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6.2 PRINCIPLES BASE FOR SELECTING TEACHING METHODS

Curriculum plans may either anticipate the use of one or more methods or leave the selection up to the teacher. In either event, choices need to be made. All of the methods described in the previous section have merit for accomplishing appropriate purposes; hence, all should be considered for use even by an individual teacher and certainly by a staff of teachers who will be utilizing the method during the school year. It is desirable, even necessary, to use a number of methods organizing the curriculum according to the purposes being served at a particular time for a specific group of students, so it is in the selection of teaching methods. In this section some important guides for the selection of teaching methods are presented.

1. Goals and Objectives Being Sought

The first consideration in planning instruction is the purposes for which instruction is being undertaken. The objectives postulated for a course, activity, or unit of work- formulated to contribute maximally to the general goals of the school-should be a primary factor in planning. A general goal often may be attained by a wide range of routes, that is, units of work and teaching methods, but specific objectives for instruction once determined often narrow the choices considerably.

2. Maximize Opportunities to Achieve Multiple Goals

An important consideration in planning instruction is to provide the richest opportunities feasible for achieving goals. Two facets of this aspect of selecting instructional methods are apparent any particular unit of instruction should be selected and planned so as to contribute maximally to the attainment of specified goals and corollary objectives; but, concomitant outcomes that may be realized should also be a factor in planning.

3. Student Motivation

The effectiveness of any teaching methods depends upon the degree to which learners become engaged with learning opportunities. The continued use of the same teaching methods day after day generally results in boredom on the part of the learners. Motivating learners has always been a challenge, but it is a greater challenge today because of the competition for learners’ at ention generated by the commun ons ro Tution of the last 30 years Fadiman pointed out, “There another, highly competitive educational system, opposed in almost every way to traditional schooling, that operates on the child and youth from the age of two. It takes up as much of his time as the school does, and it works on him with far greater effectiveness.” Fadiman identified the alternative educational system as a inked structure with levision at the center and including radio, comic books, films, music, sports, and the life styles that this structures, when you question them inexorably, almost always admit that their difficulties stem from the competition of the alternative life.”Selecting the “right” teaching model is not going to put this competitive “educational system” out of business. However, some methods hold greater potential for gaining student interest and getting them involved in meaningful learning experiences than do others, Compare for example, role playing, simulations, and synectics with lecture, discussion, and drill. Student interest is not the only criterion for selecting teaching methods, but it is an important one.

4. Principles of Learning

The theories and principles of learning are an important data source for curriculum planning, should be drawn upon extensively in selecting methods of teaching. Too often teachers rely on operant conditioning as the psychological base for teaching, neglecting the theories and principles enunciated by Jean Piaget, Carl Rogers, mcvicker unt, Arthur Combs, Jerome Bruner, Erik Erikson, David Ausubel, Robert Gagne, David McClelland, Robert White, and others.

In spite of all that has been written and advocated by specialists in teaching methodologists, a rather severe indictment of teaching was made by Frederick McDonald, a well-known psychologist himself, in the first annual report of the Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching

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