The term ‘Teaching methodology’ refers to the general principles, pedagogy and management strategies that a teacher uses in classroom instruction. The choice of teaching method depends on what fits the school’s vision — the educational philosophy, classroom demographic, subject area(s) and school mission statement. Teaching theories primarily fall into two categories or “approaches” — teacher-centred and student-centred.
Teacher-centred approach refers to ‘old school’ methods of teaching, where a student is the receptacle for a mostly one-way transmission of knowledge; whereas student-centred teaching presents teachers as facilitators, and students playing an active and participatory role in their own learning process. This methodology is based on inquiry-based learning, which focuses on student investigation and hands-on learning. The teacher’s primary role is that of providing guidance and support for students during the learning process.
In a student-centred environment, teachers and students play an equally active role in the learning process and in overall comprehension of material. Young minds need to become problem solvers and should be able to interact with any subject in critical and innovative ways; therefore they must acquire and employ strategies for accessing, processing, applying, synthesizing and evaluating content. Though, factual knowledge is in abundance and freely available, the ability to process and apply this knowledge effectively and wisely is now critical.
Teachers at, NIS, being student centric and holistic in their approach, are keenly attuned to the development of the children’s minds. They understand how children think and try to see situations from the children’s eyes thus constantly recognising the kind of guidance they need at that particular stage.
The teaching that is imparted to the student is also very relevant to the world they live in. They cannot study Maths concepts as if these were removed from the realm of daily life, hence, for example, when children learn measurements, they might lie down to mark the extent of their own height, then walk this length and measure the number of feet they have counted. Thus realising how many feet their height contains. Or a teacher teaching prepositions in English might bring these into their routine experience by wrapping up the day with a list of instructions that include checking ‘over the table, under the table and then into the bag’ not only ensuring that children will physically see the usage of prepositions but also making sure that these children will forever retain a life lesson in taking care of belongings at the end of a day.
Study hence becomes part of life. It ceases to be boring or disconnected and begins to take on real-life implications. Children realise that Maths is something they need day to day and not just something that must be solved in exam papers,
Our teachers employ a variety of teaching strategies in the classroom and are trained to listen to the voice of the learner and bring out the best in each child. This is achieved through group work and whole-class instruction, which can be very active if it involves open discussion, interactions and learners responding and presenting rather than the teacher constantly lecturing. There is a fundamental shift in how we approach education today; especially in international schools, where the focus is on skill-based learning.
It is no longer the case where the sole target of a teacher’s attention was the students gaining marks at the end of the year. Today, we are preparing children to become adults who can confidently set foot into the future, feeling capable of dealing with every circumstance of life.
In the very enlightening words of Jiddu Krishnamurti –
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”