9 Instruction Techniques Every Educator Must KnowBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
As a teacher, your job involves reshaping the minds of future generations by creating an inspiring and effective learning environment. But traditional instructional methods aren't that effective anymore. A 21st-century teacher needs some better teaching strategies to engage students and make them interested in learning new stuff. Whether you're a seasoned educator or just starting your career in education, you should modify your teaching methods, and here are some instruction techniques that can help you with that.
1. Student-led learning
What if you allow the student to take the lead and teach the class? Instead of merely involving them in the teaching process, you can ask them to hold the reigns. This exercise goes like this: you'll divide students into different groups, and these groups will take turns explaining various concepts to the rest of the class. That's how they'll display their mastery of the course material in front of their peers.
A presentation-style student-led learning strategy is already popular in colleges and universities. Students are graded based on preparation, creativity, and how they'll present the topic before others.
Technology facilitated the continuation of students' academic progress during the pandemic. It keeps students actively engaged and ensures their participation by making learning more entertaining.
But teachers can also leverage technology to improve their instructional capabilities too. Distance learning empowers educators by equipping them with the skills necessary to create student-centered learning classrooms. These degrees will also help you develop more interactive instructional strategies. Consider pursuing an online Masters in Education Instruction to equip yourself with knowledge on bringing inclusivity and technology to the classroom.
3. Let students correct your mistakes
Students expect teachers to solve a problem and find the correct answer. However, some teachers try to subvert these expectations and deliberately make mistakes to spark a reaction from students. They will intentionally write the wrong answer so students can correct that mistake. For instance, an English teacher may write a paragraph with grammatical mistakes and ask students to identify and rectify the errors. This exercise engages students and motivates them to use their critical thinking skills.
Our brains are wired to process images faster than words, and that's why we're accustomed to making mental images of the things we read. It helps us concentrate on something more effective while easily memorizing stuff. If you want students to focus better on complex concepts, employ visualization techniques in your lectures. You can employ this technique in your classroom by:
Using more diagrams and flowcharts
Using photos, videos, and audio clips in your lectures
Playing visualization guessing games and other interactive activities
Demonstrating as you teach
Instead of making education seem like a chore, educators can gamify the learning process to make it more appealing, interesting, and competitive. Gamification involves adding game-like elements such as challenges, rewards, competition, and interactivity into lesson plans. It captivates learners, bolsters their participation, and improves student retention.
Research shows that challenge-based gamification can enhance student performance by 89%, while making them 65% more engaged in their studies.
You can gamify your lessons by:
Incorporating multiplayer elements, teamwork, and friendly competition
Letting students progress at their own pace and choose their learning paths
Simulating real-world situations and offering opportunities for decision-making
Inspiring students by tapping into intrinsic motivators such as a sense of progress
6. Cooperative learning
Collaboration enhances students' learning experience, particularly when students complement their skills and help each other succeed. You can pair one student who's good at doing science with one who excels in language skills. You should promote teamwork in the classroom to boost students' real-world skills, such as communication, time management, and conflict resolution. Cooperative learning motivates them to exchange information with their peers and take control of the learning process.
7. Differentiated teaching
You may have heard the usual "not all students are the same" one-liner before. Differentiated methods take this expression to another level by acknowledging that a classroom compromises learners with varying learning aptitudes. All students stand at different stages of the learning process, and personalized learning can help them progress simultaneously. In other words, every student needs a unique set of learning content and teaching methods to excel in your class, not the ineffective one-size-fits-all approach.
Teachers can divide students into different groups based on their comprehension capacities. Then they can give their students different academic content that aligns with their learning prowess.
8. Student-centered Inquiry
Instead of the teacher orally explaining a complex subject, the student-centered inquiry approach lets students grapple with the subject matter and come up with questions for the educator. Students read the subject material, explore relevant ideas, exchange their opinions in the classroom, and pose some thought-provoking questions in front of the teacher. This strategy excites a student's inherent curiosity and uses it to enhance student engagement.
9. Interdisciplinary activities
As 3 out of 4 young people lack the soft skills needed to get a job, interdisciplinary activities can help overcome this skill shortage. You can combine learning from different disciplines to make the education process more interactive. When different areas of knowledge are applied to resolve a single problem, a student's soft skills get polished properly. Interdisciplinary activities build a student's cognitive abilities, self-reliance, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Some examples of interdisciplinary activities include visiting historical sites, pretend politics, mix-and-match activities (in which you match different words with their definitions), pretend stock markets, writing profiles of local wildlife, interpreting poetry, and discussing Nat Geo documentaries.
The ever-evolving field of education demands educators constantly improve their instructional expertise and replace traditional teaching methods with more effective ones. This blog sheds some light on the most successful teaching strategies for your classroom. Visualization, gamification, and cooperative learning are effective methods to keep students engaged. Leverage technology to make learning more exciting and bolster your teaching acumen. Improve your teaching skills by pursuing online learning.