methods field is not only about teachers and school time.
The teaching method is the key in any organization, no matter which kind of organization it is:
– A class at university
– A language institute
– Public speaking and communication skills!
And so on.
What is the teaching method?
The teaching method is a particular topic in learning and education. A topic which has been ignored all the time or people haven’t noticed it enough.
In this article, we want to see what is the teaching method and what are the types of it.
The teaching method is a part of educational activities that happen in the presence of a teacher, and its purpose is to make a proper situation for learning by the teacher.
Teaching methods’ specialties
1- A communication between teacher and learner (not a one-way interaction that only the teacher gives lectures and talks).
2- Pre-determined purposes (the teacher must know why she or he is teaching).
3- Create easy and suitable opportunities (so that the learner can learn anything with all the possible ways).
This way we understand that:
Unfortunately, many teachers do not teach and have a one-way connection with the students.
You only need to look back and see which one of your teachers had one of these specialties:
Which one cared about interaction?
Which one had a purpose for her/his actions?
And which one made you learn effortlessly and willingly?
Probably not many!
If you are reading this article, it means you don’t want to be like one of them. (or you already are not!)
Essential skills for teaching
Communication skills, public speaking, effective interaction, and negotiation are essential to anyone who lives in society (and that means everyone!)
But in my opinion, all teachers must learn these skills and use them in their teaching method.
This article can be useful: principles of teaching adults
What is not the teaching method?
Now considering what we discussed in previous paragraphs, we know that:
The teaching method is not necessarily transferring information but it is simplifying the learning situation, and interaction has a crucial role in it.
A teacher is responsible for training and educating humans, so he/she has to be the best among people and have unique skills.
Some teaching methods
Generally, teachers have a teaching method of their own, no matter they know it or not.
The audience analysis, the kind of their behavior and transferring the info, involved intelligence (emotions and parts of the brain) are different in various types of teaching methods.
Teaching methods divide into four categories:
1- Teaching methods based on direct data transfer
2- Teaching based on interactions
3- Problem-driven teaching methods
4- Teaching individually
Each one of them has some subsets which we will explain in other articles.
What is the best teaching method?
Let me explain this by telling you a story of one of my university masters! (I have studied educational technology)
At the first semester, I was thrilled to learn about teaching and education, so I was expecting a joyful and energetic master to enter the class, but instead, I saw a non-energetic grim-faced professor. He started speaking with a low voice: “this is the book you have to read. I tell you a brief version of it, and you take note so that you don’t need to study all the book for your final exam.”
I couldn’t believe it!
All the students were taking notes, and the professor didn’t do anything but reading the handouts and the book. In one of the sessions that he was reading from the book about different teaching methods (and obviously the students were taking notes), I asked him: excuse me, sir. Which teaching method are you using now?
And he said: I use a combination of all of them.
It sounded too ridiculous that the whole class burst into a laugh because all we did was writing and practically there was no teaching method at all.
I said this story because many teachers think they have a teaching method, but in reality, they don’t have a teaching method!
Another point is that it’s impossible to combine teaching methods into one because each one has its unique philosophy and necessaries. Although we can use some of them for one topic every once in a while, we can’t combine them and create a whole new teaching method which doesn’t have a meaning at all.
An interesting teaching method
Now, what is the best teaching method?
Probably if someone has a single word for an answer, he/she doesn’t understand the nature of the teaching method!
There is not a specific and stable teaching method. We can use different teaching methods based on the situation, including:
– Educational purpose
– The subject title
– The audience’s level of knowledge
– The audience’s age and sexuality
– The teacher’s personality
– The facilities
– The number of students
– The educational space
So we can choose the best teaching method based on the situation we are in.
I have to tell you that what doesn’t have an effect on students and can’t change their behavior is:
1- Reading from a written text
2- Giving lectures
3- Repeating and practicing
These three kinds of teaching methods only enhance the students’ knowledge. If you want to be an effective teacher and change your students’ behavior and personality, you have to use games, playing roles, teamwork, and action practices.