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The awareness about the factors affecting teaching would help the teacher to make teaching and learning more effective.
Factor Affecting Teaching
The factors can be categorised on the following basis:
- Factors affecting teaching related to Teacher
- Factors affecting teaching related to Learner
- Factors affecting teaching related to Support Material
- Factors affecting teaching related to Instructional Facilities
- Factors affecting teaching related to Learning Environment
- Factors affecting teaching related to Institution
If the learner stands on one end of the ongoing teaching-learning process as one of the poles then the teacher act as the other pole for the desired one of the teaching-learning activities in the classroom. Hence, factors related to teacher play a significant role in the process of teaching.
The following are the factors affecting teaching related to the teacher in the teaching-learning process:
- Subject Knowledge: There is a saying that a teacher is only as good as what they know. If a teacher lacks knowledge in a subject, that dearth of understanding is passed along to the students. A teacher who knows his subjects well can only play a decisive role in leading the journey of the teaching-learning process.
- Knowledge of learners: This is a broad category that incorporates knowledge of the cognitive, social and emotional development of learners. It includes an understanding of how students learn at a given developmental level; how learning in a specific subject area typically progresses like learning progressions or trajectories; the awareness that learners have individual needs and abilities; and an understanding that instruction should be tailored to meet each learner’s needs.
- Teaching Skills: A teacher may know his subject well but for sharing, communicating and interacting various experience related to the learning of the subject, he needs specific teaching skills. The proficiency and deficiency possessed by a teacher in this regard are quite responsible for turning the teacher learning process a big success or failure.
- Friendliness and Approachability: Because it’s the teacher’s job to help students learn, they must be easy to approach. Students will have questions that can’t be answered if the teacher isn’t friendly and easy to talk to. The unapproachable, mean, arrogant, rude, teacher can’t last long. If the students think of their teacher as their enemy, they certainly won’t learn much. The best teachers are the most open, welcoming, and easy to approach. A good teacher possesses good listening skills and takes time out of their busy schedule to solve all kinds of problems for their students.
- Personality and behaviour: A teacher as a leader has to lead his students in the teaching-learning process through the magnetic influence and incredible impression left on the minds of the students on the basis of his personality traits and behaviour. He is a role model for his students. His actions, behaviour pattern and personality traits carry great meaning to his students for being imitated and brought into practice.
- Level of Adjustment and Mental health: How adjusted a teacher feels in his personal and professional life and the state and level of mental health maintained by the teacher carry much weight in influencing his teacher behaviour and teacher effectiveness needed for the effective control and management of the teaching, learning process. While a teacher possessing poor mental health and lack of adjustment in his personal and professional life may prove totally failure in the realization of teaching-learning objective, a teacher possessing good mental health and adjustment may prove an ideal image to his students and boon to the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process.
- Discipline: In a classroom, a teacher uses discipline to ensure routine is maintained, school rules are enforced, and the students are in a safe learning environment. A great teacher has effective discipline skills and can promote positive behaviours and change in the classroom. Without discipline, learning cannot be accomplished.
Both physiological and psychological factors of the learner affect learning outcomes. These can discuss as follow:
- Maturation: – Maturation is the process of development of bodily systems and co-ordination in the functioning of bodily organs and It is the physical readiness of the individual for learning. Maturation governs not only certain specific motor behaviour such as walking and talking etc., it also plays an essential role in acquiring other skills such as reading and writing. This readiness or potentially within the individual determines “what to learn” and ‘how to learn’.
- Age: – Mental abilities and potentialities develop with age, so learning efficiency increases with age up to a certain level, and after that, it tends to decrease. As children are in growing and developing age, their capacity to learn and acquire new things is greater as compared to that of the older individuals. Grown-up children have grater potential to learn than very young children.
- Motivation: – Motivation is the core of learning. It is of pivotal importance in affecting an individual’s persistence to learn. Motivation is important in at least three ways; (i) It is a condition for eliciting behaviour. In other words, it brings out appropriate behaviour to be learned, (ii) Motivation is necessary for reinforcement, which, in turn, is an essential condition for learning, i.e. motivation permits reinforcement to occur, and (iii) It increases the variability of behaviour and thus raising the probability of occurrence of correct responses. For example, curiosity and exploratory drive bring the individual into wider contact with the environment which increases the possibility of performing correct behaviour/response. Thus, motivation provides a powerful incentive for the learner to perform.
- Previous learning: –Rate of learning is partially determined by the learner’s previous learning experiences with similar or somewhat similar material. In the same or somewhat similar learned previous situation, the individual might have “learned how to learn,” it at least prepares the ground to learn and provides ease in learning in the new set-up. So, the factor or relevant previous learning is of great
- Intelligence: – Intelligence, innate mental ability is basic to the cognitive development of an individual. There is individual difference in the intellectual ability of learners. Intelligence, in terms of I.Q. score obtained on intelligence tests, is positively related to learning. Generally, children with higher I.Q. learn new material more rapidly as compared to the average I.Q. children. However, learning is not always linearly related to I.Q. One point of caution is that intelligence cannot be defined solely in terms of learning ability or the learned material by the learner.
- Mental health: – Good mental health in terms of the absence of anxiety, conflict, worry, and frustration, etc. provides the learner with a good ground to learn better. All learning, especially for the beginners, entails a certain amount of anxiety, but anxiety above certain limits hampers learning and the outcomes in terms of the learned material decreases. Thus, the teacher should take care that children must not be put in such an emotional state as may prove a hindrance in learning.
- Physical handicaps and dysfunctioning: –Malformation and malfunctioning of physical organs or some system cause great hindrance in children’s proper learning. Defects in vision, hearing, and other diseases such as epilepsy, paralysis, cardiac problems, etc. affect learning. Needless to say that poor vision, hearing defects, and physical handicaps have far-reaching psychological consequences in learning.
- Diet and nutrition: – Good diet and other nutrients are an essential part of good physical health. These are essential for developing children and for better learning. For example, 90% of the glucose taken by a person is consumed by brain cells, so naturally, poor diet lacking adequate nutrients has an adverse effect on learning.
- Attention and interest: –Both are interrelated to each other and are also a part of the motivation. Interest originates attention, and attention creates interest in the material/subject to be learned. If a child has an interest in some subject, he will pay more attention to that; and if he pays more attention, he may develop an interest in the learning of that subject.
- Goal-setting and level of aspiration: – Goal-setting and level of aspiration both related to the psychodynamics of behaviour. Goal set, high or low, by the individual, goes with the expectation of the individual to achieve. Teachers should take care that learners make a realistic view of their abilities, set the goal accordingly, and go on increasing it on its achievement.
Educationists and psychologists set the syllabi according to the physical and mental development of children; even then, the important material related factors influencing learning can be discussed as follows:
- The difficulty of the task: the material to be learned should be of appropriate difficulty level. Whereas a very easy task fails to challenge children, a very difficult task disappoints them and results in a slow rate of acquisition. The same task varies in difficulty for children of different developmental levels or capacity and previous experiences.
- Length of the task: A lengthy material poses a big problem for young learners. The longer a material the more difficult it would be to learn. The difficulty task should also be presented in small parts.
- Meaningfulness of the task: – Learning outcomes are associated with the meaningfulness of the learning material. Rapid learning occurs when children have to learn something. So, the kind of material to be learned makes a considerable difference in the rate of learning. Some tasks are hard, others are easy. The tasks that have some meaning make learning easier.
- The similarity of the task: – Tasks which have some elements similar to the previously learned material make learning quick and comfortable. As in life, it is equally applicable in teaching-learning situations.
- Organised Material: – The subject-matter should be logically organized so that we have better outcomes. The organization of learning material should be from simple to difficult, from concrete to abstract and from direct to indirect keeping in view the physical and mental development of learners, otherwise much of teacher’s efforts and learner’s energy will be wasted.
- Life learning: The task to be learned must be presented in an interrelated manner. No subject-matter should be taught in an isolated way. Most of the material from different subjects can be taught keeping in view their interrelationship. If some part of the subject- matter is related to life while teaching, its effectiveness increases, and forgetting, in that case, is minimized.
Factors Related to Methods of Teaching (Instructional Facilities) and Environment
Knowledge of methods of teaching is very essential for effective learning. For better outcomes, teachers should use the appropriate methods of teaching considering chronological age and mental development of children. However, a summary of the generally used methods is presented below:
- Distribution of practice: – It is also called a method of masses V/s spaced practice. Learning depends upon the rate at which the individual practices with the task. Short periods of practice inters read with a period of rest permit more efficient learning than does continuous or masses practice.
- Whole V/s part learning: – One important question is whether the material should be learned as a whole or in One may go over the whole learning material several times or take one part at a time and learn it in the piecemeal method.
- Recitation: – One way to secure the active participation of the learners in teaching-learning is to use the recitation method. After learning certain material once, the learner recites and tries to recall it loudly.
- Knowledge of result: – the learner goes on improving his performance if he is given information about the correctness of his responses or his progress in learning at each stage of mastery. The learner can sustain his efforts, if, during the course of learning, he may periodically know how well he has done or how far he is away from the target. Knowledge of result aids learning by being an incentive. Some information about his accomplishment helps in maintaining his interest and motivation in learning.
- Learning by doing: –Participation of the learner is of central significance. So, the students should be encouraged to learn things by doing. It will bring more of their involvement in the task. They would take more interest in learning that task and pay more attention to it. Therefore, the teacher should devise means and ways to ensure active participation of the students.
- Suitability of Method: – Methods of teaching adopted by the teacher and environmental factors affecting learning are many and varied. These can be elaborated to any extent. Learning is affected by the suitability of methods of teaching like; Discussion method, Demonstration method, Lecture method, Project method, Heuristic method, Programmed learning method, Plat-way method, Story-telling method, Field-work, excursion and trips.
- Teacher and Environments related Factors: – These factors also play an important role in the effectiveness of teaching-learning outcomes. Physical environment, social environment, classroom culture, curricula, time table; and fatigue and rest very important for providing a conducive environment to learn.
The teaching-learning process depends on many factors and they are interdependent to each other. Institutions is one of the factors that directly affect teaching.
The following factors can be summarised as Factors affecting Teaching related to Institution:
- Teacher -Student ratio
- Quality of Teachers and Their Commitments
- Adopted teaching Methods
- Institutional Achievements
- Physical and Material Resources