Effective Teaching Strategies
A number of years ago I learned a quote sometimes attributed to William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” I’m not sure who actually said those words originally, but it stuck with me. It’s a good reminder that a student who is excited about learning will learn more. Our goal, as teachers, is to foster a learning environment where that fire can take place. The ten principles outlined in Principles for Effective Pedagogy takes a look at those principles which can lead to passionate learning.
The first effective pedagogy “equips learners for life.” (Nind, 1) This should be the primary focus of all teachers. The third principle of effective pedagogy asks the teacher to “take account of what learners already know” (Nind 1). Using this while considering the fourth principle of scaffolding work well together. Figuring out what your students already know, learning about their life experiences, and finding where they experience trouble helps a successful teacher to build the right scaffolding that can keep a student moving in the right direction. The seventh principle suggests that learners should be “encouraged and helped to build relationships and communication with others.” (Nind 2) Stepping aside from the dreaded group project, I find students, as well as myself, benefit from group discussions. I think holding a Socratic discussion where the facilitator leads the student through concepts by only asking questions, not only leads the student through the process of understanding, but also demands that students find a deeper appreciation of what they are learning. A good teacher will ask questions, anticipate needs, foster discussion, and above all, light a fire.
Nind, M. & Lewthwaite, S. (2015) Principles for effective pedagogy – NCRM quick start guide. Manual. NCRM.