What are the different ways you can improve teaching in schools? The primary goal every school has is to develop “learning and teaching” and providing value education to the students. When we talk about teaching in schools, the most common question that arises is, what is good teaching? Or how can schools improve teaching?
It is hard to define “effective teaching,” but it is something that can aid in the achievements of the students for valued outcomes. The present methods used to assess students, especially those who take competitive exams do not reflect the outcomes; our education system is trying to achieve.
It gets important to identify “good teaching” as it helps schools to understand how and how well the students can learn from various teaching practices/methods. Hence, let us in this article learn a few ideas schools can implement to improve teaching and help with the learning of their students. These are the ideas that can be implemented by students, teachers, schools, and parents collectively to improve learning.
Engage Students in Project-Based Learning
Schools can encourage students to think beyond their notebooks and textbooks when learning complex topics that deal with real-life issues. Be it learning about the water crisis, air pollution or the history of a place, and schools need to help students to obtain information from real sources, including online research and inputs from the experts.
Project-based learning can be demanding when compared to book-based learning, as students get to explore and learn the facts and do not memorize from just one source. Projects can last for days or weeks or schools can design projects for each term/semester. Projects presented by students can also be presented before parents or community groups as well.
Schools need to let students explore the concept of “integrated studies.” As suggested by James Burke in this popular book Connections, students can combine multiple subjects and study them together for better understanding. For example, topics from history, art and literature can be combined for study. This allows students to investigate a topic in-depth and improve their literacy skills as well. This way, teachers can expand the skills of the students beyond homework and class activities.
Share and Learn
This might sound surprising, but making students work together in teams helps them master life skills like conflict resolution, collaborating and emotional management. The teacher can assign a project to each team, where the students need to learn the subject in-depth and assist the team members as well. With the help of cooperative learning, teachers can impart both emotional and social skills in students, giving them an ideal foundation for the future.
Both parents and teachers need to expand the assessment given beyond a regular test. Instead of a common pen and paper assessment, teachers can create a profile of each student, mentioning their strengths and weaknesses. Assign them a topic that they need to research and create a project. Both teachers and parents can thus use the profile to keep a tab on the child’s academic progress. Such an assessment helps teachers to focus on the weaknesses, and help students learn from the mistakes. Schools can also conduct science competitions for high school students, where they get to showcase their projects or research works.
Teachers can also know the strengths of a student and help them reach great heights. For example, if a student is great with science or technology, they can be encouraged to be a part of a science fair in India.
Exams, on the other hand, should provide an opportunity for the children to learn and improve their grades.
One of the most important roles a teacher needs to play is a guide. A teacher needs to guide her students both intellectually and emotionally, throughout the academic year. Students, when nurtured during their learning process, feel confident, and cared for, and this shows a direct impact on their grades.
Teachers can make good use of technology and spend quality time in lectures and mentoring. Students who are weak in the subject or those who have other challenges are the most benefited from such a move.
Schools need to focus on teacher training from time to time, and conduct sessions where they get to learn from the experts. Teachers need to spend less time in educational halls learning about theory and work more in the classrooms working on the overall development of the child. Teachers also need to focus on sharpening their teaching skills from to time, and this can be done by taking courses, sharing content with other teachers, using online resources to stay updated and so on.
Schools need to understand that technology can be used to improve every aspect of the institution. Technology, when smartly used, can help in the improvement of curriculum, assignments, maintaining attendance, and overall school administration. Teachers can take help from online curriculums, which include topic wise lesion plans, projects for classroom use and more. Students too can share the work online and be more productive and creative.
Teachers can save time by maintaining the records and stay in touch with parents using emails or voicemails. Many websites have premade worksheets, practice papers and more, which can be used from time to time by teachers for classroom practice.
Schools need to restructure the time, and the facilities provided. Every school day needs to include a project that lasts for at least 45 minutes. Schools can even work on reducing the vacation time and use it for activities, development of teachers and for community use. A well-planned day in school needs to include classroom study, discussion and time for in-depth research. Such a practice can be of great help to students who wish to take part in international school competitions.
Schools, teachers, and parents need to work hand in hand to impart quality education to students. Children need to be encouraged to take part in science fairs and other activities as it helps them master the skills which are otherwise hard to learn in a closed classroom. FGSI is an organization that provides an excellent platform for students who are passionate about science and technology, enabling them to be a part of national and international science fairs. Visit www.fgsi.co.in to know more!