Teaching is face-to-face interaction between teacher and learner. There are two approaches of teaching, teacher-centered and student-centered. In teacher-centered approach, students acquire knowledge as an active participant. On the other hand, in student-centered approach, students acquire knowledge as proactive participant. An active participant is attentive only, while a proactive participant is attentive as well as initiative. In each approach three instructional models are used to impart and construct knowledge. The Teacher Centered Approach uses the following three models:
Presentation Method– In presentation method, an explanatory lecture is delivered to students to impart a piece of knowledge. An effective presentation is well-structured and well-prepared. A presentation follows syllabus strictly. It is suitable for declarative knowledge such as language, history, science, and religion.
Direct Instruction Method– In direct instruction method, an explanatory demonstration is made to develop a particular skill among learners. A demonstration is rigorously instructive. It is suitable for procedural knowledge such as computer teaching, physical teaching, and music teaching.
Concept Teaching Method– In conceptual teaching method, an explanation is made about the main concepts of learning material through examples and non-examples. A concept is already known fact or established reality. It is suitable for conceptual knowledge such as mathematics, physics, and psychology.
The Student Centered Approach suggests the following three models:
Cooperative Learning– In cooperative learning, student learn about something by working together for the achievement of a common academic goal and get shared reward if they are successful as a group. Students are interdependent during learning process. They utilize their comparative advantage or competitive edge synergistically for group achievement. Everyone thrives when group achieves, consequently success of one is success of all. In nutshell, cooperative learning means to learn from each other though lecture or presentation. In cooperative learning, teacher is dominantly coordinator. He avoids free-riding and conflicts. It is an extension of presentation method.
Problem-Based Instruction– In problem based instruction, learning is organized around questions / problems and solution is grasped through analytical investigation of problem. The focus is not so much on what students are doing (i.e., their behavior-like direct instruction) but on what they are thinking (i.e., their cognition) while they are doing it. Problem-Based instruction is generally a group activity. In problem based learning, teacher is dominantly facilitator. It is an extension of direct instruction method.
Discussion Method– In discussion method, knowledge is constructed and planted through discussion. Discussion is either between teacher and class or among students. It develops communicative skills of students. At the end, the outcome of whole discussion is summed up through briefing or essay writing. Discussion method can be applied in all types of knowledge; however, it best suits to conceptual and declarative knowledge. The vital aspect of discussion method is usage of creative brainstorming. In discussion method, novel concepts are constructed. It is an extension of concept teaching method.
The desirability and effectiveness of each teaching model depends on the type of knowledge, understanding level of students, motivational vigor and execution strength of participants, material resources and available time. These models are designed to guide educator for effective teaching. However, they should not be viewed as recipes or commands to follow. The keys to success are practical wisdom, sincerity, desire & strive for excellence. In nutshell, an effective teaching method is based on three techniques – economy, power, and fun. Using economy means being very careful about the amount of information presented/shared at anyone time because too much information may hamper student learning; it also means providing concise summaries of key ideas several times during the teaching process. Using power means to adopt assertiveness towards facts. A powerful teaching is one in which information is given in straightforward, simple and logical way. Vagueness occurs when teachers do not sufficiently understand the subjects they are teaching or when they lack sufficient examples. Using fun means to transmit knowledge/skill in a most motivational way. The motivational approach converts the learning experience into an enjoyment. A fun-oriented teaching creates excitement among students. The triangular approach encompasses the students’ learning capacity and enriches them with convergent knowledge.