October 4, 2021

Why are Pedagogical Skills Important?

Importance of Pedagogical Skills

We often hear the terms 'pedagogy' and 'pedagogical skills' being used when it comes to teaching. Many say that these skills involve a lot of theory and there’s nothing practical to it. They say subject skills are more important than pedagogical skills.

Do you think so too? But have you wondered what skills make a teacher “every” student’s favourite? Does every teacher with a PhD in a subject become the most revered teacher? Let’s explore these critical questions together.

But first, let’s understand the key skills that make a teacher. There are 2 types of key skills: Subject Skills and Pedagogical Skills. ‘Subject skills’ refers to the knowledge about a subject or something that is also known as ‘Subject-matter expertise’.

On the other hand, pedagogical skills refer to the skills and techniques employed by teachers to ensure effective and thorough learning.They help us to make sure that our students can comprehend and apply their learnings in real-life situations.

Why do we need to develop pedagogical skills?

Picture this: You are taking the last class of the day. And it’s just 5 minutes before the school bell rings. At any moment, you are expecting your students to pack their bags and rush out of the classroom. But when the bell rings, instead, all the kids are still glued to their desks.

Why?

They are mesmerised listening to their favourite teacher, which is you! They are fully alert and enjoying the lesson! Are you surprised? This can be your classroom. Every day! Are you wondering how is that even possible?

Suraasa’s
team had the opportunity to talk to thousands of such successful teachers and find out what they do differently. And the research revealed that they have one thing in common:
Their ability to extra-ordinarily orchestrate a classroom.

Refined pedagogical skills help you create a meaningful and engaging classroom experience, both in offline and online classrooms. Let's explore in detail.

Pedagogical Skills Help Teachers to...

Create a Healthy Learning Environment

A good teacher nourishes creative minds with a rich learning experience while nudging them towards growth.

For example - When teaching the concept of percentage, instead of focusing on making students learn the formula directly, teachers should pay attention to reasons for calculating percentages. This will help students to develop a habit of applying the concept of percentage without having to look for the percentage in a question.

However, it is essential to understand that a learning environment constitutes not just intellectual but also social, physical, and emotional aspects for a child's overall development.

To achieve a safe learning and collaborative space for all the children in a classroom, an educator must establish some fundamentals in every child. For instance, a child must be mentored on how to treat other children nicely, how to talk with one another, how to manage some basic emotions within, how to respect their physical space, etc.

Ensure Effective Communication

What differentiates a great mentor from a good one is the art of communication. One can have subject-matter expertise, but if one can’t communicate knowledge to others effectively, it is difficult to achieve the expected learning outcomes.

Effective communication techniques allow us to transform one-sided lectures into two-sided classroom interactions, pushing students to think on their feet. When it comes down to it, we are taking care of future leaders of the world, not robots!

For example, Introducing a topic in the classroom and allowing the students some room for discussion leads them to form individual opinions, therefore, breaking away from a herd mentality. This plays a key role in students’ personality development.

Enable Professional Growth

As you must have understood by now, just like any other profession, there are certain desirable skills that the teacher must possess.

Having the right pedagogy skills helps a teacher do better in the classroom, making them "one" of the favourite teachers of the students, a sought-after peer, and a top performer in the department or the school.

For example, many Suraasa learners who sharpened their pedagogy skills with Suraasa’s teaching qualifications got multiple job offers, promotions, and awards.

Establish Holistic Assessment Processes

Here’s a short story: there was a cheetah, a monkey, and a duck competing in a race, and the duck won! Such a nice ending to the story, isn’t it?

But how did the duck win? What’s the story behind it? Aren’t you curious to know the details of the race?

Well, we were, and this is exactly when we realized how important it is for students to know the logic behind the concepts that they’re being taught.

How did we come to this conclusion?

Well, the pedagogical skills that we’ve been talking about for so long enable us to understand our students and their specific learning needs.

We can leverage that understanding to create assessments that empower the students to discover new skills and enhance the existing ones.

For instance, rather than giving rote-based and formulaic assessments, we can use pedagogical techniques to create conceptual assessments with practical applications. This teaches students to work in larger groups, do research, and use the findings to solve the problem-in-hand.

These approaches work on two levels:

  1. By helping them to realize their potential.
  2. By giving them a chance to widen their horizons, letting go of traditional ways of thinking.

If Steve Jobs had stuck to the old ways of thinking and not experimented with different ideas, Apple would just be a fruit.

Support Personal Development

Pedagogical skills help you to evaluate yourself continuously. Reflecting on the impact of what you taught in the classroom helps you figure out what works and what doesn't.

Ultimately, this leads you to perform better in the classroom and achieve the desired learning outcomes. After all, the satisfaction of an excellently done job is extremely rewarding. It will give you time to relax.

Enjoying Netflix with your favourite food feels sweeter after a fulfilling day, doesn’t it?

Novel Needs Induced by Covid-19

The pandemic caught us all by surprise, and we saw teachers struggling with the transition to the online teaching environment.

To be able to engage the new generation’s interest, it is essential to understand their psyche. Teachers need to develop new ways of capturing their interest, keeping in mind their screen consumption time and short attention span. Pedagogical skills help us in adapting to these new technological changes and keep up with the changing times.

What Next?

Now that you know the importance of pedagogical skills, can you think about why the countries like Finland, Canada, and Singapore are considered to have some of the best education systems in the world?

Yes, you guessed it right! It’s because of their teachers. And what is it that all these teachers have in common? You guessed that right again! They all possess strong pedagogical skills.

So do you want to learn these skills too?

Well, Suraasa’s upskilling programmes can help you do that, and more! You can learn about them here!

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