Principles of Teaching


General Principles of Teaching

  • Principle of Definiteness of Goals and Objectives or Aims: A teacher without having clear knowledge of the goals or purposes of his teaching is similar to that sailor who doesn’t know the destination of his boat moving in a vast ocean. Definiteness of the goals help teachers at every step, phase or act of teaching. It’ll help them to plan, execute and evaluate all the aspects of teaching. It’ll also help teachers to remain on track.
  • Principle of Planning: The success of a task depends upon the quality of pre-planning. Therefore, a teacher should always try to plan and prepare the details of their lesson in the form of a lesson plan before its delivery.
  • Principle of Flexibility and Elasticity: Teaching requires planning beforehand but it doesn’t mean that it should become rigid. At the execution stage, the possibilities of alteration in planned situations or environment can’t be ruled out and therefore the principle of flexibility and elasticity needs to be observed for enabling the teacher to deal effectively with aroused situations. A teacher should be resourceful, imaginative, original and creative for adapting himself as well as his teaching to the requirements of the students and teaching learning environment.
  • Principle of Utilising Past Experiences: Past experiences are the base or foundation on which the structure of a new knowledge can be safely built. Therefore, what is already known or experienced by the child should always make the starting point of acquainting him with what he doesn’t know or ought to know.
  • Principle of Child Centeredness: The planning, implementation and evaluation of a teaching act should invariably centre around the child. The curriculum, methods and techniques, management of teaching learning environment and evaluation all should serve the cause of the students.
  • Principle of Making Provisions for Individual Differences: Nothing is alike in nature. We all vary in terms of the innate and acquired traits, abilities and capacities. Therefore, a teaching which doesn’t cater to the needs and abilities of individual children, can’t be expected to achieve specific goals of bringing desirable changes in the behaviour of all children.
  • Principle of Linking with Actual Life: If education is for living and aimed to prepare the child to lead the life happily and progressively in a social context, then every teaching should be essentially linked with the necessities and happenings of actual life. The teaching should never be confined to the classroom or school boundaries but should invariably be linked with actual life.
  • Principle of Correlating with Other Subjects: The various subjects of the curriculum serve the same goals or objectives. The study of a particular subject definitely helps the learning of so many things in other subjects. Valuable energy and efforts of the teacher and pupils may be saved if the principles of correlation and transfer of learning is utilised properly.
  • Principle of Effective Strategies and Instructional Material: The products are the outcome of the processes and processes depend heavily upon the types of strategies, tacts and means chosen and employed. Teaching process for its success also demands effective strategies, means and material. Therefore, great care should be taken to choose an appropriate strategy and a set of instructional material.
  • Principle of Active Participation and Involvement: A good teaching should always be a two way traffic, making the task of teaching a co-operative effort of the teacher and the student. A good teacher for the effective results always tries to seek active participation of the students in the teaching-learning process. Besides their sincere involvement in the teaching act, they persuade, inspire and involve the students in realising the objectives of his teaching.
  • Principle of Conducive Environment and Proper Control: The role of a conducive and effective management or control of the teaching-learning situations can never be denied in any teaching. Environmental factors like proper seating arrangement, ventilation, light, classroom interaction and group dynamics, discipline and tone of the school always influence the teaching-learning process and therefore care should be taken for their desirable arrangement and control.

Psychological Principle of Teaching

  • Principle of Motivation and Interest: 

“You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”
Motivation and interest are the two central factors in any process of teaching and learning. Motives are the potent forces that energise or activate all behaviour of an individual. The objective of bringing desirable changes in the behaviour can only be achieved if one is motivated to try or accept that change in his behaviour. Similarly, interest provides key to the learning and desired changes. Motivation and interest can help in attention capturing and attention giving – the essential elements of a teaching-learning act. Therefore, a teacher should always take care of the factors of motivation and interest for seeking a child’s readiness and involvement in the teaching-learning act.

  • Principle of Repetition and Exercise: 

“Practice makes a man perfect.”

It was Thorndike who tried to put experimental evidence in favour of the utility of repetition and exercise in the process of teaching-learning. The teachers who believe in providing practice, revision, recapitulation and application of what has been taught by them may successfully achieve the objective of their teaching.

  • Principle of Change, Rest and Recreation: 

“All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery and openness to change the flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.”

Psychological experiments in learning have demonstrated the ill effects of monotony, fatigue, lack of attention, etc. in any learning task. The remedy in the form of stimulus variation and other types of changes in the contents, methods and teaching-learning environment and provision of appropriate rest and recreation had also been proved quite effective. Therefore, a wise teacher should essentially plan and implement the provision of change, rest and recreation in his teaching act.

  • Principle of Feedback and Reinforcement: The immediate knowledge of the results and positive reinforcement in the form of praise, grade, certificates, token economy and other incentives may play wonder in making the task of learning a joy, a thing to do again and again and an experience that is retained longer. The behaviour modification, a major goal of the teaching-learning process, may be properly achieved through the observation of the principle of feedback and reinforcement.
  • Principle of Sympathy and Cooperation: A good teacher is a friend, philosopher and guide. He is not to dictate or direct the students but walk along with them on the track of learning. The classroom environment becomes lively and fruitful when the teachers and students work on the same platform sympathising and helping each other in the major task of teaching and learning. Therefore, a good teacher should always take care of the principle of sympathy and cooperation.
  • Principle of Providing Training to Senses: 

“Senses are said to be the gateway of knowledge.”

  • The results are more encouraging when an experience is acquired through the use of a combination of senses, sense of hearing, sight, taste and touch. The power of observation, discrimination, identification, generalisation and application only be made appropriate through the effective functioning of senses. For this purpose one has to train and use one’s sense organs in an effective way. Therefore, a teacher should make proper arrangements for the training of the senses of his students for the realisation of better results.
  • Principle of Utilising Group Dynamics: 

“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Under the influence of group behaviour individuals think as the group thinks, feel as the group feels, do as the group does. Group leader, the interaction process between the group and the leader and among different members, the effect and counter effects of other groups-all work towards the creation of a particular educational environment and also exercise their force to bring changes in the behaviour of the students. A wise teacher should try to utilise the essential aspects of group psychology for the attainment of better results.

  • Principle of Encouraging Self-Learning: There is no end of knowledge in this world and one can’t even get a fragment of this vast ocean through spoon feeding or direct instruction from a teacher. They have to learn this way of acquiring knowledge and seek the path of self-learning in order to learn the essentials of life for their adequate adjustment. Therefore, a teacher should always work to create the environment of self-learning by providing suitable opportunities and training to their students for this purpose.
  • Principle of Fostering Creativity and Self-Expression: Good teaching should be able to develop the creative aspects of one’s personality. It should work as an effective medium for self-expression so that students may be able to develop their hidden talents and abilities. It should call upon the originality, novelty, inventiveness of the students for self-expression and creation. Students should be made to learn exploration of the things, events and find cause-effect relationship in the happenings and thus set their energies for creating and doing something new for the development of the society and humanity.
  • Principle of Remedial Teaching: A teaching act aims to bring some stipulated behaviour changes in the students. This task is not simple as there are many intervening variables and obstructions which hinders in the achievement of objectives. Some particular students may not be able to learn on account of their specific limitations, therefore, the teacher has to find out where the fault lies and then think of a possible remedy. Teachers should arrange remedial education for a particular group of students for removing their specific difficulties and providing them adequate opportunities for proper growth and development.

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