Principles of effective teaching may be discussed under two heads: act of good teaching essentially demands that the teacher should know the child’s mind; and he must also understand the methods he is employing for teaching. The teacher’s methods must conform to the child nature as well as the content in hand. To be successful in teaching, the teacher must understand:(i) General principles of teaching.(ii) Psychological principles of teaching.A brief discussion on the above two sets of principlesfollows here.


Successful teaching is based on certain broad principies which will be described below.

1. The principle of aim..

2. The principle of activity

3. The principle of linking with actual life

4. The principle of knowledge of entering behavior

5. The principle of planning

6. The principle of subject-mastery

7. The principle of pupil-participation

8. The principle of correlation

9. The principle of utilizing past experiences

10. The principle of suggestions

11. The principle of liberating the learner

12. The principle of repetition and exercise

13. The principle of looking ahead

The above general principles are briefly explained as under:

1. The Principle of Aim:

There should be a definite aim for every lesson. Without it even the best lesson would fail to achieve its objectives. Children do not gain much if the lesson is planned aimlessly and haphazardly. Definite aim serves as the goal for the teacher. It will make teaching more precise and definite. It renders teaching and learning interesting and effective.If the aim of the teacher is to teach appreciation of a poem, he will plan and teach differently than if his aim is to teach skill in reading poetry. This aim properly directs the teacher to the achievement of desired objectives. Moreover, the immediate objectives of a particular lesson are decided within the broader framework of the general aims of the lesson.

2. The Principle of Activity or Learning by Doing:

If the child is made active both phys and mentally, learning does not become effective only but quicker as well. Good teaching is ‘causing others to learn,’ and as such children must be made to put in efforts so as to enable them to be active participants in the learning process. Learning by doing removes the dullness of the lesson and the students do not get bored. It puts them into life situations. This may be done through working out the projects or undertaking of a tour to a historical place. Projects will involve the hand and the head.

3. The Principle of Linking with Actual Life:

Learning should be linked with life and other subjects as far as it is convenient to do so. Some subjects and topics can easily be linked up with life and environment of the child. An example will illustrate this point. While teaching ‘Interest’ in mathematics, the homely example of lending money to others. can be given; a person gave Rs. 100/- to another person and at the end of one year he got Rs. 105/- back. This excess of Rs. 5/- is known as interest and consequently the rate of interest per annum would be 5%. So good teaching requires that knowledge learnt must be essentially linked with the life of the children and if possible correlated with the other subjects which the children are studying.

4. The Principle of Knowledge of Entering Behaviour:

The main purpose of any act of teaching is to bring about. the desired changes in the behavior of the students. To achieve this end, the teacher must have knowledge of the entry behavior of the students. This knowledge is gained in terms of their prert status of academic level. This will help the teacher to e ain his content and methodology accordingly.

5. The Principle of Planning:

Good teaching is always well-planned. The problem or the topic has been well thought out carefully in advance.

6. The Principle of Subject Mastery:

Mastery, of the content of his subject is a precondition for successful teaching. Mastery of the subject content should be completed with mastery of the skill of teaching. This twin mastery will help the teacher to gain control over the class and also gain confidence in himself.

7. The Principle of Pupil Participation:

Modern teaching is not a process of just ‘pouring in’. It is a matter of give and take. The success of a lesson depends upon the degree of pupil-participation. When the lesson is in progress, the teacher must involve the students in the flow of the lesson. They should not remain passive listeners. The students should help the teacher in the attainment of the pre-decided goals.

8. The Principle of Correlation:

A successful lesson is the one in which different sub-units of the topic are correlated with each other. Besides, the lesson must be correlated with other subjects also. Successful teaching does not treat the contents as divided into different, independent compartments. It recognizes the fact that there exist some definite links among various subjects. While teaching Geography, occasional references may be made to certain historical facts or those of art and culture. A convenient line of correlated facts of different subjects may be drawn for the benefit of the subjects.

9. The Principle of Utilising Past Experience:

A successful teacher makes use of pupils’ past experiences. The previous experiences of a person are the basis of new experiences or new knowledge. In order to make his own teaching effective, a teacher should link the new knowledge of his students with their previous experiences. It will make the teaching process easy, firm, stable and safe. It will also make the teaching process purposeful, effective and long-lasting.

10. The Principle of Suggestiveness:

Good teaching is suggestive rather than authoritative. A well-conducted class-room does not live on military spirit. The teacher behave like a friend and a guide, suggesting activities, materials and modes of response. “Suggestion has the effect of provoking courteous response and inviting cooperation.”

11. The Principle of Liberating the Learner:

The ideal of good teaching is to ‘liberate the learner,’ that is, “to develop initiative, independence in thought and method of procedure, self-reliance and confidence among pupils so that eventually they will be able to attack their problems independently and work out solutions.”

12. The Principle of Repetition and Exercise:

Repetition and exercise work as fixing devices. By resorting to the principle of repetition and exercise, desired changes in pupil’s behavior can be easily ixed and made permanent. The teacher should not forget the axiom that ‘Practice makes a man perfect’. Careful revision, recapitulation and application make the teaching-learning process highly successful.

13. The Principle of Looking Ahead:

An open minded teacher is always forward looking. He is ever prepared to discover new possibilities for widening pupil’s knowledge and range of experience. While proposing any new activity the teacher necessarily takes into account the interests, attitudes, skills and habits of children. Teacher’s own experience with his previous pupils is also important in planning new activities.

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