Effective Teaching Techniques

Dr. Manisha Mehta

Head of IB Diploma Program, GD Goenka World School, Gurugram

“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create.”

-Nikos Kazantzakis

The pace, with which the progress is visible in the real world, is rendering many old jobs redundant while creating many new profiles which were simply unheard of a few years ago. Hence, it is very pertinent to impart an education that develops skill sets among the children which cater to this emerging scenario. This demands different life skills to be taught, inculcated and imbibed in children. So the challenge for us today is to prepare children for the future that is unfolding, bearing in mind the sustainability of the resources we live around with. So, it makes prudent sense to prepare children for life ahead. The teaching in the classroom has to be useful as well as relevant to meet the demands of this fast-changing world.

First and foremost teachers should maintain an environment of mutual respect and trust. A teacher should act as a facilitator and develop a conducive learning environment. A teacher should establish an emotional connect with the child so that the learning can happen in a more congenial way. Then, the teacher should endure to ensure that every child in the classroom is involved and adjusts his/her pace accordingly so that the slowest and the fastest learners are onboard. The teacher should empathize with the students to enable a child to share and learn. Let us look at a few effective teaching and learning techniques which are relevant in today’s context.

Flipped Classroom: It’s a situation where the role reversal takes place. A topic is provided to students, and they prepare for the same to assume the role of a teacher later. This induces a sense of deep learning and research skills in students since they explore different resources and come prepared with various aspects of the concept/Topic. The actual teacher just facilitates the learning of the concepts. It results in students imbibing in-depth knowledge.

Team Teaching: Here a particular topic is taught by different teachers providing multiple perspectives on the subject. Let’s say Global Warming as a topic being taught by an English teacher and chemistry teacher will enable a student to learn the same subject from different discernments and sensitivities. Team teaching helps to build bridges of understanding across disciplines for both faculty and students.

Role-Play: Role-Play: Here, students are made to assume different roles in given-real life situations. Various roles are then assigned to different teams of students where they explore the available options and present their perspectives before the groups. A teacher here moderates the sessions by giving examples, options etc. Model United Nations (MUN) is a typical example. In another example, students can also be taught the dynamics of political discourse through students playing the role of parliamentarians.

Real-time Learning:Real-time learning is knowledge acquisition based on immediate needs. The students are given a real-world situation/problem. Let’s say a group of students are made to conduct an event like an international inter-school competition. Here teams are formed for doing different activities like fundraising, invitations, event scheduling, arranging speakers/performers, working out minute details like provisioning, personnel-relations etc. The students indirectly learn the economics of money management, problem-solving skills, organizational skills, debating skills, social and soft skills, journalism etc. They acquire knowledge and a skillset, which are long-lasting.

Bridge-Courses: Whenever there is an intake of students from different schools, different backgrounds, especially in grade 11, their knowledge and skillsets are different, for the same subjects. To enable them to bring on a common platform for future knowledge dissemination, it becomes imperative to refresh the concepts through a bridge course on different subjects. This also helps students to not only understand the type of pedagogy but establish bonding with the teacher.

Blended Learning: Blended learning involves in-person classroom time as well as individual study online using e-learning software. It incorporates tutor-led activities, images, video, digital tasks and face-to-face discussion. Courses that follow the blended learning model often take place in a real ‘brick and mortar’ classroom with a dedicated tutor but offer additional learning opportunities by way of a digital platform. Digital learning elements are often open to self-pacing by each individual student and can usually be logged in to at any time and in any place.

Besides a few techniques mentioned above, peer learning, enquiry based learning, differentiation, project-based learning, and scaffolding should be used as an effective means to teach in the classroom.

Dr. Manisha Mehta

Head of IB Diploma Program, GD Goenka World School, Gurugram