How we uniquely experience the world, has a direct result in the way we learn things.
A teacher’s responsibility is to understand the uniqueness of this experience. The teacher then aligns their lessons to meet the needs of the different styles of learning. The most successful teaching strategy for a teacher is to cater to the learner’s style to ensure that they grasp the information correctly.
The success of teaching strategies lies in understanding that different types of learning styles can drastically impact the way a teacher teaches. Hence it becomes critical for a teacher to understand the different learning styles. Let’s briefly understand these learning styles.
The four major learners are:
Once a teacher understands the different styles of learning of learners in her class, she can group them accordingly and cater to each style with small variations in her lessons.
The 5 successful teaching strategies would include one catering to each learning style and one that could overarch all the learning styles. Let’s discuss them here.
Visualising helps in summarising the lessons taught in class. A successful teaching strategy to adopt here would be to ask a group of visual learners to recap the lessons in visual representation. This will not only help them understand the information better but also, they will be able to communicate it in an easy-to-understand manner. This teaching strategy will also help the differentiated learners in the class to visualize the lesson in a clear, simple and systematic way. Some of the visual learning tools the teacher can strategically use to successfully impart lessons are concept maps, mind maps, organisers, flow charts, Venn diagrams, videos, charts, pictures of objects, geographic maps, field trips. The list is endless, a visual learner teacher can herself come up with interesting and innovative visual tools.
2. Inquiry-Based Instruction
This teaching strategy works best with auditory learners. A group of students with an auditory style of learning should be encouraged to ask inquiry-based thought-provoking questions that inspires and makes the learners think independently. Involving learners in solving problems, discussing solutions is a successful teaching strategy that can be adopted for auditory learners. Another successful teaching strategy could be to make the learners read out the lessons aloud to the class and then try and explain the concepts.
3. DIY sessions and use of technology
Any teaching strategy which involves learners into doing an activity is sure to be a success. Would not the literature lessons be fun if some of the plays that are part of your curriculum could be enacted? The retention is better, and lessons learned from such activities are remembered well beyond the academic sessions. A math concept could easily be learnt by using educational games. Working of a solar cooker becomes a very easy concept if the learners are encouraged to make one. Technology like computers, the internet, etc can be used for interactive games and puzzles. Scrabble could be used as one of the activities for building vocabulary. Building a small pond is the best strategy that can be successfully adopted for understanding the ecosystem of the pond.
4. Traditional method
The good old successful teaching strategy involving reading and writing is best suited for some students. The reading and writing which gets done at an individual pace is very effective for the students who are deliberate learners and need more time to understand and digest information imparted to them. The successful teaching strategy adopted for such learners is to ask them to read the lesson and make notes, summarise the main points, write answers to the questions on a particular topic. Writing helps learners to go back to the notes for reference whenever they feel the need to.
The fifth and the most important teaching strategy is differentiation. Differentiation helps in motivating learners and making them confident. While differentiating, the teacher can allocate tasks based on the learner’s strengths so that all are successful in completing their tasks and no one gets left behind. This teaching strategy which facilitates the learner in choosing a career he/she wants to pursue.
A successful teaching strategy would be to give assignments to individual learners based on their proficiency so that the learners with higher capabilities can challenge themselves and the learners who are struggling, get the required support to improve themselves.
All 5 successful learning strategies listed above can cater to the learning needs of all types of learners, though some strategies are best suited for a particular learning style.
Having a mixture of learning styles leads to a successful implementation of learning in the classrooms.
What bigger success can a teacher aspire for?