In what way are/were you taught and how will you teach? Teaching methods are vital for everyone – we all go or went to a school where teachers try to involve each student in the learning process. Namely, this learning process is identified as effective or ineffective by means of effective or ineffective methods of teaching accordingly. Methods of teaching are one of the primary topics any student undergoing pedagogic training has to deal with. It is no wonder that the majority of questions arising in this field are in this or that way connected with misconceptions or wrong assumptions concerning this topic. That is exactly what explains why a student willing to master knowledge or skills should pay special attention to grasping at least the basic theory of teaching methods and doing a lot of practice: for example, writing an essay about it.
In this article, you’ll learn how to write an essay on the topic “Teaching Methods”. Besides, you are given the list of references you can consult additionally. Make progress in essay writing right now!
3 ‘Teaching Methods’ Issues to Address in an Essay
You as a person who is receiving education don’t think about methods employed in this process. Education is something that just happens to you, and you don’t give extra thought to how it all is organized. Right? It is a common perception among students but the task to write an essay about teaching methods can’t remain unaddressed as it will influence your academic performance that is expressed in marks. You can do your best to get high marks for writing this particular essay. First and foremost, address the key points of the topic. Here you are:
1. Groups of Teaching Methods Differ in Outcomes, But All Are Aimed at Teaching
In reality, teaching methods are a complicated and multi-lateral issue, with many opposing schools of thought. When all’s said and done, however, most teaching methods can be roughly subdivided into two groups: teacher-centric and student-centric.
- Teacher-centric learning approach is also often referred to as the traditional educational model because it is basically what we are all used to associate with teaching and studying. In this model, students are considered to be de-facto “empty vessels”, passive receivers of knowledge and skills. It is a teacher’s job to provide instructions and guidance for them, “filling up” these empty vessels in the process, and students are supposed to learn by listening to lectures, observing and copying the teacher’s actions and in general subjecting themselves to the teacher’s ultimate authority.
- Student-centric learning approach to learning is a much more recent development, placing emphasis on students’ participation in the educational process. This approach considers students to be not just objects but subjects of education as well, and the teacher’s role is viewed as not as that of the instructor but facilitator and delegator. To simplify it a bit, a teacher doesn’t provide one or another method of doing things that are already set in stone but offers guidance and support so that students are capable to figure things out on their own, thus making them active participants of the process.
- Another subtype of student-centric approach, the so-called cooperative learning, emphasizes teamwork: students are encouraged to work in groups and engage in reciprocal teaching. The teacher is not eliminated from the equation altogether, but his role, again, is that of facilitator and delegator rather than that of the one and only authority on every question. This method is based on the assumption that students learn best when they work and communicate with their peers.
It is important to understand that there are no good or bad methods of teaching. One can easily assume that a teacher-centric approach is outdated, anachronistic and generally “bad”, while the student-centric one is progressive and modern. However, they both have their areas of application. For example, teacher-centric methods far outpace student-centric ones in teaching fundamental skills. In other words, both groups of teaching methods have their areas of application and can be used to great effect – if used appropriately.
2. The Areas of Teaching Methods Application Differ as Well
If we start speaking about different areas of using specific teaching methods, it is logical to name them. Don’t omit this point in your essay as well. Today, the educational process differs from that existing several decades ago. Modern teachers have to not only explain a topic and provide the knowledge to students and mentor them, but also to:
- Facilitate learning for students in a classroom encouraging active learning,
- Develop mutual cooperation among students,
- Give prompt feedback to guide students in the right direction to the progress,
- Motivate students to learn new materials and develop essential skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, etc.
In general, a teacher is supposed to prepare a student to deal with the real world. It is possible only when a person is equipped with the relevant theory and practical skills necessary for successful communication in modern society and personal, professional development. Only this gives a competitive advantage in life.
For each aim of teaching, there are particular methods. If a teacher needs to simply present the information, he or she uses a lecture method. It is true that sometimes it is boring to listen to a lecturer. For that reason, this way of teaching is extended by the others, for example, interactive and participative methods. It is important to encourage students’ participation and develop discussions that result in gaining hands-on experience.
3. The Effectiveness of Teaching Methods
More and more instructors develop their teaching approach depending on students’ learning needs. They are far from simply going to school, college or university to get knowledge. Unfortunately, the understanding of learning needs differently can cause various learning challenges and pitfalls and problems in the educational system. The result is that it reflects on the professional development of graduating students negatively. What is a doctor whose learning needs aren’t met at university? The medical system is impaired. So the assessment of learning needs should become part of government policy in relation to the continuing professional development of all professionals. Let’s observe what learning needs determine the appropriate use of teaching methods:
- Know about phenomena occurring to various areas of study;
- Finding answers to different questions;
- Define problems that need to be solved;
- Develop and use original ideas;
- Plan and carry out systematic investigations;
- Analyze and interpret data, a lot of data (due to the information overload);
- Use critical thinking;
- Construct solid explanations and design optimal solutions and many more.
All these needs, exactly their fulfillment, influence the effectiveness of using one or another teaching method. The most critical condition applicable to effective teaching in the 21st century is that all the teaching practices need to create personal and social relevance for students. They need to be intellectually and emotionally engaged in their own active learning, in other words, motivated to learn this world and solve some problems. In fact, teaching for success while taking a test is insufficient today. The current education policies that give priority to assessment need to be severely curtailed.
This idea and many other ideas can be mentioned in your essay about teaching methods. However, it is important to always back up all the research ideas. Look at the following references you can also use in your essay:
7 References to Use in the Essay about Teaching Methods
- Arnold, J. (1998). Towards more humanistic English teaching. ELT Journal, 52(3), pp.235-242.
- Bligh, D. (2000). What’s the use of lectures?. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Cullen, R. (1998). Teacher talk and the classroom context. ELT Journal, 52(3), pp.179-187.
- Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Gibbons, M. (2002). The self-directed learning handbook. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.
- Legge, K. and Harari, P. (2000). Psychology and education. Oxford: Heinemann.
- Wiseman, A. and Anderson, E. (n.d.). Annual review of comparative and international education 2014.