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October 20, 2022
3 min read

Approaches to Discipline-Specific Teaching

Approaches to Discipline-Specific Teaching
Written By
Suraasa Team

Suraasa Team

Suraasa Team helps teachers in their career needs - mentorship, upskilling, and jobs.

Three teachers teach different subjects. Let’s see how each one of them uses a discipline-specific approach to teach their subject.

Teacher A is a mathematics teacher. For teaching addition to her learners, she gets pencils and pens to the classroom. Then, she divides the class into small groups of five and randomly distributes pens and pencils to the groups. She asks the learners to count the number of pens in the group, total number of pencils in the group and finally, the total number of pens and pencils together within each group. Her learners already know how to count and are using this information to construct the knowledge of addition. Since mathematics needs learners to master and/or revisit one concept before they move onto others, this approach turns out to be quite useful.

Teacher B is a science teacher. To teach the names of the planets in our solar system, he uses a mnemonic technique. He writes on the board one word under the other (vertically)- My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles. Then, next to each word, he writes the names of the planets. His learners laugh at first but then they remember the names of the planets in the first attempt. You know what! They are likely to remember the eight planets, in their order forever. This is because they have internalised the concept by organising the information they received.

Teacher C is a language teacher. She gives her learners a list of topics and lets them choose what they want to study and how they want to study. They discuss, reach a consensus and then they have fun while studying. Roleplays, games, and lots of fun activities are regular features of her classroom. This approach comes in handy when she wants to motivate her learners to learn new concepts.

Here’s an overview of the three approaches used by the teachers.

Approach Belief Application
Constructivism was used by Teacher A Learners construct knowledge by interpreting and adapting new information based on prior knowledge, understanding and experiences. Used for teaching progressive concepts by revisiting previous knowledge
Cognitivism was used by Teacher B Learners process and organise information which makes learning an internal phenomenon. Used for teaching subjects using multiple sensory stimuli
Humanism was used by Teacher C Everyone has an innate desire to learn in order to achieve self-actualisation. Used for motivating learners to learn new concepts


Now, these approaches can be used to teach subjects other than the three mentioned here. Also, any of the three approaches could be changed depending upon the concept being taught or the learners’ needs.

To explore the topic further, feel free to check out our course on Learning Theories and Teaching Strategies.

Written By
Suraasa Team

Suraasa Team

Suraasa Team helps teachers in their career needs - mentorship, upskilling, and jobs.

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