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TEACHING DEFINED

A number of writers and experts have tried to define the concept of teaching. A few important definitions are noted and explained below:

1. View of Yoakam and Simpson:

Yokam and Simpson have contributed a lot to the methodology of teaching. According to them: “Teaching is the means where by the experienced members of the group guide the immature and infant members in their adjustment of life.”

Explanation:

In the above definition, the key words are ‘guide’ and ‘adjustment. So, the act of teaching involves the acts of guidance and ‘adjustment. Guidance is to be provided by the mature and experienced persons to the immature and inexperienced ones to help in the adjustment of the latter. This is the essence of teaching and education.

2. View of B.O. Smith:

According to B.O. Smith, “Teaching is a system of actions intended to produce learning.”

Explanation:

The definition given by B.O. Smith is quite simple. It is the intention of the teacher to cause children learn. This involves, “an agent, an end in view, and a situation including two sets of factors-those over which the agent has no control (class size, size of classroom, physical characteristics of pupils etc.) and those that he can modify (ways of asking questions about instruction and ways of structuring information or ideas gleaned).

3. H.C. Morrison’s View:

H.C. Morrison is of the view that, “Teaching is an intimate contact between a more mature personality and a less mature one, which is designed for the education of the latter.”

Explanation:

Morrison’s view somewhat tallies with that of Yoakman and Simpson. The teacher who is at the giving end, has a mature and experienced personality. He, by virtue of his status, can influence the personality of a less mature one who comes into his contact. It is as a result of this contact that the pupil attains progress in his education. But care should be taken that the teacher does not render less mature individuals just imitators and blind followers.

4. Clarke’s View:

Clark gives a simple view of ‘teaching’. According to him, teaching refers to “activities that are designed and performed to produce change in behavior.”

5. View of Edmund Amidon:

Amidon defines teaching as “as interactive process, primarily class-room talk which takes place between teacher and pupil and occurs during certain definable activities.”

Explanation:

Amidon regards teaching as in interactive process. In this sense teaching becomes a cooperative process, a matter of give and take, a two-way traffic. It is a result of this inter-action that behavior modification occurs. The teacher goes on improving his teaching skill and there is change in pupil’s behavior. However, this definition delimits the area of teaching only to the class-room talk or a few activities, which allegedly go on in the class-room.

6. Burton’s View:

“Teaching is the stimulation, guidance, direction and encouragement of learning.”

Explanation:

Burton’s view of teaching is broad-based, Under teaching, he counts direction, guidance and encouragement for learning. Teaching is also stimulation for learning. Thus he tries to connect the two loose ends, i.e. teaching and learning.

7. View of T.F. Green:

According to T.F. Green, “Teaching is the task of teacher. which is performed for the development of a child.”

Explanation:

T.F. Green’s view is too narrow. He regards teaching as a ‘task, something of ‘work load for the teacher to be performed for the development of the child. This reduces teaching to mere occupation which the teacher may perform at will and which he may continue as long as he desires.

8. View of N.L. Gage:

In the words of N.L. Gage, “Teaching is a form of inter- personal influence aimed at changing the behavior potential of another person”

Explanation:

According to Gage, teaching is a process of establishing inter-personal relationships between the teacher and the taught. In this sense, teaching becomes a cooperative act.

9. Brubacher’s View:

Brubacher regards teaching as “an arrangement and manipulation of a situation in which there are gaps and obstruction which an individual will seek to overcome and from which he will learn in the cause of doing so.”

Explanation:

In Brubacher’s concept of teaching, the pupil occupies the central position. The teacher must create conditions or situations in which the students will chose to act or remove any hurdle that comes in their way to reach the goal. This type of teaching may lead the pupils to become independent learners and problem-solving agents.

10. Hyman’s View:

While defining the concept of teaching, Hyman observes: “Teaching involves a traid of elements (the teacher, the pupil, the subject matter) and this traid is dynamic in quality.

Explanation:

According to Hyman, the real nature of teaching is not bipolar-teaching-taught relationship. In fact, it is tripolar. All the three elements-the teacher, the pupil and the subject content must be considered together to understand the interaction that takes place during teaching.

11. View of Hugh and Duncan:

“Teaching is an activity-a unique, professional, rational human activity in which one creatively and imaginatively uses himself and his knowledge to promote the learning and welfare of others.”

Explanation:

This definition is broad-based. Here, the end-product is learning and welfare of the learners. The activity (of teaching) is ‘unique’ in the sense that it is quite different from any other activity. It is ‘professional’ because it is to be performed by a professional-the teacher. It is ‘rational’ because the teacher must exercise reason to decide what is wrong and what is right for the child. And, teaching is a human activity as it best works in a sympathetic and kindly atmosphere.

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