Long ago, famous teachers did not go to monthly seminars before they can teach. They did not prepare lesson plans every night or prepare visual aids and powerpoint presentations and sophisticated audiovisual materials to accompany their talk. Yet they were regarded as great and influential teachers of our time. Why, you want to ask. Were they simply lucky to be good at public speaking?
I’m talking about how Confucius teach, just one of the many teachers who made their names in our history not just for their teachings but for the way they reach to their audiences. All of these teachers used instructional method so that their followers can better understand and thus follow their teachings.
Confucius, in particular, used presentation (or lecture) and demonstration when he teaches. Even today, these modes of instructions are still used. Confucius believes that for his disciples and followers to understand and adopt his teachings, he must live them and be an example. Demonstration is teaching by example, and this was what Confucius did.
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He also gave lectures, as this was the commonly used instructional method even before. Lectures serve well in sharing information to the audience, relaying history, theories and backgrounds and experiences. A lecture reaches a large number of people at one time.
Although lectures are usually a one-way mode of communication, Confucius allows his followers to ask him questions. Through this answer-and-question portion, which Jesus also used when teaching, the followers can gain more insight and feedback from the teacher.
Moreover, Confucius believes that through discussion he can reach to every individual he teaches. Aside from this, he knows that each person calls for different instructional approach to learn. Due to this, he used the educational approach in leading his followers towards the good life.
Confucius, Jesus and Socrates, just to name a few, saw the importance of these methods for many reasons. Socrates believed in involving his students in a dialogue to argue a point. Jesus engaged his followers in question-and-answer sessions to give and share information. They used demonstration and presentation because they are very effective, evidenced by the many people who accepted their beliefs. These people further grasped their teachings by establishing churches and religions and keeping beliefs to honor their teachers. Just the number of their followers is enough evidence to show that they have maximized the potential of the instructional method they used.
As for me, I think demonstration and presentation are very effective, whether in a classroom or domestic setting. Parents lecture their children about many things so that they learn, and they live as examples to their children by living what they preach. Even at school, these methods prove useful because students learn by what they see from their teachers.
A survey of the most effective methods for instruction to address academic differences was conducted among teachers. The majority thinks that small group/cooperative learning is the most effective method. Modeling (demonstration) is ranked second, and question and answer, group discussion, individual instruction and lecture are ranked third.
The teachers cited reasons why they think the methods are effective. First, learners have the chance to help and learn from each other throughout. This method refers to group discussions, experiments or projects. Then, teachers provide support and provide learning in different and multiple ways. They have the opportunity to share important ideas, give feedback and remediation, and help students to be on track by reinforcing structure and organization.
Treat, Alena R., Ying Wang, Rajat Chadha and Michael Hart Dixon. (2006). Major Development in Instructional Technology: Prior to the 20th Century.
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