Strategy 1: Using Activities to Enhance Critical Thinking Skills
Strategy 2: Encouraging Discussions in the Classroom
Strategy 3: Using Collaborative Learning Activities for Problem-Solving
Strategy 4: Using Activities that Require Physical Movement
Strategy 5: Giving Innovative Assignments to Foster Creative Thinking Skills
Teaching strategies are ways in which teachers can teach the learners more effectively and help them meet the learning outcomes successfully. Five such strategies are explained here.
Mr D, an English teacher, gave all his learners a short story to read. Instead of telling them the meaning of the story, he divided them into groups and asked them to figure out the meaning on their own.
Using activities to enhance critical thinking skills is a strategy that promotes active learning. The learners take ownership of their own learning and thus work harder towards meeting the learning outcomes effectively.
Ms Q, a science teacher, made her learners sit in a circle and made them discuss global warming for the entire period. They put their points across, listened to each other carefully, and also, altered their thinking when they discovered they were wrong.
It is as important for our learners to speak as it is for them to listen. Encouraging discussions in the classroom is an effective strategy that encourages social learning. Students can be divided into groups of two or more or like the example, they can sit together and have a whole-group discussion. In addition to learning concepts, students learn how to ask and answer questions, respect other people’s points of view and express themselves clearly and respectfully.
Ms G, a mathematics teacher, handed lots of chart paper, markers, tape and other instruments to her learners. She, then, gave the entire class a critical problem to solve. Now, they had to identify the elements of the problem, divide themselves in a way that each team would solve one element of the problem.
Using collaborative learning activities is an excellent strategy for problem-solving tasks. Learners get together to solve a task. They ideate, brainstorm, bring forth ideas, reject/accept them. They learn group dynamics and along with learning the concept effectively, learn teamwork as well, which is a critical part of success as a grownup. This strategy also allows the teacher to experiment with various grouping techniques like heterogeneous, homogeneous grouping techniques, pairing, small groups, large groups or even a whole-class group.
Mr M, a social studies teacher, was about to teach a lesson on landforms in geography. He wrote the features of each of the landforms on separate chart papers and stuck them on different walls in the classroom. Then, he divided the class into groups and made each group read about each landform, ensuring that the class moved about the classroom.
The strategy of using activities involving physical movement involves the cognitivist perspective. This kind of movement leads to whole-body learning. This prevents the learners from sitting in one place which can hinder learning.
Ms N, an environmental sciences teacher, gave her learners an assignment on energy conservation. She left it up to them on how they wanted to present their assignments but they were not allowed to write it in their notebooks.
Giving innovative assignments is a very effective strategy to foster creativity in our learners. Since the choice is given to them, they are better engaged and involved in meeting the learning outcomes.
Please note that all of these strategies are learner-centred strategies where the teacher acts as a facilitator. There are teacher-centred strategies as well, and many other strategies that can be explored.
To explore the topic further, feel free to check out our course on Learning Theories and Teaching Strategies
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