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Maxims of teaching

Every teacher wants to make maximum involvement and participation of the learners in
the learning process. He sets the classroom in such a way so that it becomes attractive for them.
He uses different methods, rules, principles etc in order to make his lesson effective and
purposeful. He uses general rule or formula and applies it to particular example in order to make
teaching – learning process easy and upto the understandable level of students.
The different maxims of teaching are briefly explained below. The teacher should always
proceed keeping them in view.

1. From known to unknown:-

When a child enters into school, he possesses some knowledge and it is the duty of
teacher to enlarge his previous knowledge. Whatever he possesses should be linked with the new
knowledge. If we link new knowledge with the old knowledge our teaching becomes clearer and
more definite.

2. from simple to complex:-

The main objective of teaching is to teacher and the learners’ objective is to learn
something. In this process of teaching and learning, simple or easy things should be first
presented to the students and gradually he should proceed towards complex or difficult things.
The presentation of simple material makes the learners interested, confident and feel encouraged.
As they will show interest towards the simple material, they becomes receptive to the complex
matter. On the other hand, if complex matter is presented first, the learner becomes upset, feel
bored and finds himself in a challenging situation. For example in mathematics we first present
the idea of +, - , x and then division.

When the child gets admitted to 9th and 10th class we introduce algebra, geometry etc.
As he proceeds further he becomes familiar with the complex material like matrices, integration,
differentiation etc. In this way a learner shows interest by proceeding from simple mathematics
to complex one. But if we reverse the situation, he will find himself in a challenging situation
and will left his studies due to complexity of matter. Simplicity or complexity of the subject
matter should be determined according to the view point of the learners. It makes learning
convenient and interesting for the students.

3. From concrete to abstract:-

Concrete things are solid things and they can be visualized but abstract things are only
imaginative things. The child understands more easily when taught through their senses and
never forget that material. On the other hand if abstract things or ideas are presented, they forget
it soon. As Froebel said, “Our lessons ought to start in the concrete and end in the abstract”. For
example when we teach the solar system, we first visualize the sun through our senses and gives
the concept of eight planets, galaxies, meteorites etc. Through this process, the learners
understand the materials more easily. Some power of imagination also develops in them .But if
we reverse the situation, it will become difficult for learners to understand anything. Another
example, when we teach counting to the students we should first take the help of concrete objects
like beads, stones etc. and then proceed to digits and numbers.
4. From analysis to synthesis:-
When we divide a thing into easy parts or separate elements in order to understand it
easily is called analysis. It is the process which helps in understanding the hidden elements of a
thing or the cause of some incident or behavior. For instance, in order to tell about the structure
or functions of heart, the parts of the heart are shown separately and knowledge of every part is
given. After it the students are made to understand the structure or system of working of the
heart. In this way, even a very difficult thing can be easily understood. Synthesis is just opposite
of analysis. All parts are shown as a whole. The process of analysis is easier than synthesis for
understanding a thing. This process develops the analytical power of the students. It is the best
method of starting the teaching process.For example while teaching digestive system, we should
first analyse the different parts of digestive system one by one and then gives the synthetic view
of it. Hence a good teacher always proceeds from analysis to synthesis.

5. From particular to general:-

A teacher should always proceed from particular to general statements. General facts,
principles and ideas are difficult to understand and hence the teacher should always first present
particular things and then lead to general things. Suppose the teacher is teaching continuous
tense while teaching English, he should first of all give few examples and then on the basis of
those make them generalize that this tense is used to denote an action that is going on at the time
of speaking. Hence a teacher should proceed from particular to general.

6. From empirical to rational:-

Empirical knowledge is that which is based on observation and firsth and experience
about which no reasoning is needed at all. It is concrete, particular and simple. We can feel and
experience it. On the other hand rational knowledge is based upon arguments and explanations.
For example suppose the students are to be taught that water boils on heating. They should first
be made to heat the water and see it boiling. Then the teacher should explain that when water is
heated, the molecules gain kinetic energy and there is thermal agitation of the molecules which
make the water boil. This maxim is an extension of some of the previous maxims, namely
proceed from simple to complex proceed from concrete to abstract and from particular
to general.

7. From induction to deduction:-

The process of deriving general laws, rules or formulae from particular examples is called
induction. In it if a statement is true in a special situation, it will also be true in other similar
situations. It means drawing a conclusion from set of examples. For example when hydrogen
reacts with boron, it gives Boron hydride, potassium reacts hydrogen, it gives potassium hydride,
we come to the conclusion that all elements when reacts with hydrogen they from hydrides.
While using this process in teaching, a teacher has to present particular examples or experiences
and tell about similarity of their attributes. Deduction is just opposite of induction. In it, we
derive a certain particular conclusion from general laws, rules or principles. For example in
language teaching, before giving the definition of noun, the students are acquainted with the
example of noun like man, chair, Delhi etc and then they are led to general definition of noun. So
a good teacher always proceeds from induction and finishes at deduction.
8. From psychological to logical:-
Modern education gives more emphases on psychology of the child. The child`s
psychological development is of utmost important than any other thing. Psychological approach
takes into consideration the pupil his interests, abilities, aptitudes, development level, needs and
reactions. The teacher should keep in mind the psychological selection of the subject matter to be
presented before the pupils. Logical approach considers the arrangement of the chosen content
into logical order and steps. It is child centered maximum. For example a teacher tells the story
of a poem to students when they are not interested in reading, with this a teacher proceeds from
psychological to logical sequence.

9. From Actual to Representative:

First hand experiences makes learning more vivid and efficient than to give them
representative ones. A teacher while selecting the content for presentation should make all efforts
possible to present it through actual, natural or real objects than from their improvised
representative one’s like pictures, models etc. For example to teach about ‘Minar-e-Pakistan, a
teacher should try his best to visit the actual place and that learning will be more vivid and the
pupils will retain it for a long time inspite of teaching through sketches, model or a picture.
Representative forms should be used at the higher classes than in lower classes.

10. From Whole to Parts:

This maxim is the offshoot of gestalt theory of learning whose main emphasis was to
perceive things or objects as whole and not in the form of parts. Whole is more understandable,
motivating and effective than the parts. In teaching, the teacher should first give a synoptic view
of lesson and then analyze it into different parts. For example the teacher while teaching the
pollination in plants, he should first take the flower then analyze it into different parts and give
detailed information about each and every part like the sepals, petals, androceium, gynoceium
etc. In this way, maximum learning is possible. It is actually the reverse of the maxim “analyses
to synthesis”.

Methods of Teaching
A teaching method comprises the principles and methods used by teachers to enable student
learning. These strategies are determined partly on subject matter to be taught and partly by the
nature of the learner. ... It is the primary role of teachers to pass knowledge and information
onto their students.


A lecture is an oral presentation of information by the teacher. It is the method of

relaying factual information which includes principles, concepts, ideas and all THEORETICAL
KNOWLEDGE about a given topic. In a lecture the teacher tells, explains, describes or relates
whatever information the students are required to learn through listening and understanding. It is
therefore teacher-centred. The teacher is very active, doing all the talking. students on the other
hand are very inactive, doing all the listening. Despite the popularity of lectures, the lack of
active involvement of students limits its usefulness as a method of instruction.
The lecture method of instruction is recommended for students with very little knowledge
or limited background knowledge on the topic. It is also useful for presenting an organized body
of new information to the learner. To be effective in promoting learning, the lecture must involve
some discussions and, question and answer period to allow trainees to be involved actively.

Advantages of Lecture Method

Following are the advantages of this teaching strategy

1. It is economical with regard to time

2. It helps in developing habit of concentration among the students.
3. It helps in achieving even high order cognitive objectives (i.e. application, analysis,
synthesis and emulation)
4. It is also flexible and teacher may use different types of teaching material at one time.
5. New subject matter can easily be introduced.
6. A good teacher can use his full knowledge and verbal communication skills while teaching
to students.
Disadvantages of Lecture Method
1. As learners are passive listeners, lecture fails to draw attention of the learners for a long
2. It creates boredom to the learners and thus results in unfruitful teaching
3. More emphasis on presentation rather than the participation of the learner
4. Individual differences are not taken into consideration
5. It cannot be used for achieving higher affective objective psychomotor objectives
6. It does not have a rigid out line of teaching, so, a teacher may deviate from teaching points
7. Teachers do not take pains in planning the teaching before hand and therefore, they are not
able to communicate the content so effectively.

Demonstration Method of Teaching

Demonstration method of teaching is a traditional classroom strategy used in
technical and training colleges and in teacher education.
Focus, Structure and Principles
Demonstration Strategy focus to achieve psychomotor and cognitive objectives. If we talk
about its structure, it is given in three successive steps:

1. Introduction: In this step objectives of the lesson are stated. The teacher may be called
demonstrator. He demonstrates the activity before the student that is to be developed.
2. Development. Students try to initiate the demonstrated activity. If there is any query the
teacher tries to satisfy them by further demonstration and illustrations.
3. Integration. At this step, the teacher integrates all the activities and then these activities
are rehearsed revised and evaluated.
This teaching strategy is based on the following principles
1.Learning by doing maxim is followed
2.Skills can be developed by limitation
3.The perception helps in imitation
This strategy is applied mainly in technical or training institutes. In teacher education
programs it is used to develop skills in the student teacher. At school level, a teacher applies it in
teaching science, biology, nature study arts and crafts.

Advantages of Demonstration Method

1. It helps in involving various sense to make learning permanent
2. Though, teacher behavior is autocratic, he invites the cooperation of pupils in teaching
learning process
3. It develops interest in the learners and motivates them for their active participation
4. It helps in achieving psychomotor objectives
5. Any simple or complex sill becomes easy to understand

Disadvantages of Demonstration Method

1. It can be used only for skills subjects
2. Only the attention of the learners is invited towards the activity demonstrated. They are
not free to discuss about it
3. Due to poor economic conditions of the government schools, there is scarcity of audio-
visual aids and equipment and the teachers are not so creative to produce
handmade models for demonstration
4. There is a general lack of sincerity and diligence among teachers who wish to complete
the syllabus or syllabi at the earliest without putting sincere efforts

Heuristic Method
The word `Heuristic` means to discover. In this method, the teacher sets a problem for the
students and then ask them to discover the answer. Students find out the solution by experiments,
group discussions, or any other means. A problem is placed before the learners and they are
asked to find the solution of the problem through various literacy means, like library, laboratory,
and workshops etc. Teacher’s role is to initiate the learning and pupils are active throughout the
learning process. By using their creative thinking and imaginative power, they try to find out the
relevant solutions based on some logic. They learn by self-experience. This teaching strategy is
focused on:

1. To develop problem solving attitude

2. To develop scientific attitudes towards the problem
3. To develop power of self-expression
It basic principles are:

1. To each as little as possible at one time

2. To encourage learner to learn himself as much as possible

Advantages of Heuristic Teaching Method

Following are the advantages of this Heuristic teaching strategy

1. It helps in achieving cognitive, affective and psychomotor objectives i.e. it helps in all
round development of the child.
2. Students are put into the situation to learn by self-experience. It certainly develops self-
confidence and self-reliance in the learners.
3. It helps in developing scientific attitude and creativity in the learners.
4. Teacher encourages the learners to explore the environment in search of the solution of
the problems. By doing so, some new knowledge is discovered by them.
5. Teacher is always ready to provide individual guidance regarding the solution of the
problem. Thus interaction between the teacher and the learner takes place in a
cooperative, conducive environment.
Disadvantages of Heuristic Teaching Method
1. It cannot be used at primary level of education
2. Higher intelligence and divergent thinking is required in the learners. But, there are some
students who are below average and fail to succeed in discovering the solutions of the
problems. It frustrates them.
3. In true sense, none of the teachers have patience for providing individual guidance to the
learners. And learners, too, feel hesitation to approach the teacher for seeking his help.


Definition and basic concepts

Microteaching is a teacher training technique for learning teaching skills. It employs real
teaching situation for developing skills and helps to get deeper knowledge regarding the art of
teaching. This Stanford technique involved the steps of “plan, teach, observe, re-plan, re-teach
and re-observe” and has evolved as the core component in 91% of on-campus clinical teaching
development programs, with the significant reduction in the teaching complexities with respect
to number of students in a class, scope of content, and timeframe, etc. Most of the pre-service
teacher education programs widely use microteaching, and it is a proven method to attain gross
improvement in the instructional experiences. Effective student teaching should be the prime
quality of a teacher. As an innovative method of equipping teachers to be effective, skills and
practices of microteaching have been implemented.
Efficient technique and effective teaching
Microteaching can be practiced with a very small lesson or a single concept and a less
number of students. It scales down the complexities of real teaching, as immediate feedback can
be sought after each practice session. The modern-day multimedia equipment such as audio–
video recording devices have a key role in the learning process.

Observing a fellow teacher and using a trial-and-error in own teaching sessions are very common
way of self-training. But, both of them have their own demerits. On the other hand,
microteaching helps in eliminating errors and builds stronger teaching skills for the beginners
and senior teachers. Micro teaching increases the self-confidence, improves the in-class teaching
performances, and develops the classroom management skills

Team Teaching

As the name suggests it is a group of teachers, working as a team and teaching. The team
can range from 2 to 5 teachers who will teach the same group of students.

The different type of teaching may include- Teaching a same group at the same time,
shared teaching as per the area of expertise or teaching different subgroup within a large group of

Advantages of Team Teaching in Education:

1. Low cost:

One can get an efficient form of learning at very low cost; as such no new resources are
required to start team teaching.

2. Support to teachers:

Many a time, teachers are overburdened with the fact that they have to complete the
curriculum by the end of the term, even if they have creative ideas to teach students they do not
have enough time to plan and impart the same to the students.
Moreover it can also happen that teachers have ideas but need guidance to develop the
skill and impart the same to the students.Team teaching eliminates such problems and other
problems of similar kind. When teachers collaborate they could play on their strengths and
weaknesses and together as a team can make a successful way to teach and learn.

3. Closer integration of staff:

Very often teachers in schools and colleges lack bonding and friendship among
themselves. Even worse a competitive environment is seen among the teachers.

The main motive of educational institutes is to impart value to students and work as a
whole for being efficient knowledge importers. Envy or competition among teachers can have
negative impact on the Institute and on the student’s mind.

With team teaching, teachers are bound to bond, as frequent discussions and planning
make them develop a good relation. A happy staff can effectively inculcate the vision of Institute

4. Variety of ideas:

When teachers come together their teaching style, ideas and expertise come together, if
planned perfectly, the mixture of best ideas and styles will put forth many ways out of a single
topic. It thus helps in better learning

5. Better involvement of students:

A new method is always appealing; students might wonder what new thing they are going
to learn. A team of teacher will have various ways and ideas to put forth, which make the
students, put on their thinking cap and question ‘why’ for all things. They will come up with
various questions, queries and ideas. A dynamic discussion session will increase student’s
involvement and thus helps in bringing out the best in students
6. Mental simulation to students:

In traditional lecture only one teacher is teaching, the ideas, thoughts are only one way.
Often students are forced to accept whatever taught and they do not bother to think the other way
around. Team teaching helps them question the theories and facts. When the students are totally
involved it brings out the creativity and the habit of questioning things.

7. Breaks traditional lecture boredom:

Let’s be very honest, in lectures we are often distracted, either chatting with our friends,
or checking our phones. Or maybe jotting down notes, in all the mentioned cases we are giving
divided attention.

An interactive session, debates, help of visual aids and the like evokes interests among students.
Team teaching exactly does that.

8. Better bonding between student and teacher:

Humans bond when they interact, it is as simple as that. The bonding is increased when
teachers often ask questions and listens to what students have to say. People when heard and
appreciated will ultimately be more engaged.

9. Provokes participation / interaction:

Teachers will often find students who rarely participate in any activity and are aloof,
mostly students with shy personality will not speak much in class. But during team teaching
variety of ideas are put forth.

A perfectly planned lecture will provoke even the most notorious and most aloof people
to be engaged. Team teaching helps teachers deal with students of all personalities well and get
better engagement
10. Imparts the lesson of team management:

When students see the way teachers work in team, they indirectly get the lesson of team
management and importance of working in a team. Everyone in their career will need to work in

Students get to see how teachers capitalize on each of their strengths how they respect
each other’s ideas and how as a whole they put the best picture forward. Indirectly, team
teaching is helping reduce the extra lecture of team management.

11. Develops interpersonal skills and logic of students:

Students’ interaction and logic is improved drastically as they learn to question things
and learn how to communicate their ideas effectively. While in case of a debate, students get to
learn how to respect the contradicting ideas, accept them and also tell their own thoughts in

12. Teachers can give individual attention:

When a teacher is teaching solely, he or she cannot give attention to the students who has
problem learning. The main focus is to make the whole group of student understand at a same
time. But we all know that all students are different and everyone has their own learning pace.

In team teaching if one teacher is speaking the other one can solve the queries student raises,
without disturbing the whole class.

13. Staff development:

There is no limit to learn, provided if one wishes to, team teaching gives teachers an
opportunity to learn and grow themselves.
Teachers also get a chance to brush up their skills, work up to their fullest potential and along
with that their creativity, motivation and team management skills get a solid boast too.

14. Long term knowledge retention:

With a dynamic and interactive session students are engaged and they learn better. The
knowledge retention is much higher than the traditional learning approach

Disadvantages of Team Teaching:

1. Acceptance of change by teachers:

Let’s face it, we humans dislike change, Teachers may not accept the idea of team
teaching, they are often rigid and want to stick to the traditional teaching techniques. The idea
that they will have to put extra effort and work hard makes them reluctant.

Team teaching can only be effective if teachers are willing and happy to involve in the
new form of teaching. A forced approach is bound to fail.

While traditional teaching has been an attempted and-tried technique, likewise it has
disadvantages of traditional teaching, especially nowadays the innovation has improved
adapting, more fun and intelligent.

2. Rigidity in teachers:

Apart from accepting the change in form of teaching, teachers often have rigidity to
accept and adjust with other teachers, while working in a team we have to accept others idea and
drop ours. Teachers should not have ego and should handle criticism openly.
3. Bad team management:

Internal coordination and good team tempo is extremely important, internal conflict may
result to a complete failure.

4. Personality conflict:

People with contradicting personality must devise a way to work together effectively. A
dominating person, will overpower other people, a collaborative approach will help everyone
grow and devise effective process of team teaching.

5. Inability to complete curriculum:

While devising creative curriculum & engaging students in interactive session, the
curriculum may fall behind.

Though creative teaching is necessary, it is also important for completing the course
syllabus. This is one of the major challenges faced during team teaching.

6. Time for coordination and planning:

Teachers have to take out time from their busy schedules and sit together to devise the
lecture flow and activities that has to be carried out. Many a times you could find them juggling
through their own work and the time required for planning out the course

7. Hard to keep track:

The sessions at times can get super interactive and teachers will forget the link. The
teachers have shared responsibility and have an individual role to play. If any one of the teacher
is absent for some reason then the whole session will be jeopardized.
8. Takes time to develop:

Teachers will have to refer many books and talk to several veteran teachers for designing
effective teaching plan.

It will also involve deep research and planning out activities which will be appealing to
students. Thus it takes lots of time and efforts before even starting a session.

9. Going overboard:

While being creative and lining up to many activities, it could get way beyond the
required amount. A little simulation to students brain will bring the best in them , but if it gets
too much they will find it too hard to comprehend. One needs to find the right amount.

10. Resistance from students:

Since childhood, students get used to the traditional form of teaching, they like the
structure and the repetitiveness of the lectures. Most probably they have devised their own ways
to make it work, a sudden change in the style of teaching will make them confused and they
might resist the change. Some Students like the basic lecture and then they do their self study to
learn in deep about it. You could find students coming up with specific problems that they find
difficult. Teaching them everything in detail and inculcating activity, debate or different methods
to teach a same topic may make them feel that their time is getting wasted.

11. Takes time to develop:

This new teaching style is fresh to students as well as teachers. Teachers would not have
perfect coordination at the first go, they will have to do many trails for reaching a most effective
format. There can be overlap of ideas among teachers or they could not impart whatever they
thought of. It could also happen that they overestimated or underestimated the time required to
complete the planned tasks. If one of the teacher finds it to difficult to carry out and opts out of it
then the whole team will be disrupted.
12. Expectation of higher compensation:

If we compare the efforts required for teaching solely with the efforts required to teach in
a team, then the later one is undoubtedly much harder and would require deep study, time and
planning. Thus teachers may demand higher salary. It could ultimately bring financial pressure
on the educational institute.

Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)

A self-learning technique, usually offline/online, involving interaction of the student with
programmed instructional materials. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is an interactive
instructional technique whereby a computer is used to present the instructional material and monitor
the learning that takes place. CAI uses a combination of text, graphics, sound and video in
enhancing the learning process. The computer has many purposes in the classroom, and it can be
utilized to help a student in all areas of the curriculum. CAI refers to the use of the computer as a
tool to facilitate and improve instruction. CAI programs use tutorials, drill and practice, simulation,
and problem solving approaches to present topics, and they test the student's understanding.

Typical CAI provides

1. text or multimedia content
2. multiple-choice questions
3. problems
4. immediate feedback
5. notes on incorrect responses
6. summarizes students' performance
7. exercises for practice
8. Worksheets and tests.

Types of Computer Assisted Instruction

1. Drill-and-practice Drill and practice provide opportunities or students to repeatedly practice the
skills that have previously been presented and that further practice is necessary for mastery.
2. Tutorial Tutorial activity includes both the presentation of information and its extension into
different forms of work, including drill and practice, games and simulation.
3. Games Game software often creates a contest to achieve the highest score and either beat
others or beat the computer.
4. Simulation Simulation software can provide an approximation of reality that does not require the
expense of real life or its risks.
5. Discovery Discovery approach provides a large database of information specific to a course or
content area and challenges the learner to analyze, compare, infer and evaluate based on their
explorations of the data.
6. Problem Solving This approach helps children develop specific problem solving skills and

Advantages of CAI
• one-to-one interaction
• great motivator
• freedom to experiment with different options
• instantaneous response/immediate feedback to the answers elicited
• Self pacing - allow students to proceed at their own pace
• Helps teacher can devote more time to individual students
• Privacy helps the shy and slow learner to learns
• Individual attention
• learn more and more rapidly
• multimedia helps to understand difficult concepts through multi sensory approach
• self directed learning – students can decide when, where, and what to learn

Limitations of CAI

• may feel overwhelmed by the information and resources available

• over use of multimedia may divert the attention from the content
• learning becomes too mechanical
• non availability of good CAI packages
• lack of infrastructure

Project Method of Teaching

Project method of teaching has evolved from the philosophy of programatists. It is experience-
centered strategy related to life-situation. This teaching strategy focus on
1. To socialize a child
2. To achieve cognitive, affective and psychomotor objectives
This teaching strategy is based on the following principles

1. Principle of Utility. Choose those projects which are closer to the social life.
2. Principle of readiness. Involve the learners in finding the solution of the problem with
their active participation.
3. Learning by Doing. Learner performs certain tasks and experiences new things. This adds
to his knowledge and results in learning.
4. Socialization. It develops the feeling of cooperation and group work.
5. Inter-disciplinary Approach. To involve the knowledge of different subjects in solving the
social problems.
Types of Project Method of Teaching
According to Kilpatric, “A project is a whole-hearted purposeful activity proceeding in a social
environment. Kilpatric has classified the project method in four types.

1. Constructive. When learners have to construct some things related to social life. e.g.
charts, models, maps, parcels etc.
2. Artistic. These projects are generally allotted in the aesthetic fields of life. e.g. in music,
drawing, painting art and culture.
3. Problem-Solving. These projects are given to solve the problems related to any life-
situation or related to any subject e.g. how to operate bank accounts? Or how to send an
email or letter. These general problems if solved, will make a child efficient for social-life.
4. Group-Work. A team of students is assigned a work to be performed. e.g. to develop a
garden in the school.
There are four basic elements of this teaching strategy which make it purposeful 1. Spontaneity,
Purpose, Significance, and Interest or Motivation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Project method of Teaching

1. It helps in developing social norms and social values among the learners.
2. It provides invaluable opportunities for correlation of various elements of the subject
matter and for transfer of training or learning.
3. It helps in growing knowledge very effectively as a results of their close cooperation on
social participation in the spirit of democracy.
1. The project cannot be planned for all subjects and whole subject matter cannot be taught
by this strategy.
2. It is not economical from the point of view of time and cost.
3. It is very difficult for a teacher to plan or to execute the projects to the learners and
supervise them.