General principles of good teaching

General Principles of Good Teaching

A good relationship between teachers and learners is crucial for an effective learning environment. Any compromise can lead to classroom disorder. To maintain a harmonious classroom, scholars like Opinmi (2007) and Osokoya (2010) have suggested several guiding principles for good teaching:

  1. Recognition of Individual Differences
    • Understand that each student is unique.
    • Just like no two leaves from the same plant are identical, students have different mental capabilities, social behaviors, physical appearances, and emotional states.
    • Avoid lumping students together; instead, tailor teaching methods to address their unique needs.
  2. Identification of Pupils’ Needs
    • Consider the students’ prior knowledge of the subject.
    • Knowing their background helps in focusing on relevant topics and avoiding unnecessary areas.
    • This targeted approach enhances effective learning.
  3. Ability to Arouse and Maintain Interest
    • Ensure students are ready and prepared to learn.
    • A good teacher can spark and sustain students’ interest throughout the lesson.
    • Prepare the students’ minds, hearts, and hands before starting classroom activities.
  4. Ensuring a Democratic Teaching/Learning Environment
    • Foster an interactive and free-flowing environment where teachers and students can share knowledge without intimidation.
    • Distribute questions evenly to avoid partiality.
    • Provide equal opportunities for all students to participate.
    • De-emphasize the use of cane as it is a tool of subjugation.
  5. Clear Objectives
    • Clearly state teaching objectives as guiding principles.
    • This clarity makes teaching and learning activities more effective.
  6. Activity-Based Teaching
    • Make classroom sessions lively, interesting, meaningful, and effective through activity-based teaching.
    • Engage students actively in the learning process.
  7. Meaningful Tasks
    • Assign study tasks that are relevant and meaningful in content, concept, and context.
    • Avoid vague or irrelevant assignments.
    • Tailor all classroom work and assignments to the learning experiences desired for the students.


By adhering to these principles, teachers can create a productive and positive classroom environment. Recognizing individual differences, identifying students’ needs, maintaining interest, fostering a democratic environment, setting clear objectives, utilizing activity-based teaching, and providing meaningful tasks are essential steps toward effective teaching and learning.

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